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This event was part of Reimagine Events

Let’s Experience: Undoing Ageism, Honoring Loss

Explore the losses and gains of aging in this interactive ‘Undoing Ageism, Honoring Loss’ workshop with expert guides from Old School. Register now!

Designed for people of all ages and from all walks of life, this workshop led by the co-founders of Old School explores the losses and gains associated with aging. At every age, we experience loss: the culmination of first-time experiences, missed opportunities, reduced abilities, and the passing of loved ones. The ageism that is prevalent in our culture exacerbates these losses and turns the natural process of aging into a personal failure and a disease. We will start our time together by recognizing the cultural context we live in, most notably the stigma associated with aging and how it is related to stigma associated with loss. From there, we will be with our age-related losses, giving them voice and space. Finally, we will uncover the capacity and opportunities that grieving our losses provides. This workshop will be highly interactive and include breakout rooms, quiet contemplations, sharing amongst the larger group, and more. Our aim is to explore some very big ideas in a very practical way.


Kyrié Carpenter, trained as a therapist, is a teacher and public speaker, specializing in ageism and dementia. She co-founded the anti-ageism clearinghouse with Ashton Applewhite and Ryan Backer, is an educator with The Eden Alternative, author of Healing Dementia, and adjunct faculty at USI and Pacifica Graduate Institute. She loves to travel, was a cast member on Dr. Bill Thomas' nationwide ChangingAging Tour, and has been living part-time in a campervan with her family since 2015.

Ryan Backer, co-founder of Old School, is an age activist, public speaker, and ‘old person in training.’ They are aiming to eradicate ageism intersectionally, along with white supremacy, gender bias, ableism, body shaming, homophobia, classism, and all other forms of oppression. They are a white, non-binary, anarchist settler who has been circling the sun since 1988.

About Old School

Old School curates, creates, commissions and disseminates free resources to educate people about ageism and how to end it; hosts and facilitates spaces where age advocates around the world can connect; collaborates with other pro-aging organizations; and shows up for other social-justice movements.

Old School is working towards a world where everyone has the opportunity to live long and to live well. We are advancing the movement to dismantle ageism, and we are leveraging the fact that everyone ages (and experiences age bias) in order to address the intersectional nature of all oppression—and of all activism.

About Reimagine and the “Aging as Grief, Aging as Growth” Series

Reimagine is a nonprofit organization catalyzing a uniquely powerful community–people of different backgrounds, ages, races, and faiths (and no faith) coming together in the hopes of healing ourselves and the world. We specifically support each other in facing adversity, loss, and mortality and–at our own pace– actively channeling life's biggest challenges into meaningful action and growth.

Age isn’t “just a number.”

Western culture does an awful job of helping us face the universal experience of aging. We’ve created a society that celebrates and rewards youth and often makes older adults feel invisible and unnecessary. As a solution, beauty brands sell “anti-aging” products. Doctors and researchers suggest that aging is a disease treatable with surgery and medication. Ageism is real for job seekers, beginning with those in their 30s.

Certainly, there are real adversities and challenges associated with aging, and so few spaces to acknowledge and mourn these losses. At the same time, there are aspects of getting older that are, in fact, gifts to recognize and share with our loved ones, communities, and workplaces…if only we could see them.

With guidance from healers, artists, social entrepreneurs, and activists, we’ll gain tools and inspiration to view aging not only as an inevitable challenge, but also as a source of newfound strength, vitality, and wonder.


Grief Living Fully Older Adults Social Justice & Race