Race4Respect welcomes SEAN MCELWEE!



2017 Debra Alfarone, WUSA9

Debra Alfarone is an award-winning, Emmy-nominated TV Anchor, whose live reports and hard-hitting stories can be seen on WUSA9, the CBS station in the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. Debra anchors the weekend evening newscasts, and on weekdays, tells the stories affecting people in the D.C. area. She covers everything from breaking news to crime to stories of people making a difference. Debra’s known for her conversational, creative, and street-smart storytelling style, and for embracing social media and technology.

2016 Allison Seymour

Allison is a main anchor for FOX5 News Morning and now Good Day DC.   She is a proud inductee to the Scripps Howard School of Journalism Hall of Fame.  Allison is a Washington, DC native and a strong supporter of our community and has shared her family and life experiences with her husband and three daughters with the DC Metro Area.  We are thrilled to have her as part of the R4R family this year!


Holly is an Emmy award­ winning reporter and news anchor from FOX5.  Holly is a co-host to Fox5's GoodDay @ 10am as well as the "Pay it Forward Campaign" by FOX5.  Holly has been honored with nine regional Emmys – five of which were for "Best Live Reporting". She also has a regional Edward R. Murrow award to her name. Holly is one of the most positive and personable people you will meet.  Her positive energy is a true representation of what R4R is about. 


Laura is a FOX5 news anchor and producer and presenter of her weekly segment, Laura's Likes.  She has received a number of honors and awards for her reporting including multiple Emmys, Associated Press Awards, Golden Mics and a Radio and Television News Directors Association award for Best News Series.  Washingtonian Magazine named Laura as one of the rising stars to watch in local television news.



  Special THANKS to Presenting Sponsor, Koons of Silver Spring, a dedicated partner to the Down syndrome community!

Special THANKS to Presenting Sponsor, Koons of Silver Spring, a dedicated partner to the Down syndrome community!

2017 Surprise

2016  Adam Rast, chef manager, that's a wrap deli

Adam has been cooking professionally in DC for 14 years, previously at Black's Restaurant Group and Redwood Restaurant Group.  Adam was hired as a consultant with Community Support Services, Inc. to develop a very successful cooking program for individuals with developmental disabilities. The success of that program led to the opening of That's A Wrap Deli, serving the community by offering healthy meal choices, job training and supported employment opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities.  The individuals I work with have a daily impact on my life, and the best part of my job is seeing the different I make in theirs.   

2015  Soeren Palumbo, co-founder spread the word to end the word

Soeren is Co-Founder of Spread the Word to End the Word and has worked extensively with organizations like Special Olympics, Best Buddies and PALS Programs.  One of his three sisters, Olivia, has been diagnosed with an intellectual disability.  Soeren holds a JD and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania and is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame. 

2014  Congresswomen eleanor holmes-norton

Congresswoman Norton was one of the cosponsors to the long-sought Achieving a Better Life (ABLE) Act, which was signed into law in December of 2014 by President Obama.  She has been named one of the most important women is one survey and one of the most powerful women in Washington in another.  The Congresswomen's work for full congressional voting representation and for full democracy for the people of the District of Columbia continues her lifelong struggle for universal human and civil rights.


self- advocate speakers

2017 Sean mcelwee

Sean is a cast member of the Emmy-Award-Winning TV Show, Born This Way, on A&E.  He is a self-professed, “ladies’ man.” But beneath a seemingly singular focus on “babes” lies a multi-talented athlete and a caring friend.

Sean is the focus of three books written by his mother, Sandra, detailing Sean’s journey navigating the school system and beyond. Together with his father, Rick, Sean’s parents are devoted to helping him accomplish his goals.

2016  delaney dunigan

Delaney Dunigan was born in Washington, DC.   She is a 17 year old junior at Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, Maryland.  Delaney is a Special Olympics JOY Cheerleader, a Shockwaves All-star Supernova Cheerleader, a Best Buddy Ambassador and officer, and a Girl Scout.  She enjoys the beach and Capon Springs, WV.  She loves to sing, play the guitar, dance, swim, cheer and text on her phone.  Her all time favorite thing to do is be with family and friends.   She hopes one day to have a job where she can help people.  Delaney currently has a volunteer job at Michael's in Rockville where she is learning job skills.  Delaney lives in Kensington, Md. with her parents, and brother, Patrick.  

2015 David Egan

2014 madison Essig