by Leslie Hunter-Gadsden. This article originally appeared on Next Avenue.
In my childhood neighborhood, “moving on up” meant a 1970 move from our New York City apartment on 155th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenues to a three-room apartment in a building on Riverside Drive West, near 159th Street in Washington Heights. The building was part of a six-unit, seven-story, multiple dwelling, facing the Hudson River and New Jersey, with the George Washington Bridge just to the north and clearly visible from the front entrance.
Back then, the building featured apartments for rent, but by the early 1980s, it converted to mostly co-op apartments. I turned 10 the year my mother and I moved in, and we lived.... Read More
Approximately 1 in 10 Americans aged 60+ have experienced some form of elder abuse. Broadly defined, elder abuse is any form of mistreatment that results in harm or loss to an older person. More specifically, the World Health Organization defines elder abuse as “a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person.”
The legal definition of elder abuse varies from state-to-state.
Elder abuse affects people from all ethnic backgrounds and social status, and most victims of abuse are women. Elder abuse may be physical, emotion, sexual, exploitive, neglect, or abandonment. Specifically defined:
Physical abuse includes inflicting, or threatening to.... Read More
Black History Month: A Closer Look at The Minority Stress Model and Older Adult Sexual Minorities
I’m always pleased to see great activists and icons of the Civil Rights Movement, inventors, artists, academics and musicians celebrated during Black History Month. Historically most have experienced interlocking oppressions of race, class and gender, and have shared stories through biopics and documentaries, while unsung heroes and survivors among us share their stories in small communities throughout the country. Many older adult minorities continue to report facing minority stressors within and outside of our communities (Velez, Moradi, & Brewster, 2013). This Black History Month, while we are remembering significant people and events in the history of the African diaspora, let’s take a closer look at the stress, struggle and resilience that continues to impact the lives of aging older adults.... Read More
We have so much to learn from Black Elders — and so many reasons to support them
February marks the start of Black History Month, a celebration of Black and African American stories, experiences, and impact on American culture. At the Diverse Elders Coalition, we’re proud to celebrate Black Elders every month of the year, but February offers us a bonus opportunity to lift these stories up into the national spotlight. Black Elders have so much wisdom to share about our history and the ways they have challenged white supremacy and other forms of oppression. It is imperative that those stories are not lost or forgotten.
I recently attended a Capitol Hill Briefing about the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), during which we heard testimonials from community-based organizations that employ older.... Read More
A Gift From My Grandmother: An Embrace of Life — and Aging
My family packed into the black stretch limousine leaving Cal State University in the East Bay. We were heading to a restaurant after attending my mother’s college graduation. We turned on the music and popped the bottle of complimentary cheap champagne. My grandmother took two sips, then pumped her hands in the air like she was “raising the roof.”
“Someone is trying to get my grandma drunk!” I joked. “Give her the sparkling cider.”
In her sassy Southern drawl, my grandmother responded, “Now look, I’m a grown woman.” She resumed enjoying the music, then diluted her champagne with cider. We all laughed. My grandmother, Angie.... Read More
Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. and Giving Back to Our Communities
On Monday, January 15th, we honor the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Many people and organizations in the United States use Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a day of service, giving back to their communities in the spirit of the change that Dr. King worked toward during his short life. The Corporation for National and Community Service maintains a website where you can locate an MLK Day volunteer opportunity in your community by entering your zip code or searching by city and state. And if you’d like to volunteer with one of the Diverse Elders Coalition organizations, click on any of the links below for more information:
by Chandra Thomas Whitfield. This article originally appeared on NBCNews.com.
Cecelia Hayden Smith, 72, knows exactly how she wants to live out the remainder of her golden years: lounging lazily on the porch of a cozy house tucked along a quiet, treelined street in Washington, D.C.
She’d greet her partner each morning with a homemade country breakfast, and their afternoons and evenings would be filled with lively games of Spades and Bid Whist with a dozen or so housemates — all fellow LGBTQ elders.
“I’ve already picked out my rocking chair,” the retired substance abuse counselor quipped. “Just call me ‘Mama C,’ and make sure my room is in the front, so I can always see.... Read More
Set a Goal, Make Time, Be Determined, and Change Your Life for Good
Health-related goals are indeed popular New Year’s resolutions. Most of us make a resolution to lose weight and exercise more. However, for many of us, the path to good health is not an easy one. Procrastination, family obligations, work demands, or a lack of time are only a few culprits that can hinder the most well-intended resolution.
Nonetheless, America is getting heavier. Despite more than a decade of public awareness campaigns and other efforts to get people to watch their weight, the obesity rates for racial and ethnic minority populations is steadily rising, with women taking the lead. Louisiana, West Virginia, Mississippi, and Alabama have the highest adult obesity rates — over 35 percent. When it comes to African American.... 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
The History & Future of the Black Trans Rights Movement
On February 23rd, 2016, Jevon Martin and Mya Vazquez hosted a talk on the History and Future of the Black Trans Rights Movement at SAGE Center Midtown. The speakers discussed the past, present and future of the black trans rights movement throughout history, while facilitating an ongoing discussion with those who attended.
The living arrangements of America’s older population are important because senior isolation has become an alarmingly common phenomenon, and will continue to increase as the older population continues to grow.
Regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation, nobody relishes the prospect of aging without a spouse, family member, or a friend at their side during crisis or to simply share a laugh. All older adults — including African American seniors who live alone in communities that are geographically and economically isolated from economic opportunities, services, and institutions — are extremely vulnerable to the next calamity, be it from terrorism or a natural disaster.
Nothing causes seniors to experience a greater decline in health and emotional well-being than social isolation..... Read More
Black History Month gives us an opportunity to be intentional about recognizing African Americans and the role they have played in shaping our country, our communities, and our culture. It’s often a moment for us to lift up “historical figures”—men, women, and people of accomplishment who have made significant impact in an area of endeavor. In this view, PSAs, news pieces, and blogs (not unlike this one) cover people such as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, or George Washington Carver. It is certainly important to honor their work, and we have proudly put their wisdom forward as a north star to guide our work. But we’ve also seen how history lifts these people.... Read More