How will you work to create the world you envision?
Gray Panthers believe in active engagement. We believe civic participation and responsibility are fundamental to achieving social and economic justice and peace.
We work to:
Create a humane society – one that puts the needs of people over profits, responsibility over power and democracy over institutions.
Eliminate injustice, discrimination, ageism wherever they exist.
Bring together young and old, women and men of all backgrounds and orientations, to work in unison, with mutual trust and respect.
Make your voice heard!
Gray Panthers work together on the issues you believe in.
Creating a single-payer, universal health care system
Protecting the environment
Promoting peace and international human rights
E-mail sent by Rick Sanford, Tuesday, May 29th, 2018 @ 12:59pm
Brynn April just wrote this powerful piece on how recent assassinations of young people due to school shootings reflects our society's attitude toward age. Ageism is discrimination based on age. These students have been targeted because of their age, because they are concentrated in places where young people are required to gather. Gray Panthers confronts ageism everywhere.
The Permeation of Ageism: The Santa Fe Incident
Last week’s prom. Final exams. Summer jobs.
These are what high schoolers should be talking about.
Instead, the deafening BOOM of a gunshot echoing around the hallways. Suddenly, a school hallway turns into a war zone.
Those kids in Santa Fe came into school wanting nothing more than the opportunity to learn, to prepare for college, and to see their friends and teachers. Instead, they got fear and senseless violence.
This incident represents the growing problem of ageism—discrimination based on age. It is reflected in the common belief that children, who are not yet adults, are naïve and defenseless. As a result, they are targeted for their perceived weaknesses and inability to portray their influence in society.
From ageism, no one is spared. Age is something we have in common, and events such as these should not be regarded as anomalies, but rather a reflection of the situation’s gravity. The stereotypes ageism perpetuates will only continue to lead to prejudiced actions over time.
Ageism has been tirelessly addressed by Gray Panthers, an organization led by Jack Kupferman that has worked to fight it in all its forms for decades. Gray Panthers understands that situations like this are not isolated incidents, but rather serious problems that are increasing at an alarming rate over time.
Remember the Parkland massacre? It happened only months ago, and it resulted in more innocent lives lost. Gray Panthers displayed their horror at this event, for it stands as yet another devastating example of ageism in our society.
The sad part? These are only two on a rapidly growing list.
Ever try Googling “school shootings?” I wouldn’t recommend it. The list is so extensive that I was asked to choose a category: country, school level, or year. Even after choosing, I scrolled for an eternity. Each one had numbers, and each number meant more lives lost.
Actually, scratch that. Please do Google it. Please do continue to scroll as I did. If that’s the only way to recognize this problem, please do. Because yes—this is a PROBLEM.
In fact, it’s such a problem that these shootings have become NORMAL.
Normal is going to the grocery store, making a phone call, eating dinner.
Normal stops once ageist thoughts move into peoples’ minds. Normal stops when a gun leaves the store.
Normal stops when lives are taken.
Unless we stop to consider this, such horrific, discriminatory actions based on a disregard for human rights will only continue to occur. That long list of shootings, all those numbers of children dead, will only continue to increase.
Being nineteen, I can already recount several terrifying instances in my life when ageism reared its ugly head. I have seen it first hand—how people use violent machines to perpetuate their ageist thoughts and ideas. The first of these was in my junior year of high school, when bombs threats caused the school to bring in policeman who searched everyone entering the building. Suddenly, school became scarier, and we were all on edge from more than tests and homework.
And only last spring, my college went into lockdown when it was believed that we had an active shooter on campus. I remember sitting for hours in the dark as an unsettling silence permeated the dorm. I remember frantic calls and texts from my parents, who were desperately hoping I continued to respond.
Maybe both were only scares, but they could not have been. They showed me just how real and scary this problem is. They showed me the imminent need to address this before it’s too late.
In my own fight against ageism, I will be interning with Gray Panthers this summer, for they represent one of the first steps to solving this problem. In fact, their empowering presence at the March for Our Lives on March 24, 2018 demonstrated the need for people of all generations to come together to overcome this issue and fight these atrocities. Because ageism, as Gray Panthers knows, affects us all.
We have a hell of a long way to go, but we NEED to start fighting this.
E-mail sent by Rick Sanford, Friday, May 25th, 2018 @ 11:57am
Introducing the 2018 Class of Gray Panthers summer interns. These college students are exceptionally talented, enthusiastic and committed. As with each class of interns, they are inevitably struck by the important issues of age, aging, and ageism that are forgotten in the public discourse and in educational processes. For some, these issues now become one of their passions. For most, they dive deep into providing Gray Panthers with great work and thoughtfulness.
This year, the interns will be focusing on various aspects of establishing a foundation for fund raising and building membership; drafting articles and other written materials; being front line advocates for older persons at the global level – at the UN High Level Political Forum as well as at the Open Ended Working Group on Ageing; clarifying the means for us to achieve our advocacy priorities – Care, Human Rights, Intergenerational Solidarity, Confronting Ageism, Preserving Medicare and Social Security, Capacity Building, and more. We are so lucky to have them join us.
Please send us a note welcoming them.
Brynn April – Colgate University
Kylee Jacoby – Muhlenberg College
Erica Sanders – Amherst College
Jon Berger – Tufts University
Rachella Ferst – Mt. Holyoke College