This June, the Diverse Elders Coalition (DEC) welcomed Bryan Pacheco as its new National Coordinator. As the DEC’s National Coordinator, Pacheco will work with the members of the coalition on its joint advocacy, policy and education strategies and priorities, as well as build awareness of the many issues facing elders of color and LGBT elders.
Founded in 2010, and comprising five national organizations representing millions of diverse older people, the DEC focuses on strengthening policies and programs to enhance the health and well-being of diverse elders, educating and connecting our older people and their loved ones to key policy debates on aging, and increasing public support for issues that affect our communities.
Since its founding in 2010, the DEC has garnered considerable attention nationwide and moved key policy wins at the federal level. In its first years, the coalition has focused on key areas of shared interest, including strengthening Social Security; increasing funding for programs aimed at more marginalized elders; and ensuring that the Older Americans Act (OAA), through reauthorization, directs more of its sizable resources to marginalized older adults around the country.
In the year ahead, the coalition is focusing on three important policy areas: ensuring that health reform implementation reaches and supports older people of color and LGBT older people; making the OAA more inclusive of LGBT elders, as well as increasing culturally and linguistically appropriate aging services; and protecting and reforming Social Security.
“I am extremely honored to step into this new role with the Diverse Elders Coalition and look forward to all that we will accomplish,” said Bryan Pacheco, National Coordinator of the DEC. “ As a gay person of color, aging advocate and son of a Latino elder, advocating for LGBT and communities of color are a priority for me. Now is an important time to ensure that the policies and programs that are meant to support all older people also take into consideration the unique needs of older people of color, and LGBT elders.”
Pacheco has a background in aging, education, immigration, LGBT and racial justice issues, with a focus on advocacy and strategic marketing communications for non-profits. He was previously at Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE).
At SAGE, Pacheco created and implemented media and outreach campaigns to amplify the stories of LGBT elders and highlight SAGE’s policy efforts, including reauthorization of the Older Americans Act (OAA). He got his start at SAGE through its New York City Harlem program where he educated aging leaders, community members and policymakers about the issues facing African American and Latino LGBT elders.
Prior to SAGE, Pacheco was the Communications and Community Engagement Manager at Public Allies New York, an organization that provided career training related to non-profits, including training areas such as policy, communications, fundraising and leadership development. He also worked at the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) doing remote advocacy work with local GLSEN chapters across the nation on anti-bullying efforts, while advancing both the Safe Schools Improvement Act (SSIA) and the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA) at the federal level.