From coast to coast: sharing the lessons we learn

When we formed the Diverse Elders Coalition, we saw a unique opportunity to share our collective challenges. Our member organizations have long been leaders among policymakers, advocates and community members around the distinctive needs of their communities. And we believe that our diverse communities—across race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and ability—share histories and experiences that unite us. Across the nation, many elders are living with multiple identities and struggling with barriers across those identities. By sharing the stories and lessons learned from our collective challenges, we can more effectively advocate on behalf of all diverse elders.

We recognize that there are multiple ways to reach policymakers, advocates, older adults and the public at large. Therefore, we share our communities’ challenges and the lessons learned via multiple platforms.  We lead in-person trainings, host webinars, create multimedia resources, and more.

Our goal is to increase public support for the issues that affect our communities, while educating and connecting our older people and their loved ones to the key policy debates on aging.  As importantly, we aim to build community and highlight the commonalities that exist among our many diverse communities.

Expand the sections below to view some of our highlights:

Educating funders on the health of diverse elders

We have partnered with Grantmakers in Health (GIH) and Grantmakers in Aging (GIA) to host webinars and in-person trainings geared towards funders on the kinds of programs and work they can fund to improve the well-being of diverse elders. As examples, we presented at the GIH annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia for a panel discussion entitled, “Grantmakers as Catalysts for Change: Empowering Communities to Strengthen their Voice.” Additionally, we created a webinar for the GIA’s “Conversations with GIA” series to outline our work around the ACA, and how funders could better support state specific advocacy around health reform.

Building community between our member organizations

We work with our member organizations to support affiliates and better connect them with the mission and national work of the coalition and to highlight our shared histories, challenges and experiences across our multiple identities. As an example, during NICOA’s 20th biennial conference in Niagara Falls, NY, SAGE President and CEO Michael Adams spoke about LGBTQ and Two-Spirit people on a panel about health disparities. This continued a DEC tradition of bringing an LGBT perspective to NICOA’s conference.

Producing multimedia resources on improving the lives of diverse elders

 

In 2017, the Diverse Elders Coalition released a new report, “Aging with Health and Dignity: Diverse Elders Speak Up.” This report was the culmination of a year-long civic engagement campaign, during which nearly 5,000 comments were collected from diverse elders and their allies. We synthesized these comments, identified the common threads across all of our communities, and now use this report to advocate for the needs of diverse elders at the Federal, State, and Local levels.

To view this and other reports, fact sheets, webinars, and resources, visit our Learn page.

Contact us to learn more about how to partner with us on public education efforts.

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