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Telling Our Story in 2021

Doug Dickson

Each year, we provide information to the state about our accomplishments so they can be included in the state’s annual Age-Friendly Massachusetts report. I’d like to share our input with you, since your participation makes our work possible.

 

How do we tell the story of 2021? Three words: we inspired and supported people over 50 to make an economic contribution through WORK and a social contribution through SOCIAL ACTION.


We supported job seekers over 50 by connecting them to employers that were certified by the Age-Friendly Institute and signed the AARP Employer Pledge. Why knock on doors closed by age discrimination when the list of age-inclusive employers, who recognize the value that older people bring to the workplace, is growing.

 

But we also helped older people reinvent themselves as freelance, contract and other self-employed workers, and helped them start businesses. For those who need flexibility and more control in their lives, the growing opportunity to work in these alternate ways allows older adults to remain productive and pay their way.


On the social action front, we offered Dementia Friends training as well as intergenerational and peer-to-peer opportunities for addressing a range of social issues: racial justice, social connection, youth literacy, youth opportunity, voter rights, Afghan evacuee settlement, climate change, and food security.


What are we most proud of? Our collaborations. We work closely with many other organizations and community leaders to reach thousands of people, many more than would otherwise be possible. And by combining our strengths with those of others, we all get better at what we do.


We are also proud to have added our voice to the Longevity Hub op-ed series in The Boston Globe. And we gathered and presented the stories of people over 50 who have made a difference and can inspire others to follow in their footsteps.


What’s on tap for 2022? Work, service and social action will continue to be our focus. But we expect to give more attention to advocacy and action to address underlying attitudes and policies that perpetuate bias against older people. We need to remove the barriers to full participation in our economy and society, not just help people find their way around those barriers.


What can you do? We greatly appreciate your support, whatever form it takes. We press forward because you make it possible. Economic and social uncertainty affect many people over 50 in specific ways that demand our continued effort. So as we turn the page on 2021, we ask for your continued support as well.


In this season of giving, please include Encore Boston Network on your gift list. Here’s how and where you can make your donation. Thanks!