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 Indian tribes are not restricted to open enrollment periods and can elect for coverage at any time of year.) The ACA is very important to our diverse elders, and we’ll be promoting open enrollment all this month on social media using the hashtag #signupb4timesup.
- The Older Americans Act: The OAA is critical to our diverse communities, and with the release of our new fact sheet and statement, we’ll bring the stories of our elders to Capitol Hill and encourage our lawmakers to reauthorize this crucial piece of legislation.
- Events and Conferences: The Diverse Elders Coalition will be represented at two upcoming conferences, including Creating Change in January 2016 and the Aging in America Conference in March 2016. We use these opportunities to highlight the unique needs of our communities to the wider aging audiences and ensure that the voices of our elders are not left out of the conversation.
- New Bloggers: We’re bringing new bloggers into the fold, like Jason Resendez and Tomi Nagai-Rothe. You can find a complete list of our bloggers here, and as always, you can read our blog archives here. And if you want to write for the Diverse Elders Coalition, contact us!
- More Stories: Through our Diverse Elders Stories Initiative, we continue to gather touching, powerful stories from our elders, their caregivers, and their families. Most recently, we added stories from Clara Chiu and Marla Miranda Moody. You can read all of our stories — or submit your own — here.
Those are just a few of the DEC projects and programs that we’ll be bringing to our members this year — and that doesn’t even include the different initiatives that our five member organizations are working on! I hope you’ll keep up with us here on the blog as well as on Facebook and Twitter as we continue to advocate for elders of color, American Indian/Alaska Native elders, and LGBT elders in 2016 and beyond.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Diverse Elders Coalition.