Major landmarks, stadia and iconic buildings around the world will turn RED in a global display of unity as part of the Special Olympics 50th Anniversary Celebration. The act represents the dawn of the Inclusion Revolution—Special Olympics’ mission to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities (ID) worldwide and create inclusive communities.
“We are grateful for the tremendous support to help celebrate and raise awareness for people with intellectual disabilities regardless of where they live in the world,” said Special Olympics International Chairman, Timothy Shriver. “Light Up for Inclusion symbolizes the continuation and evolution of Special Olympics’ mission.”
More than 225 landmarks worldwide will participate in the Light Up for Inclusion initiative on July 20th, creating a global display of tolerance, respect and celebration of difference.
Major global landmarks participating in Light Up for Inclusion include, but are not limited to the following:
- Emirates Palace and ADNOC HQ, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- Empire State Building, New York, USA
- Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia
- Coca-Cola London Eye, Piccadilly sign & Blackpool Tower, UK
- African Renaissance Monument, Dakar, Senegal
- Prudential Buildings, Willis Tower & more, Chicago, USA
- Amman Citadel, Amman, Jordan
- Angel of Independence, Mexico City, Mexico
- Administration Building Panama Canal, Panama
- Lotte World Tower, Seoul, South Korea
- Nelson Mandela Statue, Johannesburg, South Africa
- Niagara Falls, USA and Canada
- Olympic Stadium, Baku, Azerbaijan
- The Esplanade, Singapore
- The Water Cube, Beijing, China
Browse the full list of Light Up for Inclusion landmarks here.
Light Up for Inclusion is part of the action-packed Special Olympics 50th Anniversary Celebration taking place in Chicago from July 17-21. Chicago is the birth place of the first International Special Olympics Summer Games, which were held at Soldier Field in July 1968.
Special Olympics athletes, coaches, supporters and celebrities from around the globe will gather in Chicago for the 50th Anniversary to commemorate 50 years of joy, courage and empowerment, and participate in a weekend filled with inspiring events.
The inaugural Unified Soccer Cup presented by Toyota at CIBC Fire Pitch and TOYOTA Park will take place from July 17-20 in Chicago, featuring players with and without intellectual disabilities competing together. The Commemorative Law Enforcement Torch Run will occur on Friday, July 20, featuring hundreds of law enforcement officers and Special Olympics athletes from around the world. The four-mile run will conclude with the lighting of the Eternal Flame of Hope outside of Soldier Field. To wrap up the celebration, Special Olympics will host a Global Day of Inclusion at Soldier Field, a family-friendly celebration featuring sports, interactive games, exhibits, food and live entertainment, and the 50th Anniversary Celebration Concert featuring Chance the Rapper, Usher, Francis & the Lights, Smokey Robinson, Jason Mraz and O.A.R. More information can be found here.
“Fifty years ago in Chicago, Special Olympics began its mission to break down barriers and create a more inclusive world at the first ever International Summer Games,” said Mary Davis, Special Olympics International CEO. “As we charge into the next 50 years with a renewed purpose of ending discrimination, we are encouraging people across the globe to join us and help create a fully inclusive world.”
The next Special Olympics World Summer Games will take place in Abu Dhabi from March 14-21, 2019. Over 7,000 Special Olympics athletes representing over 170 countries from around the world will compete.