Press Release

Five Intergenerational Award Recipients to be Honored at Generations United’s Virtual Conference

WASHINGTON, DC—Generations United is pleased to announce the honorees for their biennial awards program, to be presented at the 20th Global Intergenerational Conference June 15-17, 2021. They are: Senator Patty Murray (Jack Ossofsky Award for Lifetime Achievement in Support of Children, Youth, and Older Adults), Grandpas United (Intergenerational Innovation Award), Innovative Solutions for Disadvantage and Disability—Project GRANDD (Brookdale Foundation Grandfamilies Award), Dr. Bert Hayslip (Brabazon Award for Evaluation Research), and StoryCorps (Excellence in Media Award). 

“Generations United’s 2021 honorees represent an amazing group of individuals and organizations engaged in critically important work in their communities and across the country,” said Donna Butts, executive director of Generations United. “Their efforts to build bridges across generations through programs, storytelling and research result in stronger communities and families that value people at all ages and stages of life.”   

The Jack Ossofsky Award for Lifetime Achievement in Support of Children, Youth and Older Adults honors the lifetime achievements of an individual whose efforts benefit both the young and the old. It is a lasting tribute to Jack Ossofsky, who was executive director of the National Council on the Aging, and one of the co-founders and early leaders of Generations United. It is Generations United’s highest award and is selected by the Board of Directors.   

The award is presented to Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) in recognition of her advocacy on behalf of children, youth, and older adults, and leadership on issues affecting families where grandparents and other relatives are raising children. Sen. Murray has been a consistent champion securing annual funding for kinship navigator programs which are having a tremendous impact on grandfamilies across the nation. She helped secure support for a National Technical Assistance Center on Grandfamilies and has been a steadfast advocate for children and seniors. As a former preschool teacher, school board member, and parent advocate, Senator Murray has been an incredible advocate for expanding access to early childhood education and strengthening K-12 education. Senator Murray has been a champion of the Older Americans Act and protecting Social Security from cuts.  

The Intergenerational Innovation Award honors an intergenerational team, organization, or community group that uses innovative intergenerational approaches to create solutions for all ages.   

This year’s recipient, Grandpas United, brings a diverse group of grandpas together to focus on young people’s personal, social, career and academic achievement. Through their Youth Court mentoring program, Grandpas United, which is linked with Encore’s Intergenerational Fellows, helps keep youth out of the juvenile justice system by serving as important mentors to young males. They also work with the schools in White Plains, NY. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the grandpas mentored 15 elementary school boys who had no fathers or grandfathers in their families. Grandpas United offers grandpas from across the country a new, civic engagement model for community service. Their work with the White Plains Youth Bureau also underscores potential intergenerational collaboration between grandpas and youth organizations in other cities.   

The Brookdale Foundation Grandfamilies Award honors a relative caregiver or person raised in a grandfamily, a professional, or an organization that made an outstanding contribution to the field of grandparents and other relatives raising children.  

 Innovative Solutions for Disadvantage and Disability—Project GRANDD was founded in 2005 with a budget of $41,000 to offer an adult support group and minimum case management. They are now the largest kinship services program in the Atlanta Metro Area with a budget of over $400,000. It is the only program serving the entire 10 county area and the only kinship services program specifically serving families that include children with special needs. Their services have expanded to include support groups for children and teens with groups meeting pre-pandemic in two counties, parenting classes specifically for kinship caregivers, and in-home tutoring for children with IEPs (Individualized Education Programs). Project GRANDD serves an average of 600 children and adults annually.   

The Excellence in Media Award honors a member of the media and/or a story that has made an outstanding contribution to promoting understanding and positive interaction among all generations, and to protecting the social compact.   

StoryCorps’ mission is to preserve and share humanity’s stories to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world. They were selected to receive the Excellence in Media Award because of their strong history of preserving and sharing intergenerational stories. Last year, StoryCorps preserved the stories of our GRAND Voice Members and the impacts COVID-19 has had on grandfamilies capturing their resiliency while sharing their strengths and challenges.   

The Brabazon Award for Evaluation Research honors a researcher or team of researchers whose outstanding work has advanced the understanding of intergenerational programming. 

Dr. Bert Hayslip is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Gerontological Society of America. He has co-authored 5 books and 15 journal articles on grandparent caregiving and has served on Task Force on National Center on Grandparents Raising Grandchildren since 2012. His team’s paper “Process-outcome relationships and solution-based goal-setting interventions with grandparent caregivers” was selected because of its contribution to the field of intergenerational evaluation research. 

 . . .

About Generations United: For more than three decades, Generations United’s mission has been to improve the lives of children, youth and older adults through intergenerational collaboration, public policies, and programs for the enduring benefit of all. We have been the catalyst for policies and practices stimulating cooperation and collaboration among generations, evoking the vibrancy, energy and sheer productivity that result when people of all ages come together.  We believe that we can only be successful in the face of our complex future if generational diversity is regarded as a national asset and fully leveraged.