Adrienne Powell Ruffin, vice president, LTSS Center strategic initiatives for the LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston, wrote movingly last year about the experience of joining LeadingAge in 2001 and finding herself in a community of members that was almost exclusively white.
In her article, Building a Village at LeadingAge: Reflections on My DEI Journey, Ruffin describes the excitement she felt in joining a community whose love for and commitment to older adults matched her own experience in the African American community. But she also describes the sense of isolation and awkwardness she felt as she began working in a field where very few professionals looked like her.
Today, as aging services is gradually becoming more diverse, Ruffin describes new LeadingAge initiatives designed to create more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces among providers:
The HBCU-LTSS Careers Initiative, in which LeadingAge and the United Negro College Fund are developing collaborative partnerships between organizations representing the LTSS sector and institutions of higher education, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).