© Imelda Maurer, cdp
I've raised the topic of ageism several times on the blog. In fact it was my second entry back in 2007, titled, "I'm Not a Young Woman". Ageism must be rebuffed for several reasons, not the least of which is rejecting by word and action the harmful, prejudicial concepts of ageism. For women religious, these actions are also aspects of our call to prophetic witness in which we strive to create, by our words and actions, that just and compassionate Kingdom of God that the Gospels call us to live today.
In terms of changing the culture of aging services, I believe one of the major obstacles is the pervasive ageism of our society. The blinders of this prejudice prevent us from seeing aging beyond the negative myths.
If you do not know Ashton Applewhite and her work as a writer and activist against ageism, today is a good day because I'm going to introduce you to this woman and her work!
Only when the Pioneer Network (which is holding its annual conference next week in Chicago) announced that Ashton Applewhite will be our keynote speaker did I learn about Ashton. Her book, "This Chair Rocks:A Manifesto Against Ageism is a best seller and for good reason. Publishers Weekly wrote a very positive review and can be accessed here.
Ms. Applewhite has several videos on YouTube. In one that I watched, Applewhite supports her activism around ageism, calling it "the last socially acceptable prejudice". You can access her YouTube videos easily here.
One last resource on this important topic: Lisa Kendall, LCSW at Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY is leading a virtual book study of Applewhite's book! I've already signed up for it and am eager to join the 50+ (so far!) individuals who are part of this online discussion. Registration is open now; the actual book study begins Monday, August 14th. You can join this group by going to this site:
I look forward to discussing more of "This Chair Rocks" here on my blog also.