Preparing Diverse Talent to Lead in the Field of Aging
The field of aging needs more leaders of color—and a modern, sustainable leadership program to support them. Aging in the United States has never been an equitable experience across the barriers of economic and social justice. Exacerbating this issue is the fact that those who can best drive the change we need are often the people who were raised, live and work in the communities most affected by these inequities. And so, much too often, the same inequities and lack of justice that require our response are those that prevent the most qualified people from having access to lead that response.
ASA Rise Will Change This
Simply put, ASA Rise is a launching pad for the next generation of aging leadership. Our vision for ASA Rise is that it will lead to improved well-being across an increasingly diverse aging population by creating a BIPOC leadership pool that improves policies and programs at the local, state and national levels.
- Provide training and mentorship in the field of aging on fundamental principles of advocacy, social justice and leadership development.
- Build a national, cross-industry network of peers and thought leaders.
- Complete a national project that contributes to thought leadership or innovates service delivery in aging as part of ASA’s On Aging Institute.
- Deepen appreciation for the unique dynamics that come with being a BIPOC leader.
Session 1: 10 weekly classes starting in January 2022
Topics will include:
- Unconscious Bias
- Cultural Competence/Cultural Humility
- Listening, Communicating and Decision Making
- Strategic Thinking
- People Skills: Team Building and Networking
- Advocacy 101
- Building A Movement
- History of Social Justice and Aging movements
- Aging Issues Specific to Communities of Color
Session 2: 10 weeks of a joint facilitated project with ASA’s On Aging Institute
In Year One, fellows will lead a national allyship project in one of ASA’s five strategic priority areas (Ageism & Culture, Economic Security, Equity & Justice, Health & Well-being, or Social Impact & Innovation) to drive systemic change in aging. Fellows will hear from other pioneering organizations across the country that are positively impacting older adults. In addition to completing the project, fellows will explore the five elements of effective presentations: assess the speechmaking situation; analyze the audience; research the topic; organize and write the speech; and deliver the presentation. This will prepare them to present during an ASA national webinar as part of the ASA RISE Fellows Allyship Forum series during the summer of 2022.
In addition to the curriculum, ASA Rise fellows will be paired with a mentor who will meet with them biweekly over the 20-week program. The role of the mentor will be to ensure fellows remain on track, are able to share their experiences, seek career advice and counsel and ultimately expand their network.
Fellows will receive a complimentary ASA membership for one year and conference registration to On Aging in New Orleans, April 11–14, 2022.
ASA Rise Fellows are encouraged to request employer-sponsored support for the $1,000 program fee and travel expenses (estimated $1,500–$2,000) to attend the On Aging conference In New Orleans in April. A limited number of scholarships are available. Download a template of a written request for employer support here (PDF).
A note on tuition scholarships.
We encourage all applicants to seek tuition payment/reimbursement from their employer and employer support for travel to On Aging. In cases where the cost of tuition is a burden for either the employer or the individual, a limited number of tuition scholarships are available. Candidates must demonstrate a level of financial need that would make ASA Rise tuition a barrier to participation in the program. Eligibility for a tuition scholarship includes, but is not limited to, self-paying individuals or individuals employed by a nonprofit organization. The opportunity to request tuition assistance will be provided as part of the program acceptance process, and will require the completion of a short application.
ASA Rise is open to BIPOC-identified professionals within the field of aging. Candidates should have a minimum of five years’ experience and do not need to be a member of ASA. We are seeking applicants from a cross section of sectors (such as business, academia, nonprofit and government), and disciplines (such as tech, social work, community-based services, arts, community engagement and financial services).
How will ASA Rise fit into your schedule?
ASA Rise participants should anticipate spending three to four hours each week participating in the live workshop (two hours) and completing supplemental readings and assignments. The days and times for the weekly meetings will be arranged with input from participants.
Prospective fellows will submit an online application available at the link below. The application asks for a current bio, resume or CV and short statements (up to 250 words) covering:
- What does diversity, equity and inclusion mean to you?
- Describe your experience and commitment to social justice and dealing with structural inequities in aging.
- Describe why you believe a program like ASA Rise will advance your career in the field of aging.
Selection into ASA Rise is a competitive process, and not all applicants will be accepted. ASA Rise fellows will be selected by a committee after a review of all applications. Our selection criteria include:
- Commitment to Growth—Showing a commitment to your own professional development, and a readiness to invest in growing your leadership capabilities and participating fully in all aspects of the ASA Rise program.
- Commitment to the Aging Sector—Demonstrating a commitment to the field of aging and a strong intention to advance your career in the field.
- Potential for Advancement—Having a sense of how you want to grow your impact at an individual, organizational and community level, matched with the potential to do so.
- Ability to Put Learning to Work—Currently working in a role where you can directly apply the ASA Rise leadership and DEI concepts, tools and lessons learned.
- Contributing to the Diversity and Richness of the ASA Rise Cohort—Your ability to help us build a diverse cohort to support an environment where fellows are exposed to, and engage with, a wide variety of thought, opinions and people. These include, but are not limited to: age, community experience, cultural background, race/ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, industry, leadership experience, personality and profession.