Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives
From our very beginning 35 years ago, Aging Life Care Association members have focused on caring for those vulnerable members of society. And as an association with Ethical Principles for our members, we believe that all people, regardless of race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation deserve equal treatment.
Our association has looked at its diversity issues over the years and have activated several initiatives and programs to propel change in inclusion, diversity, equality, and accessibility.
- There are a multitude of assessment tools Aging Life Care Managers® can use in working with clients. Including a tools focused on cultural competency brings in a level of sensitivity to diversity issues that members can demonstrate to potential clients.
- Just Medicine: A Cure for Racial Inequality in American Health Care by Dayna Bowen Matthew
- The Unapologetic Guide to Black Mental Health by Reeda Walker, PhD.
- The Multicultural Economy by Jeffrey Humphries. Calculates the consumer buying power—or total income after taxes—for minority markets in the U.S.: African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans
- Cross Cultural Selling For Dummies by Michael Soon Lee & Ralph R. Roberts
- Eldercare: The Essential Guide to Caring for Your Loved One and Yourself by Derrick McDaniel
- “Support to Aging Parents and Grown Children in Black and White Families.” Oxford Journals: The Gerontologist (41(4), 441-452. Fingerman, K.L, VanderDrift, L.E., Dottere, A.M., Birditt, K.S., and Zarit, S. H. (2011).
- “It’s Time to meet the needs of African American and Black caregivers”
- “Correcting and Dispelling the Myths About Diversity and Inclusion Hiring” - 4 Experts Weigh in
Lack of racial diversity and inclusion has been a part of this country’s history since it’s early days. And in March 2020, as the world began grappling with the novel coronavirus COVID-19, frustrations around racial injustices also erupted.
ALCA, like many organizations around the world, issued a statement against racism and the violent acts towards people of color.
The recent senseless deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and others have illustrated the long-standing, systemic injustices faced by black men and women in our communities. As an association we deplore racial injustices and demand justice and equality for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.
From our very beginning 35 years ago, ALCA members have focused on caring for those vulnerable members of society. And as an association with Ethical Principles for our members, we believe:
“An Aging Life Care Professional behaves in a just and fair way in all professional and business relationships. An Aging Life Care Professional does not promote or sanction any form of discrimination such as discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or socioeconomic status.” And
“ALCA members recognize diversity in our society and embrace a multi-cultural approach to support the worth, dignity, potential and uniqueness of each client. The Code of Ethics acknowledges the vulnerable population we serve and makes explicit the highest standards of practice.”*
We recognize that our principles are not enough and action is needed. We further acknowledge that our efforts to increase the diversity of our membership have not been as effective as we would want them to be. To that end we are forming a task force to develop ideas to recruit more diversity in our membership and create strategies to support our current members. Our commitment to diversity, equality, and inclusion has never been more important and our goals are to broaden membership, leadership, and clientele among Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.
As we grapple with feelings regarding the recent injustices, please reach out to the association staff and leadership to recommend other ways we might be more inclusive in our membership or strategies to ensure equality for all members and the clients we serve. ALCA may not have all the answers today, but we are listening and committed to action and change. Like a global society, as an association, we are always “better together.”
*Aging Life Care Association Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice
There is much work to be done.
ALCA's founding members, all women, created an organization focused on helping older adults age well and with dignity. The ALCA Board works to continue to build on the efforts of our founding members, which has always upheld non-discrimination in our membership and in serving clients. We are aware of lack of diversity in our membership and we have taken concrete steps to begin working on changing this in a respectful and thoughtful manner.
In March 2020 ALCA mobilized membership and identified outstanding members who could help address and work towards adding diversity in our leadership and membership. ALCA’s 2020 Board President formed two task forces on Membership Diversity and Servicing Diverse Populations.
The Task force continues to meet to discuss our outreach efforts for membership and clientele.
Task Force Members
- Liz Barlowe, Committee Co-Chair and Immediate Past President
- Crystal Littlejohn, Committee Co-Chair
- Connie McKenzie, 2021 Board President
- Lisa Mayfield, Member
- Abbe Udochi, Member
- Kizzy Chambers, Member
- Kate Granigan, Board Member, PR Committee Co-Chair
Special Webinar: Caregiving and the Black Family
On Wednesday, February 24, 2021, in conjunction with Black History Month, the Aging Life Care Association continued its discussion around diversity issues. We kicked off 2021 with this free, public panel discussion where our experts discussed traditional caregiving roles many BIPOC families shoulder, explored how professional Aging Life Care Managers® can build trust with clients, and strategies to incorporate into their practices.
The work is not finished. We will continue to work towards more inclusivity and diversity in all the areas of our association.