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
Remembering Our Seniors on National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
On National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD), the Diverse Elders Coalition and MetroWeekly are pleased to present a guest post from Earl D. Fowlkes, President/CEO of the Center for Black Equity:
February 7, 2016 marks the 16th National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD), a national HIV testing and treatment community mobilization initiative targeted at Blacks in the United States and the Diaspora. This year’s theme is “We are Our Brother/Sister’s Keeper: FIGHT HIV/AIDS.” I had cause to take a moment to reflect on the impact that HIV/AIDS has on my life, particularly as a Gay Black Man. The.... Read More
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day: Earl Fowlkes’ Story
Earl Fowlkes has been a long-time advocate on a number of issues at both local and national levels. As the CEO of the Center for Black Equity, he works with over 30 Black Pride events serving 350,000 members of the African American LGBT community around the country annually on a range of issues focusing on Health Equity, Economic Equity, and Social Equity. As a well-respected member of the community, he holds leadership positions and has been on the boards of a number of organizations, and has received numerous awards for his service. As a friend and colleague, he is a valued partner and collaborator on a number of projects we have worked on together over the years to build solidarity.... Read More
I have been thinking about what it means to be me: an older, African American out lesbian, wife, mother, grandmother, caregiver, educator, and CEO, living and working in the United States. In 2008, the words Audacity of Hope and hopeful came to mind, in reference to then President-Elect Obama’s book, The Audacity of Hope and my experiences.
I was born in segregated Washington, DC in a time when nonwhites couldn’t eat in dining establishments; when people of color were treated at two medical hospitals, Freedman’s, the hospital for Negroes, or DC General, the city hospital. It was a time where my parents would have to go back “home” to North Carolina to vote for President, where a retired professional was.... Read More
We Honor Our Past & Embrace Our Present Movements for Justice At podium: Harry Belfonte, Folk Trio Peter, Paul and Mary To the left of the podium: Bayard Rustin, A. Phillip Randolph, John Lewis, Coretta Scott King Location: Alabama State Capitol, Montgomery, AL (March 25,1965) Photo Credit: Ray Ariatti | Photo Courtesy: Walter Naegle
On March 7, 2015, President Obama lead the nation and world in commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Selma, Alabama. The horrific events of “Bloody Sunday” and.... Read More
As we round the corner on Black History Month, I am encouraged to take the heritage and history we’ve all been reminded of over these past few weeks and use it to create a better world today for our Black elders. You may have seen the hashtag #BlackFutureMonth being used on social media as a reclamation of Black History Month and an affirmation of our commitment to equality, equity, and an end to injustice. In that spirit, I am such a fan of the SAGEWorks program. This national employment support program for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people age 40 and older expands participants’ job hunting skills and career options, and connects employers to diverse high-caliber candidates..... Read More