• Jess Weaver

Tim Shriver

Tim Shriver is a husband, father, educator, best-selling author, and the Chairman of the Special Olympics. In that capacity, he has driven the largest expansion of the organization, growing the movement from one million athletes to over six million athletes in 193 countries around the world.

Shriver has harnessed the power of Hollywood to challenge unconscious bias and share stories of inspiration, executive producing several films including Amistad, The Loretta Claiborne Story, The Ringer, Front of the Class, and The Peanut Butter Falcon.

Shriver earned his undergraduate degree from Yale University, a Master’s degree from Catholic University, and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Connecticut.  Before joining Special Olympics in 1996, Shriver co-founded and currently chairs the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), the leading school reform organization in the field of social and emotional learning (SEL).

In 2018, he began asking new questions–how could the SEL teaching skills like empathy and self-awareness help the country? How could the example of the athletes of Special Olympics provide a model for a divided world? Hundreds of young people, faith leaders, educators, philosophers, scientists, activists and political figures have joined the conversation. Together, they came to the conclusion that in spite of the divides, the world is hungry for ideas that unite. Thus, they founded UNITE, the collective for common purpose – crossing divides to address problems that can only be solved together. As the launch of UNITE neared, Covid-19 became a pandemic, and suddenly humanity’s interdependence and need for connection became the leading themes of human events. Seeing the need, the group agreed to start its work early, and The Call to Unite became project one.

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