Fighting the Good Fight against Ageism

By Feather, John | Aging Today, March/April 2012 | Go to article overview

Fighting the Good Fight against Ageism


Feather, John, Aging Today


Certain iconic images in the media stand out in connection with American civil rights movements: African Americans sitting looking wary, at a lunch counter; defiant women throwing bras into fiery garbage cans; pairs of white-clad brides in line, waiting to say their vows to each other at city hall. What is missing from this gallery? Images of advocacy and protest against ageism. And you won't find evidence of any memorable or catchy slogans, either.

If you read the words of Gray Panther Sally Brown (page 8), you might think that 2012 may be the year to remedy that dearth. In her story for our In Focus section on Ageism in America, she writes about the Panthers joining Occupy to fight for benefits, jobs and financial equality. Panthers have "been there, done that"many fought the fight against the Vietnam War, but now they're standing up against Wall Street, inspiring and mentoring the younger generation on the streets, where in-your-face advocacy happens.

ASA endeavors to offer provocative perspectives from all segments of the political spectrum, and thanks to Nora O'Brien- Suric, an ASA member who serves on the Generations Editorial Advisory Board, we were introduced to Brown, as well as a host of other in-thetrenches advocates fighting for social justice: Marie-Therese Connolly sounds a call-for-action against elder abuse (page 7); Laurie McCann addresses the entrenched nature of workplace discrimination (page 9); Naomi Karp describes a new federal agency focused on rooting out financial abuse (page 1); and Daniel Perry leads off our front page on ageist practices in healthcare.

O'Brien-Suric, a onetime colleague of Dr. Robert Butler at ILC-USA, was generous with her time and expertise in putting together this issue- a tribute to Dr. Butler and his work. We hope this Aging Today helps reinvigorate those who have long been on the frontlines against ageism, and educates those new to such advocacy.

ASA Champions and Educates Advocates

Powerful advocates often find their voice in ASA's New Ventures in Leadership (NVL) program, and ASA is pleased to announce it has received a $100,000 grant for NVL from the Wal-Mart Foundation. The grant will allow ASA to select 10 applicants to participate in the year-long program geared toward developing the next leaders of color in the field of aging. For more information on NVL, visit www.asaging .org/nvl.

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