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Golisano Foundation Awards Five-Year Grant to WXXI Public Media to Expand the Move To Include Initiative

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Photo from https://www.facebook.com/movetoinclude/photos.

The Golisano Foundation has awarded WXXI Public Media a five-year grant totaling $1.65 million in support of the continuation and expansion of the Move to Include (MTI) initiative. 

In 2014 WXXI and the Foundation joined forces to launch MTI, an initiative that uses the power of public media to inform and transform attitudes and behavior about intellectual, physical and developmental disabilities.

“Move to Include”, is a special initiative to promote inclusion for people with disabilities. The initiative grew out of a 10-year partnership with Al Sigl Community of Agencies, called Dialogue on Disabilities.

“We are pleased to partner with WXXI and continue our support for Move to Include, which has become a catalyst for inclusive programming in New York and several other states, said Ann Costello, Executive Director of the Golisano Foundation. “With the proposed expansion to even more stations across the country, we look forward to an exciting new era of inclusive programming and public education that will increase engagement and impact on issues, experiences, and perspectives of the disability community.”

The five-year grant will enable WXXI to continue and strengthen the core MTI content and productions including WXXI-produced documentaries, primetime and children’s TV programming, social media and special events. It will also support the Inclusion Desk, a multi-platform reporting effort by WXXI News dedicated to consistently reporting on disability issues and stories of inclusion. The grant will also enable WXXI to hire a dedicated project manager to oversee productions, monitor the brand, and work to increase audience reach. WXXI’s investment over the next five years totals $1.1M.

“We are grateful to the Golisano Foundation for its generous support that will enable us to focus more effort on expanding MTI content and outreach,” said WXXI President Norm Silverstein. “Move to Include is an important part of our mission to ensure that a diverse set of voices is heard on our air, online, and in digital and community spaces.”

In 2020 The Corporation for Public Broadcasting recognized the importance of Move to Include and awarded WXXI a grant to expand efforts to five additional public media stations, which include WFYI (Indianapolis), OPB (Oregon), WGCU (Southwest Florida), WCNY (Syracuse), and Iowa PBS. Now with the support of the Golisano Foundation, WXXI has a goal to partner with 40 new PBS stations nationwide to implement MTI in their communities.

WXXI has been providing focused coverage of disabilities for the past 19 years, first partnering in 2003 with the Al Sigl Community of Agencies to produce Dialogue on Disability, a one-week initiative weaving programming and news coverage focused on disabilities. 

With the support of businessman and philanthropist Tom Golisano and the Golisano Foundation, MIT was formed, enabling WXXI to develop year-round programming promoting inclusion that now reaches more than one million people. WXXI has continued to expand production, increase the number of special events, and widen its reach online and on social media with the support of $1.475M to date from the Golisano Foundation.

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