Building a Movement for Aging Equity in Illinois: The Journey of Illinois Aging Together - Health & Medicine Policy Research Group

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Building a Movement for Aging Equity in Illinois: The Journey of Illinois Aging Together 

February 8, 2024

In the landscape of public health and social justice, the Illinois Aging Together campaign stands out as a beacon of progress and commitment to aging equity. Launched in 2021, this campaign marks a significant step forward in ensuring that individuals across Illinois can live and age well, embracing a life course perspective that champions health and well-being at every stage of life. 

Foundations of the Campaign 

Illinois Aging Together emerged from recognizing the need for a comprehensive, equitable approach to aging. It began with an aim to catalyze change and foster an environment where we can all age well throughout life. This initiative is part of a broader national movement for states to adopt multi-sector plans for aging. 

Strategic Action and Legislative Efforts 

Central to the campaign’s efforts is seeking to have Illinois’ government develop, adopt, and implement a Strategic Action Plan for Aging Equity, tailored to address the unique needs and challenges faced by Illinois’ diverse aging population. In pursuit of legislative support for these goals, the “Aging Equity Act” was introduced in 2022 and once again in 2023. This piece of legislation, if passed, would promote the campaign’s mission to embed equity into the fabric of aging policy and practice across the state. 

Collaborative Learning and Nationwide Support 

Illinois Aging Together’s commitment to cross-sector collaboration is evident in its participation in a national learning collaborative focused on multi-sector plans for aging. This collaborative effort has not only amplified the impact of the campaign; it has also provided insights and best practices from across the nation. 

A Broad Coalition of Support 

The campaign’s vision has resonated widely, garnering support from 163 organizations that span a diverse array of sectors including housing, social justice, healthcare, homecare, and education. This broad base of support underscores the universal importance of aging equity and reflects a collective commitment to ensuring that all individuals can age with dignity and respect. 

Engagement and Outreach 

A key component of the Illinois Aging Together campaign has been its extensive engagement efforts across the state. Through hosting over 100 information sessions, presentations, and roundtable discussions, the campaign has both disseminated its message and listened to and learned from communities often underrepresented in aging policy discussions. These roundtables and discussions have been instrumental in building meaningful relationships and ensuring that the campaign’s strategies are informed by the needs and experiences of all Illinois residents. 

Looking Forward 

As Illinois Aging Together continues to evolve and expand, its focus remains steadfast on creating a future where aging equity has become a reality. The campaign’s ongoing efforts to advocate for legislative support, engage diverse stakeholders, and implement a strategic action plan for aging equity are paving the way for transformative change. Through collaboration, advocacy, and a deep commitment to equity, Illinois Aging Together is shaping a future where all of us in Illinois can age with dignity. 

As the campaign moves forward, we invite individuals and organizations alike to join in its mission, contributing to a movement that promises a brighter, more equitable future for all who call Illinois home. Sign on here.