It began as a casual conversation that Janine, our founder, had with her daughters and son-in-law about how to bring generations together to talk about ageism. She’d been reading research that indicated that intergenerational connection and education are effective in reducing ageism.
Ageism, like other “isms”, can come from a lack of experience with people who are not like you. The mere act of sharing and listening can go a long way in changing minds. However, research also shows that most of us have few relationships outside our families with people who are not our age.
Ripe for intergenerational conversation
From that seed of an idea came On the same pAGE, a campaign to create intergenerational conversations. It first launched in fall 2019. The idea is simple: create opportunities for people from different generations to share and listen.
To start, the campaign’s goal was 100 conversations about ageism in 10 days. To make it easier, we developed a toolkit for hosts. The campaign drew worldwide attention from over 60 locations, including France, Italy, England, Canada, and Trinidad & Tobago. In this first round, over 600 people participated!
Adapting to 2020
Then came 2020. As a result of the pandemic, we couldn’t meet in person. Like everyone, we had to adapt. With ageism rising during the pandemic, we needed to connect more than ever. Plus, we didn’t want to lose the momentum.
So, we rebuilt the campaign around virtual meetings, including a new toolkit for hosts. We looked for new avenues to reach people when we could not come together in person.
- Summer 2020 – We launched the On same pAGE PBS12 series. There were six episodes covering topics relevant to all ages: Social Connection, Ageism, Future of Work, Technology, Health Equity, and Artists.
- Fall 2020 – We collaborated with Building Bridges to train volunteers to facilitate conversations about ageism, incorporating principles of diversity, equity and inclusion.
Gaining momentum in 2021
The conversation about ageism is growing. On March 18th, the World Heath Organization is launching an international campaign on ageism. We’re thrilled to announce that, as part of this campaign, we’re going to be launching another series of intergenerational conversations! (Join the WHO campaign launch event by registering here.)
Be a part of the conversation. To start, it is an engaging way for everyone to learn about ageism. Moreover, after a year of distancing, we need connection. Virtual conversations can be with anyone – peers, colleagues, friends, neighbors, loved ones. To get involved – as a participant, host or facilitator – sign up here.
Relationships often start with a conversation. Above all, we want to bring people together to share perspectives and listen with empathy, so that we can get past our biases. Each conversation is a stepping stone to breaking out of stereotypes and getting past ageism. Join the conversation and create a better future for all ages!