Maybe you’ve heard about World Behavior Analysis Day (#WBAD) through social media, the BACB, or other organizational emails and blasts? Maybe you’ve wondered why we are just getting around to it now? Hopefully you are excited to celebrate in some way the inaugural day on March 20, 2021.
World Behavior Analysis Day is the brainchild of Elizabeth Drago, BCBA, LBA of NYSABA (the ABAI chapter in New York State). She began working on the idea in her home state and then a team joined together to enhance her efforts and the idea has taken off from there! Just prior to the end of 2020, a few behavior analysts including representatives from the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) and the Association of Professional Behavior Analysts (APBA) as well as state organizations and other behavior analytic organizations got together to submit a request to the National Day Archives for Behavior Analysis Day. They were on a tight deadline to get the day added for 2021. World Behavior Analysis Day, as many have cleverly noticed, is on March 20. That day was chosen because it is Dr. B. F. Skinner’s birthday. The team felt it fitting to have the day coincide with his birthday as he is generally considered the founder of our field. Thanks to funding from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) and some quick writing from the team, the application was accepted, and World Behavior Analysis Day is now legitimate, along with National Promposal Day (3/11), National Hot Dog Day (7/23), and National Drinking With Chickens Day (5/23) (source: https://www.nationaldayarchives.com/)!
But seriously, once the team had secured the day, there was (and still is) so much work to be done! How best to acknowledge this first day knowing that we only had a couple of months to do it? Luckily, there are some talented behavior analysts out there and the team put together a script for an inaugural video, with the help of the B.F. Skinner Foundation and PsychCore, who produced the video. This video will premiere on March 20, 2021 at 12 Noon EDT (GMT-4) at https://youtu.be/MSBeIJ68jZA.
A website was hastily created (www.behavioranalaysisday.com) and continues to be embellished as the need arises. There may even be some merchandise soon! It quickly became apparent that a board needed to be formed as the initial group came up with more and more celebratory ideas. Then everyone seemed to get in on the act! Through the website, people from all over the world reached out to offer support and to see how they can help and be a part of the celebration!
How does the story end? Who knows! But it’s partially up to you! How will you celebrate World Behavior Analysis Day? Thanks to Elizabeth and the WBAD team (too many individuals to list – see the website for details), the possibilities are endless!