NYCEAC@WCM STANDS AGAINST RACISM

In these extraordinary times, we bear witness to a significant and long-overdue response to America’s ingrained, ongoing, overt oppression of Black people.

We, the leaders, staff, and practitioners at the NYC Elder Abuse Center at Weill Cornell Medicine, extend our grief, our outrage, and our solidarity in condemning the murders of the countless Black lives that have been lost to racism. We recognize that these events speak to a more significant systemic racism that pervades American society, politics, systems, and culture. 

Systemic racism also impacts elder abuse. 

There is clear evidence that systemic racism results in health and economic disparities; internalized racism in individuals; wealth, housing and food insecurities; and distrust of institutions. All of these factors impact Black elders disproportionately and place them at greater risk of elder abuse. 

On June 15th, NYC Elder Abuse Center at Weill Cornell Medicine observed World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, renewing our commitment to raising awareness of elder abuse and acknowledging its status as a public health and human rights issue. 

Today is Juneteenth, the day commemorating the official abolition of slavery in Texas nearly 2 ½ years after the Emancipation Proclamation. On this day, we commit to leveraging our platform to give voice to the lived realities of Black people and to recognize leaders and organizations that are contributing to racial equity in elder justice through their work. We also commit to looking inwards to examine how the NYC Elder Abuse Center’s internal culture creates barriers to fulfilling our goal of a safe, just, and equitable society for all, and to take active steps to eliminate these barriers. 

All of us working for elder justice, in partnership together, can advance racial justice.

Black Lives Matter. Black Deaths Matter. Black Voices Matter. Black Thoughts Matter. Black Pain Matters. Black History Matters. 

In solidarity,  

NYCEAC leaders, staff, and practitioners

June 19th, 2020

To honor our commitment to advance racial equity within the elder justice space, the New York City Elder Abuse Center at Weill Cornell Medicine (NYCEAC@WCM) is launching an initiative to leverage its platform to give voice to the lived realities of Black elders and to recognize leaders and organizations that are contributing to racial equity in elder justice through their work.

This initiative centers on building knowledge to make change. Monthly posts will include research on the effects of systemic racism and cumulative trauma on Black people; interviews with community members who are advancing racial equity and healing; narratives illustrating the harms of systemic racism and strategies to address it; and more.

To join us in this work, please read Mistreatment of African American Elders, published by the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), and African American Older Adults and Race-Related Stress: How Aging and Health-Care Providers Can Help, published by the American Psychological Association (APA).

Mistreatment of African American Elders

“This Research to Practice Brief synthesizes…research findings related to understanding the mistreatment of African American elder, particularly involving financial exploitation and psychological abuse…Socioeconomic variables, such as poverty, institutionalized racism, and structural segregation also place African American elders at risk.”

http://eldermistreatment.usc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/ResearchToPracticeAfAm.pdf


African American Older Adults and Race-Related Stress: How Aging and Health-Care Providers Can Help

“Despite the vulnerability of African American older adults to the cumulative effect of race-related stressors, the dialogue has yet to focus on the physical and mental health impact of these stressors. Therefore, service providers in the aging and health-care fields need greater awareness, education, and training to competently address race-related stress in African-American older adults.”

https://www.apa.org/pi/aging/resources/african-american-stress.pdf

We hope you join us on our racial equity mission.