While aging is universal, our individual experience of the process is impacted by, among other factors, our beliefs, our resources and demographics. For ourselves, our communities and our planet, how we age today is unsustainable unless we can shift our consciousness about aging. That consciousness, in turn, can help us better understand our interconnectedness and allow us to shift toward aging in a way that feels more connected, empowering and transformative. Join our panel of experts for a discussion about cultural and personal perspectives on growing older, as well as what some have called the inherent noetic nature of aging. Together, we will have the opportunity to consider a shift in our consciousness, beliefs and attitudes about the inevitable process of getting older.
Shifting Ageism: How Consciousness Affects Our Experience of Aging
Friday, October 9, 2020
11:00am – 12:30pm Pacific
Marc Blesoff, IONS Certified Conscious Aging Facilitator, says he used to know everything and trust nothing. Now, he knows nothing and has glimpsed trust. He used to believe in coincidence, but doesn’t anymore. For over 30 years Marc was a criminal defense attorney. Then a mediator. Six years ago, he began facilitating the IONS Conscious Aging Workshops. He hasn’t stopped. Marc is a member of A Tribe Called Aging.
Elizabeth White is an author and aging solutions advocate for older people facing uncertain work and financial insecurity. Most recently she served as Special Advisor to the Executive Director of Senior Service America. Before joining SSA, she was the Chief Operating Officer of a midsize non-profit focused on improving economic conditions in Africa. She is also an entrepreneur, having co-founded and led a chain of decorative home stores in Washington, DC, Philadelphia and New York. She began her career in international development at the World Bank. Ms. White earned an MBA from Harvard Business School, a Masters in International Studies from Johns Hopkins University, and a BS in Political Science from Oberlin College. Elizabeth is a member of A Tribe Called Aging.
John K. Holton, PhD, is an educator and public servant trained in understanding the life course of human development. Dr. Holton is currently a research professor at Jane Addams School of Social Work, University of Illinois Chicago. Previously, Dr. Holton worked with Concordia University Chicago and the Illinois state government where he served as Director of the Department on Aging and cabinet member for Governors Patrick Quinn and Bruce Rauner. Under his leadership, the Department on Aging grew to become the state’s third largest funded human services department with resource capacities to support a statewide network of private organizations and faith-based institutions providing home and community-based services, protective services, housing, meal, transportation, and counseling services for hundreds of thousands of senior Illinoisans and their caregivers.
Ashton Applewhite has been acknowledged by the New York Times, New Yorker, NPR, and the American Society on Aging as an expert on ageism. In her book This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism, Applewhite declares that it’s time to dismantle the last acceptable prejudice; it’s time for age pride. In her candid talks—as she does on her blog, “This Chair Rocks,” and her Q&A Tumblr, “Yo, Is This Ageist?” — she debunks our culture’s most pervasive myths about getting older. And with her funny, straight-talking approach, she helps people realize the often-overlooked benefits of advanced age, championing the need for greater age-based diversity in the workplace and our institutions. Applewhite speaks widely, at venues that have ranged from universities and community centers to the Library of Congress and the United Nations.