January 15th was the day we celebrated the dreamer-activist Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and February is the month we celebrate Black History. As an older, African American, lesbian, activist, scholar, wife, mother, grandmother, sister, caregiver, friend, it is traditionally a time for me to reflect on the history and herstory of me and my ancestors in this country and across the globe.
I grew up wanting a house with a white picket fence. I guess those dreams came from the fairy tales of my childhood. I remember moving into a house in southeast Washington, DC where we were the only black family at the time. I remember hearing about Dr. King‘s advocacy and social justice work, which took him.... Read More
African American Elders are Black History and Black Future
At the Diverse Elders Coalition, we strive to lift up the stories and experiences of the communities we serve not just during their designated History or Heritage Months, but all year long. That said, Black History Month is a time when the stories of our Black elders are at the forefront of the nation’s consciousness, and we are thrilled to highlight the needs, the challenges, and the resiliencies of those communities.
Many of today’s Black elders risked their lives and courageously led the movement to fight racial inequality and bestow upon us the many freedoms we enjoy today. The 1950s and 1960s were turbulent moments in U.S. history—a time when racial segregation and discrimination were at the epicenter.... Read More
I had the honor of attending a White House Initiative on Asian and Pacific Islander Americans listening session earlier this week, hosted by India Home‘s Desi Senior Center in Queens, NY. New York City is home to the largest Bangladeshi population in the United States, a community that increased in size by nearly 500% from 1990 to 2000. The 2012 US Census found that nearly 50,000 Bangladeshi people call New York City home, 74% of whom were born outside of the United States, and 53% of whom are limited English proficient. This population, like many of the populations represented and supported by the Diverse Elders Coalition, has unique needs as they age, and I was glad to.... Read More
America’s Stateless People: How Immigration Gaps Create Poverty
FRESNO, Calif. — They came to America in the 1970s and 1980s as child refugees, members of the Hmong minority in Laos fleeing that country’s new communist government and persecution for helping the CIA in its covert war in Southeast Asia.
America held the promise of safety and a piece of the American dream.
Many of them chased that dream in California’s Central Valley, slowly, sometimes painfully, building lives in a new country where their language and culture were virtually unknown. Largely from poor rural farming families, they often struggled to adjust to a dramatically different society, with few relevant skills and limited support.
by Pat Lin. This post originally appeared on the SAGE blog.
On World AIDS Day, it’s important to commemorate how far we’ve come since the HIV/AIDS pandemic started. HIV isn’t the death sentence it used to be, but many long-term survivors of HIV continue to pay an emotional, physical and financial toll. In addition to managing the disease, HIV survivors still face stigma. As they get older and the effects of the disease compound the challenges of aging, they become more vulnerable. As the nation’s largest and oldest organization serving LGBT older adults, Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) seeks to eradicate the stigma around HIV and to create welcoming spaces for long-term HIV survivors.
At SAGE we see the results of this week’s election through our commitment to building an equitable world where all LGBT elders are valued and have boundless opportunities. SAGE’s commitment is shaped by our core values, which include diversity, respect and compassion.
With a corrosive election season behind us, we now must put aside divisive rhetoric and exclusionary proposals that fly in the face of our values in favor of a national governing agenda that addresses the pain and inequities that so many Americans face. One that honors all.... Read More
Automatic Injustice: A Report on Prosecutorial Discretion in the Southeast Asian American Community
On Wednesday, October 26, I attended a webinar for the launch of the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC)’s new report, “Automatic Injustice: A Report on Prosecutorial Discretion in the Southeast Asian American Community.” The Southeast Asian American (SEAA) community has been heavily impacted by automatic, mandatory criminal deportation policies. This community faces unique struggles as refugees, which have made them vulnerable to high levels of criminalization over the last four decades. SEAA families are routinely torn apart by these policies, with individuals being deported to countries they once fled – or countries in which they have never actually set foot. When our families are dismantled, it means less support, fewer caregiving options, trauma, illness, stress, and so.... Read More
by Andy Pacificar. This post originally appeared on the SEARAC blog.
I spent eighteen years in prison. I was incarcerated from 1990 until 2008. It was amazing to see all the changes in the world that happened in that amount of time. In the very beginning of my journey through prison I met a young man who was at the time only 17 years old. A misguided youth if you will. I was 30 years old at the time and this young man and I started to form a bond that still is enduring and growing today. He became my friend, my brother, my son and so much more. My Brother in struggle was also a Southeast Asian.... Read More
People often ask me, “Why do we need a place for LGBT older people to live? Don’t we have enough nursing homes and retirement homes for them to use?”
So I often share the story of John, a well-to-do gay elder who was found deceased — in his welcoming, upscale retirement complex. He had stopped going to church. He had stopped playing cards and going to the clubs. He had stopped interacting with his friends.
Or I sometimes share the sorrow of my older friend, Helen, who after the death of her partner, was asked by her partner’s siblings to leave the.... Read More
Affinity Announces New Location and Upcoming Programming for Chicago Elders
On September 14th, Affinity Community Services‘ Trailblazers Who Care hosted a FREE Medical Advocacy workshop facilitated by The Care Plan, at our new location located in the historic Bronzeville community on Chicago’s southside. This senior programming workshop discussed advocacy for yourself and or a loved one in a medical setting. The Care Plan facilitator, Jacqueline Boyd, provided information on senior wellness and securing the maximum service from your health-care providers. The workshop series began in May and has covered senior advocacy for caretakers and families alike. The Care Plan provides consultations for managing and mapping successful senior health and aging. Our constituents have found the services offered by The Care Plan to be compassionately helpful and timely in the.... Read More