Refugee elders support each other after a long, difficult journey

by Hitomi Yoshida, with with support from Naw Doh, Shira Walinksy and Melissa Fogg, members of the Southeast by Southeast Community Center in Philadelphia. Hitomi is a long-time friend of the Diverse Elders Coalition, and you can read her stories of intergenerational work with diverse elders in our Diverse Elders Stories Initiative.

Naw Gay Lay is a 77-year-old Karen refugee from Myanmar (Burma). The Karen people are an ethnic and religious minority group that has been persecuted throughout much of Burma’s history.

As a young woman, Naw Gay Lay worked in a rice field and began raising her family in a rural village in central Burma. When she reached her mid-30s, the whole.... Read More

             

Indian Country on the Move

Bright lights and big cities: they’re attracting more and more American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) to move toward urban and metropolitan areas at an ever-quickening pace. Just before World War II, almost all – some 92% – of AI/ANs lived on reservations. Now it’s nearly the opposite, with almost 80% of AI/ANs living off tribal lands.

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The push toward the cities was not always a voluntary one. After decades of removal policies and war aimed at fighting and slaughtering AI/ANs, the federal government’s approach turned into one of “killing the Indian, but saving the man.” This meant programs aimed at ‘educating’ AI/ANs in.... Read More

             

Indigenous Foods: A Path to Healthy Living

by Christine Herman. Christine is the NCAREE Technical Communications Manager for the National Indian Council on Aging, Inc. (NICOA).

Healthy eating in the modern world is not always easy. Fast food and prepackaged foods offer inexpensive and easy alternatives to healthier foods or cooking from scratch. Even in remote locations, you can count on finding snacks like burgers, chips, candies, and sodas. But these kinds of foods can be harmful to our health in the long run.

A poor diet can have dramatic impact on the lives of Elders. American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) in particular face a predisposition – a greater likelihood of developing – obesity and diabetes.  Diet and nutrition play a crucial role in the overall.... Read More

             

What Affordable/Accessible Housing Options Exist for Diverse Elders?

America’s older population is in the midst of unprecedented growth. As the baby boomer generation continues to experience increased longevity, the 50 and over population is projected to increase about 20 percent by 2030 or to about 132 million people. In just 15 years, one in five people will be at least age 65. Ensuring that this demographic continues to experience affordable and accessible housing that offers a sense of community as well as other services and supports that enables them to remain active and productive members of society has taken on a new urgency not only for individuals and their families, but also for the nation as a whole.

For some people, staying in their current homes works..... Read More

             

Navajo Nation Leaders meet with the National Indian Council on Aging

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Navajo Nation Leaders meet with the National Indian Council on Aging

Albuquerque, New Mexico – March 9, 2016 – It is inspiring when Tribal leaders demonstrate their concerns and commitment to our cherished elders. The National Indian Council on Aging, Inc. (NICOA) in Albuquerque, NM received a special visit from the Navajo Nation President Begaye and Vice President Nez on March 7, 2016. They talked about their plans to create opportunities for intergenerational programs that will bring elders and youth together to strengthen the values of the Navajo Life Ways. Vice President Begay commented that “it is the obligation of the Navajo Nation to ensure that our language, culture and values from our elders to our.... Read More

             

Remain Connected to Our Loved Ones

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

             

The Little LGBTQ Community that Could

Indy Reads 2015 070C. Michael Woodward, MPH, is a writer and LGBTQ inclusion consultant and trainer based in Tucson, Arizona. He worked in various roles on the staffs of SAGA, Wingspan, and SAAF and now serves on the Board of Directors of SAGA and Equality Arizona. He wrote the title essay for the anthology Manning Up: Transsexual Men on Finding Brotherhood, Family & Themselves (Transgress Press, 2014).

July 31, 2014 was the end of an era, and a sign of the times. After 27 years.... Read More

             

White House Conference on Aging: This Time it’s Personal

The last time the White House Conference on Aging happened, back in 2005, I was personally in a major life transition: I had just taken a new job, moved across the country, and was too busy planning my new life in Los Angeles as a young 30-something to think about the Washington, DC I was leaving behind, much less be concerned with the “aging communities” that I was probably too self-absorbed to care about at the time.

Ten years later, as the White House Conference on Aging gears up for its once-in-a-decade incarnation this summer, my life has changed dramatically in many ways. With my parents in retirement age and me well into my forties, I am much more.... Read More

             

Collecting Stories from Our Communities: The Diverse Elders Stories Initiative

Some of our greatest tools to make positive change on behalf of our constituents are stories from older adults, their loved ones, advocates and community members that illustrate the struggles and triumphs of aging as people of color or LGBTQ people. We share these stories with the public on our blog and through social media to raise awareness of the issues that affect diverse elders. Your stories also allow us to show policymakers the faces behind their proposed policies and programs. With your stories, we are able to advocate for the needs of diverse elders more effectively.

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We are currently seeking.... Read More

             

Ward 8 and Washington, DC Celebrate MLK, Jr. Day

by Darryl Walker
Board Member, Mary’s House for Older Adults, Inc.

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It is fascinating to watch the demographic changes that have transpired in Washington, DC since World War II. Seventy years ago, our Nation’s Capital was predominantly White. Blacks lived in most of Northeast except the Brookland area, in Northwest around Florida Avenue and U Street, in all of Foggy Bottom, and in Southwest Washington. Neighborhoods west of 16th Street NW were red-lined where Blacks could not rent apartments nor buy property. The Anacostia neighborhood, which includes Ward 8, was totally White, as was Anacostia High School.

Following the 1954.... Read More

             

Interview with Chum Awi from the Chin community in Burma

SEARAC provides technical assistance to a number of Burmese and Bhutanese community organizations in the US to build strong, local ethnic community-based organizations and faith-based organizations. For this blog post, we interviewed Chum Awi, a key leader and elder in the Chin community, an ethnic minority from Burma. Chum is based out of Lewisville, Texas and works with the Chin Community of Lewisville..... Read More

             
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