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Enhancing the Equity and Inclusiveness of Age-friendly Initiatives

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Communities throughout Colorado


National Civic League

Project Type:

Community Development Consulting, Program Development and Evaluation, Policy Analysis and Research

Project Status:


The Project:

The National Civic League - an organization that works to enhance communities' capacity to use inclusive civic engagement to solve problems - was interested in how it might contribute to AARP's "Age-friendly Communities" work in communities throughout Colorado. With programs already in racial equity, health equity, and sustainability, the League wanted to explore gaps and opportunities in current aging work to apply their expertise in inclusive civic engagement to the growing field of age-inclusive local policy and planning.

Our Role:

As Senior Fellow, Lindsay began researching funding opportunities related to age-inclusivity for the National Civic League in early 2019. After identifying AARP's "Age-friendly Communities" as a key initiative in the field, she proposed a research project as part of her MPA capstone. The project, called "Building Aging Civic Capital: Lessons from AARP's Age-friendly Communities," analyzed fifty Age-friendly Action Plans from communities throughout the U.S. The study found three areas that communities could improve their age-friendly planning: social equity, social isolation, and ageism. Utilizing the League's Civic Index, she created the Better Aging Civic Index, a tool to help planners and local leaders pursue community-based solutions to enhance the equity and inclusiveness of age-friendly work.

Soon after completing the capstone project, Lindsay helped initiate a professional relationship between the National Civic League and AARP Colorado. In partnership with AARP Colorado and Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG), and with support from the State of Colorado's Agency on Aging and the National Council on Aging, Lindsay applied to the NextFifty Initiative for funding to begin a pilot project in communities throughout Colorado called, "Enhancing the Equity and Inclusiveness of Age-friendly Initiatives." The program would lay the groundwork for infusing equity and inclusion into local age-inclusive initiatives throughout Colorado and the United States. 

In December 2020, the NextFifty Initiative awarded the National Civic League a $190,000 grant to fund the pilot program, “Enhancing the Equity and Inclusiveness of Age-friendly Initiatives." The project helps communities in Colorado add a racial equity dimension to their work on behalf of older adults.

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