Next Avenue – public media’s first and only digital publication dedicated to covering issues for people 50 and older – named its 2016 Influencers in Aging, which includes 50 advocates, researchers, thought leaders, innovators, writers and experts at the forefront of changing how we age and think about aging.
“This is a transformative time in which millions of Americans are redefining what it means to grow old. It is a quiet revolution,” said Susan Donley, managing director of Next Avenue. “This year’s list uncovers a range of leaders who have made exceptional contributions to that sea change. Next Avenue is proud to honor and celebrate these men and women, and their remarkable work.”
One honoree, whose impact was especially profound this year, was named 2016 Influencer of the Year. That distinction goes to Ashton Applewhite, whose work in fighting against ageism and questioning stereotypes about growing older is showcased in her blog and book, This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism.
This year’s Influencers in Aging list also includes researchers like MacArthur “Genius Grant” winner Anne Basting, whose improvisational storytelling and creative expression promotes well-being in older adults with cognitive impairment; legendary television producer/writer Norman Lear, who has become an outspoken critic of all forms of ageism in recent years; Sarita Gupta, co-founder of Caring Across Generations and advocate for government policies supporting home care workers; Phyllis Borzi, in charge of the Employee Benefits Security Administration at the U.S. Department of Labor and many other honorees whose tireless work and passion change what it means to grow older in America.
In addition to describing their accomplishments, Next Avenue asked each Influencer to answer a question about what he or she would change about aging in America.
“Catalyze a social movement to raise awareness of ageism that would transform the experience of aging in America and make discrimination on the basis of age as unacceptable as racism and sexism,” said Applewhite. “We would no longer see aging as a problem to be ‘fixed’ or a disease to be ‘cured,’ but for what it is: a powerful, natural, lifelong process that connects us all.”
For a complete list of honorees and further information about Next Avenue’s 2016 Influencers in Aging, please visit: nextavenue.org/influencers.