Download the Curriculum.
Demographic shifts in America, many of which we are currently unprepared for, are having a profound effect on communities. The gap between the percentage of older adults and children/youth in the total U.S. population is narrowing rapidly. By 2030, about 25% of US residents will be over 60 and about 25% will be under 18. At the same time, racial/ethnic diversity will continue to increase, so that by 2030 the majority of the younger group will be African-American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American or Asian American.
Although these demographic shifts create powerful new opportunities for connection and collaboration, decisions about public investments, land use planning, service delivery and family caregiving are increasingly complex and challenging. Rather than assuming that communities that are good for older adults are also good for younger generations, it is important to develop the necessary skills among multiple generations to intentionally engage all ages in collective efforts designed to benefit multiple populations, encourage alliances rather than competition for resources and promote a sense of ‘shared fate’ across generational, racial and ethnic differences.
The Leadership for All Ages training is designed to leverage the rich assets of residents at all stages of life, and intentionally breaks out of age-specific “silos” that create artificial barriers between generations. In doing so, it helps support community leaders in organizing change efforts that are life-span focused and promote interdependence across generations. The training encourages the recognition of “shared fate,” and creates a range of opportunities for residents of different ages, races and ethnicities to learn together and deepen their skills as leaders and network-builders. Upon completion, participants will have honed necessary skills to work across ages and other differences to effectively tackle critical community issues. The curriculum can be used for a stand-alone training, or exercises and tips from different modules can be added to existing training curriculum to encourage intergenerational interaction and connection.