This discussion will showcase examples of elder housing initiatives that are realized or currently in development and reflect values of affordability and inclusivity of all sexualities and gender expressions. For those aging solo and who identify as LGBTQ+ and SGL (Same-Gender Loving, a preferred term among some African Americans), a safe and affirming home is essential for mental health, caregiving, and living fully. Administrators, residents, and community members will share visions and plans to support these communities through intergenerational connection, arts programming, and end-of-life planning. This Table Talk is co-hosted by SAGE, Openhouse, Mary's House for Older Adults, and One Roof Chicago.
About Table Talk
A Table Talk is an honest, lively, and unscripted conversation among health professionals, spiritual and faith-based leaders, artists and other creative individuals to address this central question: "What does it mean to live and die well in our respective communities?" Every community and culture -- Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian American, Disabled, LGBTQ+, etc. -- has its own unique perspective and shared truth. We face tremendous challenges in dealing with serious illness, dying, grief, discrimination, and inequity. At the same time we search for space to connect, flourish, remember, and celebrate.
Many of us describe more than one of these groups as home, and many of us have experienced oppression based on multiple aspects of our intersecting identities: race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and more. At present, we have few spaces to talk about these questions freely, in ways that make sense for who we are. That’s why Reimagine launched Table Talk. While this ongoing series is explicitly created by and for underrepresented communities, we invite people of all backgrounds to join us to witness, listen and learn. Ultimately we are creating space rooted in the principles of Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion in order for everyone to thrive.
The LGBTQ+ Table Talk series, led by Reimagine’s Senior Programmer Andrew Ingall in consultation with staff and community collaborators, is a multi-hued, multi-disciplinary series that amplifies queer voices in healthy aging, mental health, and end-of-life practices. It honors the queer community’s full spectrum of racial, ethnic, and spiritual backgrounds, and celebrates artistic expression, innovation, and leadership in a time of crisis. Programming will spotlight intergenerational initiatives, new visions for elder housing, and the historical arc of caregiving from the early AIDS epidemic to current mutual aid networks developed by queer and trans people of color. Co-hosted by SAGE, the LGBTQ+ Table Talk series includes the following programs: Make This House a Home: SGL/LGBTQ+ Aging Together (May 25), De Ambiente: Grief, Faith, and the LGBTQ+ Boricua Diaspora (June 1), and Ballroom Has Something to Say...About Art, Justice & Healing (June 8).
Jacqueline Boyd (she/her) is a passionate LGBTQ+ advocate with over 15 years of expertise in senior care, Jacqueline has built the country's premier LGBTQ+ centered care management company. The Care Plan’s ground-breaking model of client-directed care provides advocacy, care navigation and advance planning for successful aging experiences. Simultaneously, the company supplies training, strategic planning and infrastructural support to nonprofits, businesses and community groups across the US. At the helm of The Care Plan’s leadership, Jacqueline has consulted with national and local organizations such as SAGE, Diverse Elders Coalition, and AIDS Foundation Chicago to enhance services offered to LGBTQ+ older adults. She is a sought after speaker and author providing business leadership through presentations at the American Society on Aging National Conference, Creating Change Conference, the Los Angeles County Older Adult Summit, and University of Chicago among others. She recently contributed a chapter to Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Health and Aging, available from Springer Publishing and authored the guide Create Your Care Plan: An LGBT Person’s Guide To Preparing For Medical Procedures. Currently Jacqueline serves as the co-chair of One Roof Chicago, an intergenerational LGBTQ+ focused housing project. She is on the advisory council of Pride Action Tank and co-founder of Project Fierce Chicago.
Sydney Kopp-Richardson (she/her) is the Director of SAGE’s National LGBT Elder Housing Initiative, working to reshape the housing landscape nationally and increase the availability of safer LGBT elder housing through policy advocacy, research, and housing development. Previously, Sydney worked in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City in direct service, organizing and advocacy, and policy analysis around HIV, violence intervention, homelessness, and affordable housing development. Through an anti-racist framework, Sydney centers the needs of LGBTQ communities, people involved in the justice system, people living with mental health challenges, and others living in the margins. Sydney has developed anti-violence curriculum and policy recommendations for LGBTQ communities and infuses this into her housing development and advocacy work. Sydney brings a reverence for the expertise and legacies of LGBTQ elders in the formation of policies and programming developed to serve them in the fight for collective liberation, and she brings this to SAGE’s national housing initiative.
Dr. Karyn Skulkety (she/her) is the Executive Director of Openhouse, a non-profit that provides housing, services and community engagement for older LGBTQ individuals in San Francisco. Karyn has a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from the University of Massachusetts and specialized in geriatric psychology. Karyn has worked in aging services throughout her career in clinical, educational and administrative leadership roles. She is a dynamic leader known for her approach to effective change management and creating programs that creatively and effectively serve underrepresented and marginalized older adults.
Dr. Imani Woody (she/her) is a nationally recognized thought leader and an advocate of women, people of color and LGBTQ+/SGL people for more than 25 years. After retirement from AARP, she became founder and CEO of Mary’s House for Older Adults, (MHFOA) with the vision and commitment to serve LGBTQ+/SGL elders experiencing housing insecurity and isolation. Dr. Woody has secured an expert board of advisors and a commitment of $1.2 million from the District of Columbia to begin construction on the first MHFOA dwelling, a 15-room communal residence--the only one of its kind in the country. Dr. Woody has been a three-term Mayoral Commissioner appointee to the DC Office of LGBTQ Affairs and appointed by Mayor Bowser to serve on the Global Age-Friendly Task Force. Dr. Woody was the first program officer for the 50+ Ministry of Metropolitan Community Churches and is the President of the Greater Brookland Intergenerational Village. Dr. Woody has a PhD in Public Service Leadership, and a Master of Human Services degree from Lincoln University. She has received many awards including Next Avenue’s 2019 Influencers in Aging, Forbes Business of Pride, and the SAGE Creating Change Advocacy Award. She created a Living Life Like It’s Golden program that empowers people to live their lives more fully through visioning.