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Washington, D.C. – May 9, 2012 – Today, President Obama affirmed his support of marriage equality, the loving and commitment of same-sex couples. GRIOT Circle, the nation’s leading People of Color LGBT Aging organization, applauds the President for this historic endorsement of the freedom to marry. “I continue to be proud of this president who remains strong and steadfast in his comment to Social Justice of lesbian and gay couples and their right to marry,” said Glen-Michael Francis, Executive Director of GRIOT Circle, Inc. “We thank the president for his continued support and vision for greater equality and inclusion in America.”
The President’s record for advancing protections for the LGBT community remains unequaled. But as he stated, his position on marriage equality had been changing and had not explicitly proclaimed his support of extending marriage to gay and lesbian couples until now. Despite the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” ending the legal defense of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), endorsing the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA) and the Department of HHS new policy for inclusion, all during increasing pressure from the fight to a position of non-movement.
“This is a president who understands that to be the most powerful nation in the world, you need the full engagement of all your citizens,” added Francis. “Congratulations and thank you Mr. President! Our 1237 members, their family and friends appreciate your commitment and hard work.”
In effort to provide insights, address questions and foster clarity around the function, expectations and importance of the upcoming National Convening of Aging Professionals, GRIOT Circle provides post #2 in this Q&A series.
Please use the comment tab at the bottom of this post to expand the discussion on this topic and present your questions.
HOW DOES THIS EVENT DIRECTLY EFFECT MY LIFE?
LGBT people of color elders remain on the fringes of society, marginalized, stigmatized and invisible. This Convening is a public statement alerting the general public and health care officials of the urgency to allocate funding and resources to address the specific needs of LGBT POC elders. This Convening also serves as a launch pad for a national network of people of color-led agencies that will more effectively advocate and rally for funding, write new policies and actively promote culturally competent practices as they relate to health care provision to the LGBT POC elder population. This means you will have people championing for your needs. You won’t have to wander aimlessly in search of safe, welcoming and affirming spaces.
Since this is not a town hall meeting, we are relying on the professionals and elders that are scheduled to attend the Convening to articulate the needs and issues of LGBT POC elders in this country.
In addition, the richness of the information that will be shared and discussed is due primarily to the ethnic, racial, gender, sexuality and diversity of both lay and professional participants.
HOW ARE THE ISSUES ADDRESSED AT THE CONVENING PRIORITIZED?
The issues addressed at the convening are directly rooted in the morbidity/mortality reality of the POC aging population. They also directly coincide with federal health care priorities that have been identified by a cross section of public health care agencies (i.e., Office of Minority Health, Administration on Aging, Department of Health and Human Services, American Society on Aging, etc.).
IS THIS AN INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE OR DO I HAVE TO BE IN WASHINGTON, DC TO PARTICIPATE?
The Convening is a two-day event that will be held in Washington, D.C. with the active participation of those invited to attend.
We continue this dialogue next week, please check back for more insights on the National Convening of Aging Professionals, or simply put your email address in the GET GRIOT BLOG UPDATES slot in the left column to receive alerts of new posts on the GRIOT Circle Blog.
FIRST NATIONAL CONVENING OF AGING PROFESSIONALS
Addresses disparities in services to LGBT POC older adults
[New York, NY] On October 12-13, 2011 GRIOT Circle, in collaboration with the POC Committee of the LAIN/American Society of Aging, and with generous support from AARP and funding from Atlantic Philanthropic, will bring together national leaders on aging for the first National Convening of its kind to address the needs/concerns of this traditionally under-served population.
Hosted by AARP at the Brickfield Center at 601 East St. NW, Washington, DC on October 12-13, 2011. The National Convening of Aging Professionals will provide insight into economic and health disparities that are services/care-based to the LGBT POC (People of Color) elder communities, a population that continues to heavily bear the brunt of stigmatization and social isolation.
Areas to be covered include: Social Security, housing, supportive services, HIV/STD prevention, culturally competent research and training, health literacy disparities, ethno-geriatrics, and other challenges for LGBT POC seniors, policy reform (LGBT POC specific), and the creation of a National Professional Network around POC LGBT Aging.
Confirmed participants/attendees include: Kathy Greenlee, U.S. Assistant Secretary for Aging, Administration on Aging (AoA), Jay Blackwell, Director, Office of Minority Health-Resource Center (OMH-RC), Christopher Bates, E.D., Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA), Tony Sarmiento, E.D., Senior Service America, Inc. (SSAI), Mandy Carter, Co-founder of National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) and 2005 Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Senator Benjamin J.F. Cruz, Vice Speaker, 31st Guam Legislature, Mario Tapia, CEO, Latino Center on Aging (LCA), and Aisha C. Young, CEO, African Americans in Gerontology (AAIG).
“I am delighted you are doing this historic convening” –Renowned social justice activist and former Arcus Foundation Executive Director, Urvashi Vaid.
GRIOT Circle, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)3 organization founded in 1995. It addresses the needs and concerns of LGBT elders of color in New York City. Fifteen years later, GRIOT Circle continues to be the only LGBT organization in the nation that exclusively serves the LGBT POC elders 50 and older. GRIOT is proud to be one of the leading voices on this historic occasion marking a decided shift in the health care paradigm for LGBT POC elders.
Glen-Michael Francis, 718-246-2775 | Glen@griotcircle.org
Queers for Economic Justice supports Convening, read Letter from QEJ.
The Audre Lorde Project supports Convening, read Letter from ALP.