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April 15, 2013

American Planning Association’s National Planning Conference

The following is a guest post by Serena Worthington, Director of Community Advocacy and Capacity-Building at SAGE.

I am looking forward to presenting at the American Planning Association’s (APA) National Planning Conference in Chicago tomorrow. Because what I know about urban planning I learned from Bette Midler on Charlie Rose (I was surprised as anyone to learn that Ms. Midler has a deep passion for urban planning), I had to ask, “What is planning?”

According to the APA website, “Planning, also called urban planning or city and regional planning, is a dynamic profession that works to improve the welfare of people and their communities by creating more convenient, equitable, healthful, efficient, and attractive places for present and future generations.”

The APA has a strong commitment to diversity inclusion going back to 1978 when they first began awarding scholarships to minorities. In 1998, they created a Gays and Lesbians in Planning Division. They also have planning divisions devoted to women, the Black Community, Indigenous People, and planning in the Gulf Coast of the United States (post Hurricane Katrina), China and Latin America. Some of their materials are translated into Spanish and Mandarin.

Our session, Addressing the Needs of LGBT Seniors, will examine obstacles frequently faced by LGBT elders and ways to overcome them. As the description for our session points out, “seniors in the LGBT community face a unique, and significant, set of obstacles to aging comfortably, including discrimination, lack of certain legal protections, and an absence of a family support system.” Together with my co-panelists, we will “examine current trends in addressing the needs of LGBT seniors as well as innovative programs and services to help them age in place.”

I’m co-presenting with some great people: Tony LaColla, Senior Planner, American Institute of Certified Planners; Britta Larson, Senior Services Director, Center on Halsted; and Joy Silver, Principle/CEO/President, RainbowVision Properties, Inc.

If you are tweeting from the conference, I would love to know your Twitter handle. Follow me at @SAGE_serena where I’ll be sending out updates using #apa13!


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It really looks very interesting session which I think covers very unique and significant problems points about LGBT community .

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