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GSA Establishes Diversity and Justice Working Group

The Gerontological Society of America (GSA)—the nation’s largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging—has created a Diversity and Justice Working Group, whose purpose is to make tangible and actionable recommendations to GSA’s Board of Directors for short-term outcomes to increase diversity and inclusion among the membership of GSA.

As established by GSA President Kathryn Hyer, MPP, PhD, FGSA, FAGHE, this ad hoc committee will review existing and suggest new internal policies and practices that should be implemented—to both improve the organization’s ability to meet the needs of its members and to bolster the contributions the society can make for addressing the needs of older adults.

Additionally, longer-term strategic suggestions for how to increase the external societal impact will be welcomed as products from the working group.

Keith Whitfield, PhD, FGSA, a long-time Society member, will serve as chair.

“I am honored to serve in this capacity,” Whitfield says. “The working group is designed to address an important issue that I have committed my entire 30-year career to working to advance within GSA.”

The working group’s roster includes the following:

  • Keith Whitfield, PhD, FGSA, Wayne State University (Chair)
  • Adrienne Aiken-Morgan, PhD, North Carolina A&T State University
  • James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH, ScD (Hon), The Gerontological Society of America
  • Terri Harvath, PhD, RN, FGSA, University of California, Davis
  • Carl V. Hill, PhD, MPH, Alzhiemer’s Association
  • Yuri Jang, PhD, FGSA, University of Southern California
  • S. Michal Jazwinski, PhD, FGSA, Tulane University
  • Charles Mouton, MD, FGSA, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
  • Ronica Rooks, PhD, FGSA, University of Colorado, Denver
  • Tetyana Shippee, PhD, FGSA, University of Minnesota
  • Roland Thorpe, PhD, FGSA, Johns Hopkins University
  • Elizabeth Vasquez, DrPH, University at Albany
  • Robert Weech-Maldonado, PhD, FGSA, University of Alabama at Birmingham

GSA has a tradition of supporting an inclusive environment in aging research, education, and practice. Since 1987, the organization has been guided by a Minority Issues in Gerontology Advisory Panel, which seeks to increase the quantity and quality of research related to minority aging issues and to attract minority members in Society activities and governance.

“The new working group is made up of committed GSA member leaders but the real hard work to produce change will be all Society members’ responsibility,” Whitfield says.

Source: Gerontological Society of America