Thank you for celebrating World Down Syndrome Day with us on March 21, 2021.
Prior to 03.21.21 we recognized the achievements of people with Down syndrome in our community, with social media posts prior to and after this special day. We are grateful to YOU our GiGi’s NYC community; by showing your support, participating with your families and friend in our events.
The 2021 WDSD theme was #CONNECT. We are fortunate to have generous partners who devoted their time and effort to connect with GiGi’s NYC to produce our roster of events.
Let’s take a closer look at our partnerships and the people at the forefront who made this day possible:
- The T21 Project: Juliet Furst, founder of The T21 Project, conducted a series of interviews and photographed members of GiGi’s NYC in Central Park which were posted on social media capturing their achievements and contributions to our world.
- New York Cares: Our dedicated volunteers led a discussion with our teenagers about what WDSD means to them and how they were going to celebrate the day.
- John’s Crazy Socks: John and Mark Cronin invited members of the GiGi’s NYC community to participate in a World Down Syndrome Day Celebration that John’s Crazy Socks sponsored with the National Down Syndrome Society. They asked self-advocates with Down syndrome from GiGi’s NYC to submit a video that was part of a larger video they presented called “I am Down Syndrome.” You can see Malik and Laura from GiGi’s NYC in the video here.
- Positive Exposure: Working with Elizabeth Grossman and team, Rick Guidotti interviewed several GiGi’s NYC families, which included Tsubaki and her parents Zak and Asuka, Troy with his Mom Jane and our GiGi’s Ambassador, Malik with his Mom Yamira, about their relationships with GiGi’s NYC and their community. They discussed with Rick the empowering work being done at GiGi’s NYC, what WDSD means to them and how they would celebrate the day. You can watch the interview here.
- GiGi’s NYC Community Chorus and the Morainbow Foundation: Produced a watch party comprised of inspirational songs conducted by Broadway’s
Laurie Gamache. Nigeria’s Save Down Syndrome Ambassador, Tola Makinde shared her community with us in the moving program. Songs included Firework by Katie Perry, Beautiful City from Godspell and Try Everything by Shakira. You can watch our Community Chorus Concert here.
- Barclays Center and Brooklyn Nets Academy Basketball Clinic: Michael Wisniewski and Ryan Imparato hosted a basketball fitness clinic, teaching the fundamentals of basketball handling and shooting techniques. Later in the evening, the Barclays Center celebrated WDSD by lighting their stadium in Blue & Yellow. We thank Leah Lawrence and Kenya Johnson for their vision and efforts to create this event.
- Columbia University Best Buddies Chapter: Hosted a celebration of WDSD with adults from our community, where we celebrated by viewing a variety of short films and other works of vibrant art. We reflected on representation, inclusion, and the unique talents and achievements of those with Down syndrome.
In the words of our GiGi’s NYC Ambassador, Malik Jabbaar,
“the Community Chorus Concert was a very happy occasion as well as the interview with Positive Exposure. The Brooklyn Net’s Academy Basketball Clinic was so cool especially since I love basketball. Afterwards, I headed downtown to the Barclays Center to take photos while the stadium was lit up in Blue and Yellow. It was a great way to end the evening.”
GiGi’s NYC is honored to have celebrated WDSD with our community and amazing partners . We will continue to build the skills of our community, recognize and celebrate the achievements of the Down syndrome community at GiGi’s NYC, where the possibilities are endless. We thank you.