WE ARE THE DIVERSE ELDERS COALITION—AND WE REPRESENT THE GROWING MAJORITY OF OLDER PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY.  

The Diverse Elders Coalition (DEC) advocates for policies and programs that improve aging in our communities as racially and ethnically diverse people; American Indians and Alaska Natives; and lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender people.  

Together, we are made up of five national organizations representing a growing majority of millions of older people throughout the country—racially and ethnically diverse older adults; LGBT older adults; and poor and low-income older adults. We have come together to promote policy changes and programmatic solutions that respond to this demographic shift and will remove the barriers facing our communities. We envision a world where all older adults can live full and active lives as they age.

Meet our member organizations:

National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA)

NAPCA is the nation’s leading advocacy organization committed to the dignity, well-being and quality of life of Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) in their senior years. Since 1979, NAPCA has been advocating on behalf of the AAPI aging community at the local, state and national levels; educating AAPI seniors and the general public on the unique needs of the APA aging community; and empowering AAPI seniors and the aging network to meet the increasing challenges facing the AAPI aging community. NAPCA has directly served tens of thousands of AAPI seniors who represent the fastest growing segment of the aging population in the country. From employment to welfare reform, from health care to long-term care, NAPCA gives AAPI seniors a seat at the table during a critical time when public policies threaten their dignity and quality of life.

National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA)

NCHOA is the nation’s premier constituency-based organization that advocates, celebrates and enhances the quality of life for Hispanic older adults, their families and their communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, NHCOA empowers its national network of 42 community-based organizations (CBOs) in supporting a broader network of 7,000 individuals and reaching 10 million Hispanics each year. At the local level, NHCOA provides CBOs with training, technical assistance, sub-grants and access to the latest research and most effective programs. At the national level, NHCOA educates legislators on the aging community’s needs and contributions, and contributes to crafting permanent solutions for the public policy issues compromising the security, health, happiness and dignity of America’s fastest-growing senior population.

National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA)

NICOA was founded in 1976 by members of the National Tribal Chairmen’s Association that called for a national organization to advocate for improved, comprehensive health and social services to American Indian and Alaska Native Elders. NICOA’s objectives are: 1. Enhance communications and cooperation with community service providers and other aging organizations that represent and advocate for Native American Elders; 2. Provide information and technical assistance for Native American communities to improve health care for Elders; 3. Network with appropriate agencies to maximize resources and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the service delivery systems for Elders; 4. Provide information, reports and expert testimony requested by Tribal Nations and the U.S. Congress; and 5. Provide a clearinghouse for information on issues affecting American Indian and Alaska Native Elders.

Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE)

SAGE is the country’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in New York City, SAGE is a national organization that offers supportive services and consumer resources for LGBT older adults and their caregivers, advocates for public policy changes that address the needs of LGBT older people, and provides training for aging providers and LGBT organizations, largely through its National Resource Center on LGBT Aging. With offices in New York City, Washington, DC and Chicago, SAGE coordinates a growing network of 26 local SAGE affiliates in 19 states and the District of Columbia.

Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC)

SEARAC is a national organization that advances the interests of Cambodian, Laotian and Vietnamese Americans by empowering communities through advocacy, leadership development and capacity building to create a socially just and equitable society. SEARAC was founded in 1979 to facilitate the relocation of Southeast Asian refugees into American society and to foster the development of nonprofit organizations led by and for Southeast Asian Americans. SEARAC has grown into an organization that strengthens the capacity of community-based organizations led by refuges from around the world. We serve as a coalition builder and leader among diverse refugee communities; carry out action-oriented research projects; foster civic engagement among refugees; and represent refugee communities at the national level in Washington, DC and the state level in California.

To learn more about why the DEC exists, click here.

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