Accelerating Health Equity for Diverse Elders


    April is National Minority Health Month! We join the US Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health in recognizing the health disparities that continue to affect diverse communities across the United States. Ample research suggests that communities of color in the United States face barriers to health and greater health disparities when compared to white communities, including availability and affordability of healthy food, incidence of diabetes, rates of HIV infection, access to healthcare, and the use and abuse of tobacco and alcohol, just to name a few.

    The stress of our nation’s history of racism and exclusion.... Read More


    Join the Diverse Elders Coalition at this year’s Aging in America Conference

    The Diverse Elders Coalition and all five of our coalition members will be in attendance at the 2016 Aging in America Conference, March 20th through the 24th in Washington, DC. This is one of our favorite annual events, not only because it is one of the biggest in the nation, bringing together policy experts, advocates, and elders to discuss the state of aging research and policy, but also because it’s one of the few opportunities for all of the DEC staff – who are spread across the United States – to be in the same room. As a coalition, we value these connections with our communities – including the members of our own organizations! – and.... Read More


    Supporting Diverse Older Women Seeking Jobs

    I remember reading this article in the New York Times back in January – on New Year’s Day, no less; what a way to kick off 2016! – and thinking about the older women I’ve met and worked with at the Diverse Elders Coalition. I’ve had the opportunity to speak with elders at the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging and the Asian Counseling and Referral Services here in Seattle, and I was fortunate to observe a computer class at SAGE’s Midtown Manhattan Center in New York City when I visited their offices last year. In almost every instance, I heard about the bleak job-hunting prospects for diverse.... Read More


    Ringing in a New Year at the Diverse Elders Coalition

    As we flip our calendars from 2015 to 2016 (assuming you still actually use a paper calendar, that is), I find myself really excited about the initiatives that the Diverse Elders Coalition will be working on in the coming year. This promises to be a milestone year for our elders and their communities, with a presidential election in the balance and the continued “graying” and “browning” of America as our population grows older and more ethnically and racially diverse.

    Here are just a few of the things I’m looking forward to in 2016:

    ACA Enrollment: January 31st is the last day on which Americans can enroll in health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. (Note that members of federally-recognized American.... Read More

    World AIDS Day 2015

    On December 1st, individuals and organizations around the world commemorate World AIDS Day, an acknowledgement of how far we’ve come in fighting this disease and how much work is still to be done to erase stigma, find a cure, and support survivors. The Diverse Elders Coalition has worked since our inauguration in 2010 to lift up the stories of diverse elders with HIV and to raise awareness about the ways in which our communities are disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS.

    cupcakesThis year was an important one for the prevention of HIV: in July, the White House released the National HIV/AIDS Strategy: Updated to 2020 (PDF) that calls for a more coordinated.... Read More


    Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

    November 14-22 marks National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, an opportunity to reflect on the immense number of people in this country who do not have safe, affordable housing or reliable access to healthy meals – many of them diverse elders.

    The Diverse Elders Coalition and its member organizations promote and prioritize the health and well-being – especially as it relates to having a safe place to live and nutritious food to eat – of our communities of color, American Indian/Alaska Native communities, and LGBTQ communities. In our 2012 report “Securing Our Future: Advancing Economic Security for Diverse Elders,” we shared some shocking statistics about the economic insecurity of our communities, many of which still ring true today:

    Nearly.... Read More

    The Affordable Care Act and Diverse Elders

    November 1st marks the beginning of an open enrollment period for the Health Insurance Marketplace. From now until January 31, 2016, Americans can elect to purchase healthcare coverage from for 2016. (American Indian/Alaska Native members of federally recognized tribes can enroll in the Marketplace any time of year and are not subject to this deadline.) Additionally, eight out of ten people who enrolled in a healthcare plan through the Marketplace qualified for financial help to make their monthly premiums more affordable.

    Why do we at the Diverse Elders Coalition care about the ACA and open enrollment? Research shows that people of color, American Indians/Alaska Natives, and LGBT people deal with significant physical and mental health disparities. An older.... Read More


    Supporting our Latin@ Elders with HIV

    Today is National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD), and we’re standing with our member organization NHCOA to support our Latin@ elders with HIV and find a cure for this disease.

    nlaad-logo-150x150Why do we have a specific day that acknowledges HIV and AIDS in the Latino community? Myths, stigma, and lack of targeted education makes Latinos less aware of how to protect themselves from the virus. Hispanics are disproportionately affected by HIV: Latinos represent 16% of the U.S. population and 21% of all new HIV infections.

    Further, 1 in 6 people living with HIV in the U.S. do not know they.... Read More


    What Does HIV Look Like in Our Diverse Elder Communities?

    I had the pleasure of attending a Grantmakers In Aging webinar yesterday that focused on the impact of HIV on our elders. Speakers on the webinar included Ben de Guzman, our National Managing Coordinator, as well as Mark Brennan-Ing of ACRIA and Aaron Tax of SAGE. As someone who is relatively new to both HIV and aging advocacy, the experience was extremely valuable to me – especially because by 2020, over 70% of the people with HIV in this country will be 50 or older.

    During the presentation, Mark Brennan-Ing shared some health information about older adults with HIV. Adults over 50 years old account for 11% of new HIV infections in the United States. Additionally, elders.... Read More


    Memories of Our Grandparents

    Sunday, September 13th is Grandparents Day, and at the Diverse Elders Coalition, we are so grateful for our grandparents: whether you say grandmother, grandfather, abuela, abuelo, oba-chan, ojisan, lola, lolo, yeay, taa, tutu, halmoni, halapoji, bibi, babu, awa, tata, pog, yawg, yéyé, nǎinai, or another term of endearment, the elders in our lives have served as role models, supporters and caregivers.

    Grandparents are more than just pinched cheeks and comfort food, though. The grandparents in our lives can be a valuable resource as we figure out how to make the world a better place. I love this quote from Janet Mock’s book Redefining Realness, in which she talks about the struggles her relatives have faced, and the role.... Read More


    Stop Erasing Trans Lives

    LGBT media has been buzzing lately with the arrival of a trailer for the new movie “Stonewall,” a fictional cinematic account of the riots at the Stonewall Inn that launched the modern-day LGBTQ movement. What has received less media attention, shamefully, is the fact that the film – directed by a white, cisgender, gay man – is centered on a fictional white, cisgender, gay male character instead of the transgender and gender variant people of color who actually incited the Stonewall riots.

    This omission felt very striking to me as I also read news of the death of Tamara Dominguez, a Latina trans woman who was violently mugged and murdered in a parking lot on August 18th..... Read More


    The Road is Made by Walking: Tomi’s Story

    In the summer of 2010, I had just been through a nasty breakup and could no longer afford my once-shared apartment in Manhattan. I was working from home at the time, so it was easy for me to sublet the place and find new digs, but I also needed to get some fresh air and clear my cloudy head. Traveling seemed like the way to go, and with friends spread out around the country, I felt confident that I could find a place to stay wherever I landed. So I purchased an unlimited rail pass on the Amtrak, sent my cats to live with a friend (I still don’t think they’ve forgiven me for that) and bounced between the east and west coasts for.... Read More

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