For the last five years, we at Caring Across have been dedicated to building a movement of the Caring Majority. This Caring Majority includes aging adults, people with disabilities, family caregivers and direct care workers. It is diverse not only in how care shows up in our lives at any given moment — but in the expression of our identities. We are Black. We are white. We are immigrants and children and grandchildren of immigrants. We are gay, straight, and transgender. And we are most likely a mix of the above.
During this period, we’ve also become painfully aware of the abhorrent and persistent discrimination and violence being committed against people of color and the LGBT community, globally and here in the United States.
Last week, the murders of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile in Minneapolis — and the murders of five police officers in Dallas by a lone gunman — sent our country, our coalition, and our team reeling yet again. We mourn with the families of all of the people who were killed last week, and for all those whose lives have ended prematurely due to racial bias, hateful discrimination and gun violence.
Caring Across Generations’ mission is to work towards a reality where we can all live and age with dignity. But for communities of color — and Black people in particular — the very opportunity to age, let alone age with dignity, comes under threat every day. This must stop. Aging should not be a privilege.
We also recognize this is the start of an ongoing conversation for us as a campaign. In the face of such undeniable brutality and suffering, we cannot be silent. As a team, we are grappling to address how structural racism shapes our culture — in our institutions of care, our access to care, our quality of health, and the devaluation of caregiving. We are working to change a system that doesn’t work for anyone, least of all communities of color. And professional caregivers, the majority of whom are women of color, have been on the front lines of enduring systemic racism and injustice for decades.
Just as families have to have the tough conversations about planning for care, we have to have the tough conversations with friends and families about the racism embedded in our systems, in our institutions and in ourselves. The hardest conversations are often the most important.
But one thing is certain: we must come together and act now against the very avoidable and unjust violence hurting our loved ones, our communities and our country.
Our campaign is grounded in valuing life and in the power of love — and preserving and nourishing dignity and respect in all of our relationships, whether they be caregiving relationships, or the relationships we have with others in our community. Interdependence is in our DNA.
We stand for the same values of dignity, love and respect that the movement for racial justice and equity urgently represents — and encourage you to join, if you have not already.