Thank you for joining us at the Bias is Getting Old: TSLCA Summit!
Bias is Getting Old: Challenging age bias together to build healthier communities and economies
Tuesday, April 20th, 2021
8:45am - 4:15pm
On April 20th, 200 people across Northern New England gathered virtually to engage and learn together during the Bias is Getting Old: TSLCA Summit!
We all believe our states should be great places to grow up, work, and grow old – places with healthy economies and vibrant communities that work for everyone. Most of us are using our creativity and confidence to make systemic changes within our spheres of influence to support this vision. Yet, we have been challenged to make broad progress in redesigning our systems of transportation, housing, care and community development. We believe ageism plays a big part in the reason why.
Ageism is not only bad for our personal and collective health, it also results in less support for the systemic changes needed to support us all as we age. In order to build healthier communities and economies, it’s time for us to tackle the issue of ageism head-on, and we have to start this work with ourselves and our own organizations and industries.
“People say things like, “If I get like that, just take me out behind the barn and shoot me”…But behind the words is an assumption that we can’t write off. Like the grim jokes, it expresses a judgment over which lives are worth living. Like other kinds of prejudice, ageism doesn’t have to be something we are aware of to work on us. It gets perpetuated by the choices we make even if we think it’s not a factor.”
Reporter Greg Kesich, January 31, 2021, Portland Press Herald
We all form subconscious negative ideas about people based on age. Thankfully, research has shown just being aware of our subconscious biases makes us less likely to act on them and more likely to treat people fairly, including ourselves, especially when coupled with examples of the impact of bias.
In the morning session, we explored what age-related bias is, how it impacts us, how we can talk about it, and what we can do to counteract it. In the afternoon, we broke into smaller groups to talk about how age-bias plays out in healthcare settings, workplaces, communities, and even our conversations about diversity, equity, inclusion and justice. In these small groups, we shared tips and tools that people can use to address age bias wherever they encounter it. While none of us have all the answers, we learned and began to build a plan of action together – it was an incredibly inspiring day and an incredible launching point for making real change towards becoming age-positive!