Civic Engagement in an
to the "Civic Engagement in an Older America" project
webpage. Here you will learn about efforts to advance research,
practice, and policy that support older adults as a civic resource.
This page contains the following information:
An overview of the "Civic Engagement in an
Older America" project
A link to the "Civic Engagement Resources"
Current project news
Civic Engagement E-Newsletter (the project's
more information on the project, please contact its director, Dr.
Greg O'Neill, at 202-408-3375 ext.123 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
is the project?
Gerontological Society of America (GSA) received a five-year grant
from the Atlantic Philanthropies in 2004 to advance research that
addresses civic engagement and aging. The primary purpose of the
“Civic Engagement in an Older America” project
is to produce and promote research that will contribute to the
development of more effective social institutions, programs, and
policies that will increase older adults’ civic participation.
the project has conducted a series of forums and focus groups
on civic engagement that informed the proceedings of the 2005
White House Conference on Aging. It also initiated a prestigious
paper award at GSA’s 2005 Annual Meeting, as well as a special
symposium on civic engagement.
the project is focused on creating a series of special publications—including
two issues of Public Policy & Aging Report and a
special edition of The Gerontologist. The project also
organized a symposium on "civic engagement and the gerontological
imagination" for GSA’s November 2006 meeting. Ultimately,
these efforts will culminate in a Congressional briefing based
on the findings of the project.
project is funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies. To learn more
about The Atlantic Philanthropies, as well as the other projects
on older adults' civic engagement that The Atlantic Philanthropies
Why is the
January 1, 2006, the first baby boomers turned 60 years of age.
They are the leading edge of the largest, healthiest, and best-educated
population of American adults ever. With many boomers on the verge
of retirement who are looking for ways to maintain meaningful
work throughout their later years, and with the ongoing need for
groups and individuals to address important social problems and
strengthen community life, a tremendous opportunity presents itself
to contemporary society: To more fully engage older adults as
a civic resource for addressing community needs through both paid
and unpaid work.
many adults express interest in civic engagement activities in
later life—such as formal volunteering or political organizing—and
while many organizations express interest in utilizing older adults
as a civic resource, a solid infrastructure for supporting older
adults’ community work has only begun to take form. Agency
leaders, researchers, policymakers, and citizens with a vested
interest in developing and implementing strategies to promote
civic engagement among older adults face many important questions,
such as, “What kind of programs and policies will improve
the ability of older adults to participate in civic life?”
and “How will women's labor force participation affect civic
gerontological research community plays a valuable role in addressing
these questions, by informing practioners' and policymakers' efforts
to create supports for older adults as a civic resource.
Who is leading the project?
project is led by Dr. Greg O’Neill, Director of the National
Academy on an Aging Society—the public policy division of
GSA. O’Neill has formulated an eight-person Expert Work
Group, whose members include:
Scott Bass: Distinguished Professor, Department of Sociology and
Anthropology, and Department of Public Policy, Dean of the Graduate
School and Vice Provost for Research & Planning, University
of Maryland-Baltimore County.
Laura Carstensen: Professor of Psychology, Director of the Life-Span
Development Laboratory, Stanford University
Marc Freedman: Founder and President of Civic Ventures and author
of the award winning book, Prime Time: How Baby Boomers Will
Revolutionize and Transform America
William A. Galston: Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, The Brookings
Phyllis Moen: McKnight Presidential Chair in Sociology at the
University of Minnesota, and author of It's About Time:
Couples and Careers
Rick Moody: Director of the Institute for Human Values in Aging
and Head of Academic Affairs at AARP
- Nancy Morrow-Howell: Ralph and Muriel Pumphrey Professor of
Social Work, George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington
University in St. Louis
Joseph Quinn: Professor of Economics and Dean, College of Arts
and Sciences, Boston College.
you know that...
legislation to support older adults' civic engagement was recently
passed by Congress?
...there are five other major initiatives on older adults' civic
engagement in the U.S. alone?
...major agencies have released dozens of reports regarding stakeholders'
views on civic engagement in an older America?
...there are regularly updated webpages with links to news media
content on civic engagement in later life?
out the National Academy on an Aging Society's Civic
Engagement Resources page to learn more.
at the 2005 White House Conference on Aging identified older adults'
volunteering and civic engagements as a top priority. Click
here to learn more about the White House Conference on Aging,
proceedings related to civic engagement, and how GSA's civic engagement
project served to influence the conference.
Gerontological Society of America's 2006
Annual Scientific Meeting in Dallas, Texas included sessions
about civic engagement in later life. Click here
for a guide to these sessions.
On May 8, 2007, GSA convened a workshop
on "Measures of Social Activity and Civic Engagement among
Older Americans." Click here
to view PowerPoint presentations.
Civic Engagement E-Newsletter informs readers about efforts to advance
research, programs, and policy that support older adults as a civic
The bimonthly e-newsletter highlights key developments related
to civic engagement in later life from a wide variety of sources,
including articles and reports circulating in the media, academy,
think tanks, private sector, government, and nonprofit organizations.
sign up for the e-newsletter, please send an email to email@example.com
with "Subscribe" in the subject line.
An archive of issues can be found here.