Advocates for African American Elders is supported by the USC Edward R. Roybal Institute on Aging within the USC School of Social Work and a grant from The California Wellness Foundation.
The AAAE logo is an Adinkra symbol (West Africa) called “wisdom knot.” It is a symbol of wisdom, ingenuity, intelligence and patience. It conveys the idea that “a wise person has the capacity to choose the best means to attain a goal. Being wise implies broad knowledge, learning and experience, and the ability to apply such faculties to practical ends.
About Advocates for African American Elders
Advocates for African American Elders is an outreach and engagement partnership of academic, governmental, nonprofit, and community groups whose aim is to help African American seniors in Los Angeles advocate for their health and mental health needs. As well as catalyzing general advocacy efforts to improve the delivery of health services for African American communities in Los Angeles County, AAAE seeks to strengthen collaboration between agencies and community organizations, develop training programs and mental health interventions specifically tailored for African American seniors, and increase health literacy.
The formation of AAAE is timely because by 2050, the number of African Americans age 65 and older will more than triple nationwide. Consequently, the percentage of chronic health conditions (e.g., hypertension, diabetes, obesity), mental health disorders (e.g., depression), Alzheimer’s disease and dementia will also increase. Despite growing numbers of Black seniors, many existing programs and services are unable to effectively serve them due, in part, to the difficulty of identifying, outreaching and engaging those who need services the most. The increased need for services and significant decrease in funding for older adult services clearly points to the need for greater advocacy, outreach, engagement and culturally competent services.
To engage African American elders in enhancing their quality of life through advocacy, education and increasing access to community resources.