In the United States, more than 30 years have been added to life expectancy in the past century, but not across the board. Whites live longer than people of color. Women live longer than men. And the richest Americans live 10-15 years longer than the poorest

We need better and faster ideas from a more diverse set of people of all ages, especially those who are most affected by the uneven implications of these realities and most likely to see new solutions and envision a more just future. 

Which is why joined with The OpEd Project and Senior Advisor Ann MacDougall to create the Encore Public Voices Fellowship. This Fellowship is part of The OpEd Project’s national Public Voices initiative to change who writes history. And it’s part of’s work to diversify and amplify voices at the four-way intersection of aging, longevity, intergenerational connection and social justice.

Today I’m pleased to announce 21 new Encore Public Voices Fellows, selected from more than 250 applicants.

The group is diverse in so many ways. Fellows will work across a variety of media — from film to oral history to children’s books. Several are leading thinkers on new roles for older workers in the longevity economy and for cross-generational collaboration in social change movements. Some are exploring the impact of housing, land transfer and the built environment on how we age and leave generational legacies. Others are focusing on how technology affects aging — and how race, ethnicity, disability and LGBTQ issues intersect with aging and intergenerational opportunities.

They all seek solutions.

This year builds on the success of our pilot effort. Take a look at this video, this infographic and this summary op-ed by 2018-19 Encore Public Voices Fellow Cal Halvorsen for a taste of what this effort has accomplished so far.

And now, please join me in congratulating the 2019-20 Encore Public Voices Fellows

  • Adell Brown, Project Director, Collective Healing Initiative, 100 Black Men of Metro Baton Rouge
  • Alex Smith, Founder and CEO, The Cares Family
  • Alexis Ortega, Director of Community Engagement, The LGBT Community Center of the Desert
  • Christina Harrington, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Northwestern University
  • Colby Takeda, Senior Manager, Blue Zones Project Hawaii
  • Derenda Schubert, Executive Director, Bridge Meadows
  • Ebony Walden, Founder and Principal Consultant, Ebony Walden Consulting
  • Gordon Skinner, CEO & Executive Producer, [Re]-Frame Media
  • John D. Kemp, President and CEO, The Viscardi Center
  • Joo Yeoun Suh, Director, Longevity Economy, Thought Leadership, AARP
  • Karimah Nonyameko, Leadership and Mobilization Manager,
  • Kate Hoepke, Executive Director, San Francisco Village and Chair, Village Movement California
  • Kevin Rabinovich, Designer / Civic Organizer
  • Maria Heidkamp, Director, Program Development and Technical Assistance, Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, Rutgers University
  • Mi’Jan Celie Tho-Biaz, 2019-2020 Kennedy Center Citizen Artist and Founder, New Mexico Women of Color Nonprofit Leadership Initiative 
  • Natasha Tarpley, Author
  • Ramona Schindelheim, Editor-in-Chief, WorkingNation
  • Sharon Inouye, Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Director, Aging Brain Center, Hebrew SeniorLife
  • Terry Kaelber, Director, Institute for Empowered Aging, United Neighborhood Houses of New York
  • Tony Tapia, Principal, Bridging Worlds Philanthropic Advisors
  • Yolonda Wilson, Fellow, National Humanities Center

Help spread the word: Congrats to the 2019-20 Encore #PublicVoices Fellows — 21 thinkers working at the intersection of #aging, #longevity, #intergenerational connection & #socialjustice issues! @TheOpEdProject @EncoreOrg @heymarci @annmacdougall @katieorenst (click to tweet)

Thanks to our Advisory Council, a small group of outstanding social innovators and media professionals who have been critical to the fellowship’s success. Members include Ellen Goodman (Chair), Sylvia Brown, Mary C. Curtis, Ken Dychtwald, Raymond Jetson, Katie Orenstein, Trabian Shorters and Lester Strong.

Applications are now open for five new Gen2Gen Innovation Fellowships. We’re searching for creative practitioners tapping the talents of adults, age 50 and older, to improve the care and education of children, age 0 to 5. Know someone who would be great? Nominate them now or apply yourself. Deadline: October 17. For details, click here


Published: September 11, 2019

Share This