Equity in Aging – News, Resources and Upcoming Events

May 6, 2021

With the launch of Equity in Aging from the Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative, AARP Massachusetts and the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts, we will be periodically sharing news, resources and upcoming events on the topic that may be of interest to our network of partners and stakeholders.

The Equity in Aging Committee will be helping to drive the content of these updates as well as our ongoing webinar series, but we welcome submissions from others, which can be emailed to James Fuccione at MHAC.

This resource from FEMA includes for communities guidance, perspectives, stories, resources, and more. With this information, FEMA intends to inspire readers with actions and considerations for equitable practices they can take today and use as part of their day-to-day activities. The federal government is seldom the trusted change agent. Agencies must form partnerships and create cross-sector alliances to be impactful. We know creating systemic change will also require large federal institutions to make their own shifts. Agencies often don’t have the comprehensive expertise to build resilience in all the ways necessary for vibrant communities, but in partnership, gaps can be filled and responsibility can be shared.

Leaders who strive to create resilient, equitable, and healthy communities often focus on physical and mental well-being by addressing conditions that impact the quality, safety, and affordability of housing, health care, education, food, recreation, and transportation, as well as access to jobs and clean air and water. However, social connection is often excluded from these priorities despite its vital contribution to health and well-being.

The Social Isolation Learning Network co-created this report with Healthy Places by Design to help reframe the national conversation toward one that recognizes the root causes of, and systemic solutions to, social isolation. This report seeks to inspire and equip all readers—especially grantmaking organizations and local government leaders—
to intentionally redesign community-level systems to support meaningful social connections.

The oldest minority retirees are struggling with debt, a new Urban Institute study finds.

The researchers’ starting point is that people generally reduce their debt as they age. To prepare for retiring, older workers try to pay down their mortgage balances and pay off credit cards. Once retired, their debt continues to shrink.

The Diverse Elders Coalition, in partnership with the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA), is hosting a 2-part webinar series to inform diverse communities about the COVID-19 vaccine and to highlight the realities of diverse older adults living through the pandemic.

The second webinar will include information regarding COVID-19 vaccine safety, tools to find vaccine locations, and community-specific resources to overcome barriers to access vaccine. The webinar will also include polling questions, similar to the first webinar, we want to hear from you and your experiences to better refine our webinars.

MassDOT’s upcoming Innovation Conference – to be held virtually May 25-27 – includes a track on Accessibility, Mobility, and Transportation Equity. You can find a list of sessions online at (click on the “Sessions” tab).

If you are interested in attending, MassDOT is asking for everyone to register by May 18. To register, visit and click the “Registration” tab. If you are interested in local and regional community mobility and transportation coordination but cannot pay the conference registration fee, you may be eligible for a fee waiver. If you would like to apply for a fee waiver to cover the registration fee, applications are due May 14. You can find more information about the fee waiver on the “Overview” tab or contact Jenna Henning with any questions.