Micron Recognizes World Down Syndrome Day

By Michelle Hicks - 2021-03-18

Chances are you know someone with Down syndrome — the chromosomal arrangement that occurs in 1 of 700 people. It’s a naturally occurring arrangement present across racial, gender and socioeconomic lines. People with Down syndrome work, attend school, have meaningful relationships and contribute to society. While it affects individual development differently, people with Down syndrome do have an increased risk for hearing loss, heart defects at birth and mild to moderate cognitive delays.

Micron celebrates World Down Syndrome Day

March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day. On this day, people with Down syndrome and those who live and work with them throughout the world organize and participate in activities and events to raise public awareness and create a single global voice advocating for the rights, inclusion and well-being of people with Down syndrome. It’s celebrated on the 21st because of the 21st chromosome that marks Down syndrome. (If you’d like a primer on the triple chromosome difference, check out this video from people with Down syndrome!)

Micron recognizes this day as part of its mission to eliminate bias and build a culture of inclusion. It’s one of the many reasons that Micron joined The Valuable 500 — a global community of leaders who are revolutionizing inclusion for people with disabilities in the workplace.

“We are intentional in fostering an environment that is diverse, equal and inclusive. Our vision clearly states that we are transforming how the world uses information to enrich life for all. And, when we say “all,” we mean all,” said Sharawn Connors, Micron’s vice president of Diversity, Equality & Inclusion.

Capable ERG fosters a workplace where those with disabilities can thrive

Micron’s leadership puts this bold vision into action by partnering with our employee resource groups (ERGs). Our nine ERGs are employee-led and volunteer-driven groups centered around shared identities or experiences. One of the nine ERGs is called Capable, which strives to foster a workplace where seen and unseen disabilities are embraced, allowing Micron employees to succeed in a climate of acceptance and equality. Currently, there are seven chapters of Capable at Micron sites around the globe.

Today people with Down syndrome live to around 60, despite their life expectancy being just 25 in 1983. This increased life expectancy has stemmed largely from ending the inhumane practice of institutionalizing people with Down syndrome.

People living with Down syndrome can provide all of us with a different perspective on this and other abilities. When we focus on the potential of people, we see the many strengths and talents they possess. And we can have a huge influence on their quality of life and life expectancy.

Learn more about people with Down syndrome and become an ally at the National Down Syndrome Society.

Portrait image of Michelle Hicks

Michelle Hicks

Michelle Hicks serves as director of communication, strategy and engagement for the Diversity, Equality and Inclusion team at Micron. In this role, Michelle works to elevate Micron’s DEI voice with leaders, team members and external stakeholders to drive greater diversity and inclusion at Micron and across the global semiconductor industry. Michelle has received multiple journalism and communication awards. She is passionate about creating a safe and inclusive workplace culture where employees are empowered to have a positive impact. Michelle is a dog mom who volunteers as a youth mentor. You may catch her trying to stay out of the kitchen on the pickleball court.