“Movements need people. (That would be you),” writes anti-ageism activist Ashton Applewhite. “Movements need purpose. (To make the world a better place in which to grow old. And, while we’re at it, to be young, or have a disability, or be queer or non-rich or non-white.) And movements need tools.”
OldSchool.info, Ashton’s collaboration with pro-aging activists Ryan Backer and Kyrié Carpenter (that’s us!), has all three: passionate people, an important purpose, and a unique set of tools. It’s a clearinghouse of free and carefully vetted resources to educate people about ageism and help dismantle it. Our goal is to catalyze a movement to make ageism – discrimination on the basis of age– as unacceptable as other kinds of prejudice.
A “clearinghouse of anti-ageism resources” isn’t the sexiest phrase, so we were delightedly surprised by the enthusiastic reception when OldSchool launched last summer. We’ve heard from all kinds of people—from the general public to people in aging services, from teachers and artists to administrators and activists—that the site fills a real need.”OldSchool.info exposes ageism’s toxic effects, and impresses with the magnitude of those dynamic individuals and organizations who fuel the anti-ageism movement,” wrote Wendl Kornfeld, a member of NYC Gray Panthers and the Radical Age Movement (both of which are listed under organizations on OldSchool.)
The OldSchool team has been hard at work and now there is a much more expansive and interactive site which just launched with:
- Robust search! (We’re sort of surprised no one called us out for launching without it, and now there’s a lot more to search for.)
- Double the Resources. A big thanks to all of you who made submissions.
- New Sections: PODCASTS and CAMPAIGNS, including global anti-ageism initiatives that launched in 2018.
- Rating, Commenting, and Contact. Now you can rate individual resources, leave a comment, and contact the creators.
- Seamless submission form makes it easy to submit an anti-ageism resource of any type.
OldSchool is chock full of amazing resources and growing all the time.
Would a handout of “fast facts” about ageism come in handy? See B Stigma-Free’s handsome poster & handout. Podcast junkie? Give The Big Middle’s exploration of longer midlife a listen. Are you a parent or a grandparent? Find a curated catalog of pro-aging children’s books on the A is for Aging blog. Interested in the intersection of ageism and sexism? Read Look Me In the Eye, Old Woman, the book that got there first. How about an irresistible three-minute animation, Imagine A World Without Ageism, that covers a remarkable amount of ground? Or perhaps you need a public speaker? Elizabeth White addresses the financial crisis facing millions of older Americans.
“Older people can be the most ageist of all,” Ashton points out, “because we’ve had a lifetime of absorbing ageist messages without realizing it. And unless we stop to question them, they become part of our identity. That’s internalized ageism.” We can’t challenge bias unless we’re aware of it, so the first essential step is to examine our own attitudes towards age and aging. It’s not easy, so we need tools. Use Harvard University’s “Project Implicit” to calculate your own level of implicit age bias about aging. (Spoiler alert: we’re all ageist.) Or think about how you use the words “young” and “old” and whether age actually has anything to do with the feeling or attribute you’re describing.
The Old School Clearinghouse belongs to everyone and is an ongoing, evolving collaboration. Noodle around. Think of something that belongs here? Use the new streamlined “Submit” form to send it our way. See something we’re missing? Create it and tell us about it. “OldSchool.info is a game changer,” says Marlene Krasovitsky, Director of Australia’s EveryAGE Counts anti-ageism campaign. “It allows those of us working to change the culture of aging to connect, learn from each other, and build on each other’s efforts.” Yes, yes, yes.