And that is probably what’s most important to remember when approaching intergenerational programming. As Rachel B. Cohen says, when you’re bringing relative strangers together and asking them to share their stories, it’s your privilege and responsibility to create a space that is safe for them to be vulnerable and share honestly.
Our world today can feel overly connected at times, but what makes people of every age feel safe and seen is the depth of the connections in our lives. LinkAGES’ member organizations, strategic partners, and donors know that we can only establish and nurture meaningful connections when we can show up as ourselves and feel understood, accepted, and appreciated by those we’re with. By intentionally creating spaces that facilitate those types of connections and making it easier for other networks and organizations to do the same, LinkAGES seeks to prevent and reduce social isolation and its effects on adolescents, young adults, and older adults.
Powell, A. (2020, May 4) Social distance makes the heart grow lonelier. https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2020/05/how-to-ease-loneliness-and-feel-more-connected/
Weissbourd, R., Batnova, M., Lovison, V., & Torres, E. (2021, February) Loneliness in America: How the pandemic has deepened an epidemic of loneliness and what we can do about it. https://mcc.gse.harvard.edu/reports/loneliness-in-america
The U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory, (2021, December). Protecting Youth Mental Health. https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2021/12/07/us-surgeon-general-issues-advisory-on-youth-mental-health-crisis-further-exposed-by-covid-19-pandemic.html
Agrawal, R. (2018). Belong: Find your people, create community, & live a more connected life. Workman Publishing Vp., Inc. https://belongbook.com/
Gonzales, E. phD, Kruchten, R, & Whetung, C. (2021, March). Generations United:Making the Case for Intergenerational Programs. https://www.gu.org/app/uploads/2021/03/2021-MakingTheCase-WEB.pdf
Parker, P. (2018) The Art of Gathering: How we meet and why it matters. Riverhead Books. https://www.priyaparker.com/thebook