SAGE and Task Force awarded $500,000 grant for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender aging advocacy
Roberta Sklar, Communications Director
NEW YORK, Nov. 13 — Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force announced this week they have received a $500,000 grant from the Arcus Gay and Lesbian Fund to support a joint national advocacy and policy effort around lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) aging. For this new project, SAGE and the Task Force will collaborate on a series of ventures that push public policies that address LGBT aging concerns and enhance support, protections and quality of life for LGBT seniors. The grant will fund two new staff positions — one at each organization — and related program expenses.
"As the one organization that focuses on the full gamut of LGBT aging issues both locally and nationally, SAGE is thrilled to partner with the Task Force on this national effort to improve the lives of the senior members of our community," said SAGE Executive Director Michael Adams. "This initiative serves a critical need: in the next 20 years the number of LGBT people age 65 and above will grow by 70 percent — from approximately 3 million now to roughly 5 million over the next quarter century. This demographic tidal wave, combined with the endemic invisibility, marginalization, and discrimination faced by LGBT older people, lends an added urgency to this first-of-a-kind national advocacy effort. Thanks to this funding from Arcus, we will be able to launch a strategic and focused effort to increase visibility, awareness, policy protections and support for LGBT older people." Adams added that the new initiative is especially timely since SAGE is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2008, just launched an online community of LGBT aging advocates and service providers nationwide, and plans on hosting its fourth national conference on LGBT aging next fall.
"We are grateful to the Arcus Foundation for funding this innovative partnership between the Task Force and SAGE," said Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. "This project will combine the Task Force's federal policy and research expertise, SAGE's unparalleled understanding of the needs of LGBT elders, and the energy of activists across the nation to shape a better future for all our seniors."
The Task Force's existing aging initiative, headed up by Amber Hollibaugh, a Task Force senior strategist and specialist on LGBT aging issues, convenes and coordinates the National LGBT Aging Roundtable, worked successfully with SAGE to gain the first-ever specific inclusion of LGBT elders in the Final Report of the 2005 White House Conference on Aging (which will guide federal aging work through 2015), and will be issuing a second edition of Outing Age, a seminal report on policy issues affecting LGBT elders, issued in 2000.
The new SAGE-Task Force collaboration has four main goals: to build and provide leadership to an action-oriented national LGBT aging network; to win strategic policy victories for LGBT older people at the federal and state/local levels; to build the capacity for LGBT aging policy advocacy in communities across the country; and to ensure that LGBT aging issues are a focus in broader aging policy discussions. SAGE and the Task Force will carry out this work in close collaboration with local LGBT aging organizations, as well as “mainstream” and “minority” senior organizations.
The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. We do this by training activists, equipping state and local organizations with the skills needed to organize broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.
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