Neurodiversity Pride Day 2023

June 16 2023 will be the 6th edition of Neurodiversity Pride Day, the day of pride to celebrate neurodivergent uniqueness, and how each of us add beauty to an otherwise neurotypical society. It’s a day organized by & for neurodivergents, and they allies.

Neurodiversity Pride Day is an annual day of Pride, to celebrate those with neurodivergent minds, and how the uniqueness of each neurodivergent individual adds value and beauty to an otherwise NT planet. It’s less of a day for creating ‘awareness’ (designed to educate NTs), and more a day of ‘celebration, acceptance and appreciation’ (celebrated by and for ND, and those supporting them as allies). The day has been celebrated since 2018, and grows with very big leaps each year. 

June 16th 2023

We have been celebrating the first 5 editions of Neurodiversity Pride Day on June 18th, with endorsement of Autistic Pride organizers. But now that our own day has gotten so large, and is an actual and significant contender for their spotlight, we have decided to permanently move the day to June 16th, in a pre- emptive move of solidarity, love and compassion towards their future needs, in our belief that; ‘Pride Stands Together’. This move also allows us to make a pledge to be a recognized day in the UN World calendar. 

As the original source and founders of Neurodiversity Pride Day, the organizing team (including the ND-led Neurodiversity Foundation based in the Netherlands) will be inviting all partners to compassionately support this move to June 16th. 

The Neurodiversity Pride Day

The logo is a ‘Flying kite soaring without a rope, trailed by a ribbon of infinity signs’. Some of the main programmatic elements will be hosted on www.neurodiversityprideday.com. Its likely that “Stride” & “Neuroemergence” get a separate site as well. The theme of the year will be published by February 14th 2023, but shared with partners sooner, recent themes being: ‘celebrate your own way’, ‘celebrate neurodivergent uniqueness’, ‘differentness takes courage’ and ‘embrace your differences/omarm je andersheid’. 

The main growth aims for Neurodiversity Pride Day 2023:

  • To have the 16th of June marked as the international day of Pride for neurodivergent individuals, and have it enlisted in the UN World Calendar. Thereby giving all individuals with ADHD, Tourette and so on, their own annual day of pride. 
  • To have a day, where we support 5-10 leading organizations* in showing their inclusive and or supportive culture towards neurodiversity in the workplace. Thereby giving hope to NDs, and providing shining examples for other organizations to be inspired by and follow in years and policies to come. 
  • To set a worldwide example of shared pride, similar to how LGTBQIA+ Pride have their ‘parades’, neurodivergent have their Stride sports action, of neurodivergents, each individually, performing a sports related feat on friday June 16th, where their ‘meters traversed’ in any of the 10 sports activities are added together to one big shared goal (in 2022: first successful tests with the app, in 2023: around the moon with 11k, in 2024 around the world with 44k, and in 2025 to the moon, with 440k). The feeling of this action is both ‘sense of excellence’ and ‘allowance for the whimsical’. We hope in the future to have this as a fundraising option, to generate funds for Pride Day, and for other ND positive initiatives. 

The main programmatic aims for Neurodiversity Pride Day

  • To create a day, where neurodivergents worldwide, have a moment of reflection about what they contribute, what beauty their uniqueness brings to the world. This pillar has been called “You (-time)”.   
  • To create a day, where both ND as NT, celebrate the value of neurological difference in society, personal life, universities and the workplace. Often done, via subtle ways like ‘posting on social media’, ‘enlisting in the organizational calendar’ and wishing others a ‘happy neurodiversity pride day’. This pillar has been called ‘Co-celebration’. 
  • To create a day, where NDs in the workplace, can find each other, meet each other, and bond over a sense of solidarity. This is often done via ‘luncheons’, ‘groups meet & greets’ and sometimes organized sessions where ND workers can ‘speak’ or ‘be heard’. This pillar is called “ND Networks”.
  • To create a day, where local organizations can self-organize small-scale events for the ND group they serve. Often done, via a written or oral speech with an inclusive message from an organizational leader, social picnics for ND team members and educational sessions, like a presentation. This pillar is called “Local Activities” 
  • To create a day, where neurodivergents can, individually, with a partner, or with a group of team members or friends, can do a “Stride” action. Often this is a walk, a bike ride, but can also be done by moonwalking, dancewalking, or any more ‘fun’ ways to move forward. 
  • To create a day, where the activities are free for all, accessible to the degree we have the funds to organize it thusly, and still create an ‘exciting’ event; in virtual reality. We have created the ‘Pride Universe of the Neurodiverse” in the metaverse as an option to organize. Often done, via an exhibition of artworks created by (young) ND artists, called “ND Art Expo”, via creative sessions in any of the 11 rooms, or as a meeting place for NDs to make friends. We call this pillar “Virtual Reality Event”.      
  • To create a day, where we can host and share the wisdom and insights on neurodiversity, by experts and advocates, by an online ‘forum’ that shares sessions, panels and presentations, including the annual keynote. In 2022 renamed to the 3-day “NeuroEmergence Online Summit”. In 2023 we aim for a 2-day “NeuroEmergence” event on June 16 & 17th. 
  • To create a annual speech, by a daring pioneer, that speaks inspiration to neurodivergents and can be freely shared. In 2023 the keynote will be by Jessica McCabe from HowToADHD. In 2022 the keynote was by Lyric Holmans, the Neurodivergent Rebel. In 2021 by Judy Singer, the sociologist that coined neurodiversity. In 2020 by dr Baken. In 2019 by dr Van Dijk. And in 2018 by Tjerk Feitsma, the founder of the Neurodiversity Foundation. In dutch language called ‘Neurodiversiteitsrede’, the imperfect english translation is slated as “Annual Neurodiversity Address”. 

There are many more exciting opportunities to grow this day to scale and the Neurodiversity Foundation and their allies are excited about any partners joining in to this day of Pride. There are things, we’d love our partners to understand:

  • Neurodiversity Pride Day, is clearly a day focussed on the positive, and will remain so. There are the ‘three rules’ for organizers: no discrimination of any kind, no focus on sad stories, and NDs have to be part of the event, otherwise it can’t be called ‘Neurodiversity Pride celebration’. We also hope, for clarity, that our partners use the name (Neurodiversity Pride Day or Neurodiversity Pride celebrations) when used in a text, and the Neurodiversity Pride logo (the kite soaring without strings), however any hashtag with variations (like #NDpride of #neurodiversitypride) are also appropriate.
  • Neurodiversity Pride Day does not specifically focus on schools, for this is the main focus of NC Week in March, which we love & support in solidarity. 
  • Traditionally, all attendance of Neurodiversity Pride celebration events have been free, for all. This is, however, not a ‘rule’ and we understand that in the future, certain events will have ticketing to cover costs. Pragmatism is key. The Neurodiversity Pride movement has no roots in anti-capitalism or related activism, and is decisively open to both non-profit and corporate ‘friends’ and partners. 

Timeline:

  • Post-pride ‘rest’: Juli 2022
  • Start fundraising efforts: August 2022
  • Start Neurodiversity Pride Day preparations: September 2022
  • Start recurring small-scale ‘neuroemergence events’: October 2022
  • Call for organisations to join in next Pride edition: December 2022. 
  • Launch theme of the year: Februari 14th 2023
  • Start campaign: February/March 2023
  • Start invitations: April 2023
  • Start marketing campaign: May/June 2023. 
  • Start activities: June 2023 (most in the week of June 16th). 

Quote from the very first Annual Neurodiversity Pride Day Keynote in 2018:

“We have come a long way, but to become a fully accepted part of the populace, a new wave of emancipation for our kind is needed, and this day will mark that wave. And it will mark it every year.

The Neurodiversity Pride Day is a day (…) to show pride and appreciation for neurodivergent minds. It’s a day to come out of hiding and to be proud for being uniquely different from the norms. It’s a day to celebrate the uniqueness of your own neurological potential. Or….. to appreciate and support those neurodivergents you have in your own life. To celebrate what makes us extraordinary in an otherwise NT world.

This year 2018, it’s the very first Neurodiversity Pride day, celebrating all neurodivergents. It’s starting in the Netherlands. But the world is large, and our love is not bound by arbitrary countrylines. All neurotypes deserve love, appreciation and acceptance, from others but also from their own selves, and since this day of Pride simply does not exist, we are creating this for all Neurodivergents & allies in the world. So let’s celebrate today. And invite all our friends, heroes and peers from countries everywhere in the world to the party next year. All Neurodivergent kinds are welcome, and embraced equally, for celebrating neurodiversity means celebrating the uniqueness that is in all of us. And in celebrating neurodiversity, we celebrate the wish to have a society that embraces all neurotypes, this, fellow neurodivergents, this, is our day: Neurodiversity Pride Day.“

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