World Down Syndrome Day Celebrations
March 21st is recognized each year as World Down Syndrome Day. 3-21 represents the third copy of the 21st chromosome, trisomy 21, Down syndrome. Our vision, on World Down Syndrome Day and every day, is to see a world that is socially just; where individuals with Down syndrome have a voice, and are accepted and embraced in their families, schools and communities, to help improve the world and make it a better place to live, work and prosper.
Check out this amazing video about inclusivity starring none other than GiGi's NYC very own, Malik: https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=6NBJ3GIUTps.
Thanks to all who celebrated World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) with us in March 2023! Although recognized on 3/21, GiGi's NYC celebrated throughout the month of March in numerous ways:
On the last day of our Winter 2023 semester, our participants went to see the movie "Champions," which features multiple actors with Down syndrome. Inclusion ROCKS!
On World Down Syndrome Day:
-Our participants gathered at the plaza outside of the Today show to represent the Down Syndrome community. We saw many of our friends there, and we even got to see Al Roker, who co-hosted our 2020 Gala!
-Microsoft hosted several of our participants for a fireside chat where they discussed their achievements and future goals in front of a live audience.
-The NY Islanders hosted us as their charity partner during their game versus the Toronto Maple Leafs. Our participants, their family members and our volunteers sold raffle tickets to the patrons at UBS arena, raising a record amount! In addition, our Co-Founder Debbie Morris spoke about GiGi's NYC during intermission. Check her out on the jumbotron! Our participants, Sophia and Malik, then waived the flag!
-Alivia announced its Spring 2023 collection in collaboration with GiGi's NYC participant, Stephanie Portoviejo. To learn more about the World Down Syndrome Day launch, check out this article published in WWD.
Kendra Scott partnered with GiGi's NYC to offer 20% back on purchases made between 3/25-3/27 in honor of World Down Syndrome Day!
A huge thank you to everyone who supported GiGi's NYC for WDSD and helped spread acceptance and awareness for the Down syndrome community. Down syndrome ROCKS!
Thanks to all who celebrated World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) with us in March 2022! Although recognized on 3/21, GiGI'S NYC celebrated throughout the month of March in numerous ways:
Our TeenTastic Night Out participants attended a Brooklyn Nets game, thanks to a very generous ticket donation.
We promoted the social media campaign in the days leading up to WDSD, “Demystifying Down Syndrome,” by highlighting some common misconceptions about Down syndrome and the corresponding facts.
A number of our participants were guest panel speakers at major corporations such as Société Générale, AIG, and Microsoft.
We celebrated the launch of Turn Down for What, a non-profit founded by long-time GiGi’s NYC volunteer, Claire Kuhn.
We hosted a FUNdraiser at Tommy Bahama.
Our Co-Founders, Debbie Morris and Tracy Nixon, were interviewed by Better Together Community, to reflect on the last ten years since we opened our doors. Click here to watch the video: https://fb.watch/cHZgs7hzKX/.
GiGi's NYC honors individuals with Down syndrome on this day, WDSD, and everyday. We will continue to openly recognize and celebrate their unique talents and achievements to honor their rightful place in the world, where they can contribute.
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.
Thank you to everyone who participated in our Crazy Sock Challenge for WDSD 2020!
On Saturday, 3/23 we celebrated the amazing achievements of our individuals with Down syndrome. With over 40 families in attendance, along with sponsors from Hard Rock Cafe, The JR league, JetBlue, and NYU! Thank you to the JCC Harlem for graciously hosting us!
On Sunday, March 18th, our community came together to celebrate our loved ones with Down syndrome. We had a blast with over 35 families attending! The celebration and advocacy continues tonight and tomorrow with more great #WDSD2018 events! Thank you to the JCC Harlem for graciously hosting this Sundays party!
We had an awesome time JCC Manhattan celebrating World Down Syndrome Day 217! We danced, laughed, raised awareness, and Katie Couric came by our event!
A great evening celebrating World Down Syndrome at the JCC Manhattan with some very talented singers and dancers!
Photo credits to our amazing Photographer-Volunteers: Alvin Shih, Sri Lakhanigam, and Petko Ivanov
On Saturday March 21st 2015 we celebrated World Down Syndrome Day with the Brooklyn Museum, NDSS, and LuMind. Over 350 people came together to celebrate Down syndrome, to view the exhibit of Judith Scott's art work, and to dance with Liza Galler. What an outstanding way to celebrated our very special place in an inclusive community - thank you for hosting, Brooklyn Museum!