What We Do

Founded in 2010, the Diverse Elders Coalition (DEC) advocates for policies and programs that improve aging in our communities as racially and ethnically diverse people; American Indians and Alaska Natives; and lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender (LGBT) people. In the decades to come, the communities represented by the DEC will collectively form the majority of older adults in the United States. The DEC is working to strengthen policies and programs to enhance the health and wellbeing of diverse elders, educating and connecting diverse older adults and their loved ones to key policy debates on aging, and increasing public support for issues that affect our communities.

We engage. Through the five DEC member organizations and our network of over 90 grassroots partners in 25 different states, our coalition has a broad reach into diverse communities – as well as the trust and the expertise to effectively engage diverse older adults on the issues that impact their lives. We recognize the challenges that exist in reaching diverse elders, including language, geography, and historical marginalization and trauma, and we overcome these challenges by developing and advocating for culturally competent, linguistically diverse, person-centered programming.

We advocate. The DEC centers the voices of our community members to craft policy and programs that are inclusive of diverse elders and target their unique needs and challenges. We recognize that civic engagement is a key component to realizing our communities’ aspiration to age with health and dignity, and we center diverse elders, their families, and their caregivers in the solutions that we present to policymakers, advocates, and providers. We ensure that there is a place at the table for diverse older adults in the discussions that shape their lives.

We amplify. The United States population is both aging and diversifying at a rapid rate. Diverse elders and their contributions to their communities are woven into the fabric of this nation, but for too long, their voices have been undervalued or even ignored. Through our original research and publications, our website and e-newsletter, and our presence at convenings across the country, the DEC amplifies the voices, experiences, and wisdom of racially and ethnically diverse older adults, American Indian and Alaska Native Elders, and LGBT older adults. We are shifting the narrative about our community’s roles in an increasingly diverse America.

Read on for more about our work and how you can get involved.


Through civic engagement, advocacy, and education, we’re working to ensure that diverse elders can age with health and dignity.


Learn about our victories and priorities from years past.