[April 17, 2017, Macau] MGM once again sponsored the Conference on Intellectually Disabled People in Asia organized by the Charity Association of Macau Business Readers as one of its initiatives in raising public awareness on social inclusion. The Conference, held at MGM MACAU’s Grand Ballroom today, is the beginning of a series of activities planned to further promote social inclusion through art workshop and sporting events within the month of April.
A number of international speakers were invited to share ideas and insights at the Conference on Intellectually Disabled People in Asia on the topic of social inclusion for 300 audience members from various fields, including Special Olympics athletes and coaches from all over the world, government officials, representatives from local community associations, school students and teachers, as well as MGM’s management team members and Volunteer Team. One of the speakers, Program Specialist from UNESCO Institute, Dr. Natalia Amelina, gave a presentation on the digital inclusion of intellectually disabled.
Mr. Emmanuel Bishop, a 20-year-old athlete with Down syndrome, was invited to deliver a keynote speech on the topic of My Abilities – The Story of a Special Champion. He can play violin and speak four languages as well. He said, “Down syndrome is a part of me, and it is with my disability that makes me who I am. This is a great opportunity for me to show my full-self through this conference. I hope to inspire people with intellectual disabilities to express themselves as individuals without embarrassment, and to inspire the rest of the people to see people with disabilities as part of the community.” He also shared his personal story and offered a wealth of insights on how to successfully realize innate talents, inspiring the audience members to be more actively engaged in social inclusion, and deepening the understanding of how life with intellectual disabilities can be tackled and conquered with success.
Mr. Grant Bowie, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of MGM China Holdings Limited, also delivered a speech on Social Inclusion in Workplace: It Begins with Understanding and Respect. He said at the event, “As an employer, we understand that no individual is perfect, and only together can we create perfection. At MGM, we strive to foster an environment where we embrace people of different backgrounds and we make sure they are treated with equality, respect and dignity. We look at talent in all their forms, and extend our support to help everyone achieve their employment aspirations and develop their sense of self. With the expansion of our footprint in Macau, we will continue to take a progressive approach to workplace equality and social inclusion, helping to improve attitudes towards disability in the local community.”
Social Inclusion through Art
MGM has its ongoing art-focus collaboration with Macau Special Olympics to offer a wide spectrum of initiatives for its athletes, in addition to a long-term alliance in serving the local disabled community through sports and more since 2010. After the Conference today, more than 100 Special Olympics athletes gathered at MGM MACAU’s Grand Ballroom Foyer for an art workshop. The athletes, accompanied by MGM’s Volunteer Team members and local artists from Art For All Society, collectively created unique, colorful designs and painted directly onto a plain lion sculpture at 1.8m tall and a real motorcycle. With the belief that art is a universal language that transcends traditional language barriers, MGM hopes to inspire a closer connection between all participants through art, reinforce the importance of understanding and accepting each other so as to build a harmonious and inclusive society.
Social Inclusion through Sports
MGM has also been a keen supporter to Macau Special Olympics Golf Masters, ever since its inaugural tournament in 2012. In addition to sponsoring the Golf Masters taking place from April 19 to 21, Mr. Grant Bowie will once again be one of the officiating guests; Mr. Mel Hansen, Senior Vice President of Design, Development & Construction; Mr. Kevin Chew, Senior Vice President of International Marketing, and Mr. Graeme Croft, Vice President of Table Games, will take part in this golf tournament and pair up with a Special Olympics golfer to vie for the trophy.
With the vision to Create a Better Tomorrow Today, MGM is committed to taking part in different philanthropic initiatives aimed at raising public awareness on the importance of social inclusion, particularly for the disabled members of the local community, therefore helping to bring the community closer together and contribute towards a better and brighter future for Macau.