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Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

DEI at Special Olympics Arizona


Special Olympics Arizona values a diverse and inclusive community where all individuals feel valued and respected. We are committed to using our platform to break through underrepresentation, promote unity, and encourage inclusion as an organization, employer, and member of our Arizona community– because we are better together.



More than 50 years ago, Special Olympics launched a global movement to break down barriers and end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. Inclusion continues to be at the heart of all that we do. Special Olympics Arizona works to embrace, celebrate, and appreciate the diversity of cultures, ethnicities, languages, identities, and abilities in our community; to create an inclusive atmosphere where all are welcomed, comfortable, and represented; to enable all to reach their full potential as their authentic selves; and to learn from and contribute to the diversity of our community. We know that our efforts toward greater diversity and inclusion will enrich our organization and the world. 


Committee Goals

Ongoing Goals

  • Ensure every SOAZ athlete has a platform for their voice to be heard.


  • Increase opportunities for SOAZ athletes to have leadership roles on the board, staff, committees, and with the community and partnerships.


  • Provide DEI resources and trainings to SOAZ constituents (staff, board members, coaches, volunteers, athletes, Unified partners, family members/care givers)


  • Grow the committee to include more diverse opinions from members of the Arizona community.


  • Provide programing and marketing materials in languages that are reflective of the Arizona’s community members.


  • Ensure that our Board of Directors is reflective of the communities served by SOAZ.


  • Be proactive to serve the needs of the community.


  • Be transparent in the work we are doing.


  • Be receptive to ongoing learning and growth opportunities.


  • Follow best practices in the DEI space to recruit volunteers, interns, and staff members.

Achieved Goals

  • SOAZ has successfully added an accessibility menu to the website.

To be Completed

  • Increase opportunities for SOAZ athletes to have leadership roles on the board, staff, committees, and with the community and partnerships.

DEI Committee Members

Heather Turkes | SOAZ Volunteer Engagement Senior Coordinator

Eric Abt | Games Management Team volunteer

Terri Juarez-Young | Athlete Leader

Rubett Garcia | SOAZ Mountain Area Director

DeMario Vaughn | Mercy Care, Board Member, Games Management Team Volunteer

Gianna Zola | SOAZ Health & Athlete Leadership Manager

Keri Cordon | SOAZ Grants Manager

Meghan Mullin | SOAZ Development Manger

Travon Clark | Four Peaks Area Athlete

Contact the DEI Committee Chairs

Gold Sponsors

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