WORLD DOWN SYNDROME DAY
World Down Syndrome Day on March 21st gives people with Down Syndrome and their advocates a voice and an opportunity to be heard. It’s a day where we assemble and organize activities to promote public awareness for the genetic disorder. The goal is to educate others on the importance of supporting our friends and family who have directly and indirectly experienced life with Down syndrome.
Down syndrome is a naturally occurring chromosomal arrangement that has always been a part of the human condition. It exists in all regions globally and commonly affects learning styles, physical characteristics, and overall health. In order to ensure proper growth and development, social learning programs are required to integrate anyone who has Down syndrome.
Every year, their voices grow louder, and they influence government policy, becoming more empowered. Through events around the world, people with Down syndrome can ensure their own advocacy and be included in their communities.
HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldDownSyndromeDay
Check to see if your local school is offering any volunteer opportunities in their Integrated Learning Center. Join local events or share yours. Other ways you can participate include:
- Join their #LotsOfSocks fundraising campaign.
- Create your own fundraising campaign. Visit the link below to learn more.
- Create a video based on this year’s theme.
- Volunteer to speak at your school about Down syndrome and share your experiences.
- Create opportunities in your community that will encourage advocacy and empowerment.
Find out more at worlddownsyndromeday.org and use #WorldDownSyndromeDay to share on social media.
WORLD DOWN SYNDROME DAY HISTORY
Since 2006, Down Syndrome International has promoted World Down Syndrome Day to encourage people with Down Syndrome to help raise awareness about the condition. The United Nations General Assembly declared March 21st as World Down Syndrome Day in December 2011. Each year, the organization creates a theme. Past themes have included:
2020 – We Decide
2019 – Leave No One Behind
2018 – What I Bring To My Community
2017 – My Voice My Community
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March 21st Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History
The first active-duty Navy woman, Loretta Walsh receives the rank of petty officer. She’s the first woman enlisted in the United States Armed Forces in a non-nurse capacity.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons closes Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary located on an island off the coast of San Francisco, California. The maximum-security prison is also known as The Rock housed some of the country’s most notorious criminals including Al Capone, Robert “Birdman of Alcatraz” Stroud, George “Machine Gun” Kelly, and Alvin Karpis.
The Mayor of San Francisco, Joseph Alioto proclaims the first Earth Day.
Someone shoots J.R. on the popular television series Dallas.
Jack Dorsey, one of Twitter’s cofounders, sent the first public tweet. It read, “just setting up my twttr.”
March 21st Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays
Forrest Mars Sr. – 1904
The American businessman and heir of the Mars candy empire is best known for developing the Mars bar and M&Ms.
Jehane Benoît – 1904
In 1933, the Canadian cookbook author and broadcaster opened her own cooking school called the Fumet de la Vieille France in Montreal. Two years later, Benoît opened the vegetarian restaurant “The Salad Bar.”
Henry O Flipper – 1906
On June 14, 1877, Cadet Henry O. Flipper became the first African American to graduate from West Point.
Julio Gallo – 1910
Along with his brother Ernest, Julio Gallo started a winery in 1933. From Modesto, California, they created a brand that dominated the inexpensive wine market. Gallo gained a reputation as a savvy businessman with marketing know-how. Over the years, Gallo eventually branched into finer wines.
Solomon Burke – 1940
Rose Stone – 1945
Gary Oldman – 1958
Matthew Broderick – 1962
Rosie O’Donnell – 1962