Disrupt Disparities is a multi-year initiative aimed at bringing systematic and policy change for older adults of color in Illinois. In its first year, the collaboration between AARP Illinois, Asian Americans Advancing Justice |Chicago, the Chicago Urban League and The Resurrection Project identifies challenges and advocates for policy solutions in the areas of economic security, health and connectivity.

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Why We Need Change

Our Current Landscape

Illinois is at a turning point. While the total state population is shrinking, it continues to age and diversify. More than 34 percent of the state population of Illinois is above the age of 50 and continues to age. Of Illinoisans above the age of 50, more than a third are African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino, or Asian American/Pacific Islander. In large population centers, such as suburban Cook County and Chicago, one-half to two-thirds of older adults are of color.

About Our Study

Focusing On Older Communities of Color

Yet even with these changing demographics, there has been little study of the experiences and needs of African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino, and Asian American/Pacific Islander older adults in Illinois and the public policy responses to the needs and challenges of these communities. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the devastating effects of the pandemic on older adults in particular, the need to focus on these older communities of color is more paramount than ever.

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Who we are

our partner organizations

Given these changing demographics and growing challenges, AARP, in partnership with collaborating organizations Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Chicago, Chicago Urban League, SAGE, and The Resurrection Project, engaged Loyola University Chicago’s Center for Urban Research & Learning to conduct a literature review and analysis of the existing research and data focused on African American/ Black, Hispanic/Latino, and Asian American/Pacific Islander older adults in Illinois.

Next Steps

Ways we can create Change

This resulting report focuses on the issues of economic security, health and digital connectivity for older adults of color in communities. We have outlined first-step policy recommendations that should be taken at the state and local level to begin to address these challenges for older adults of color.

Staying mentally active and engaged in their senior years
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IT'S A Beginning

We're Just getting Started

This report and policy recommendations are just the beginning of a multiyear effort to create systemic policy changes on behalf of, and with, African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino, and Asian American/ Pacific Islander older adults in Illinois. The goal is to create an Illinois where older adults across communities can age with the economic stability, health care resources and digital connectivity they need to lead healthy, stable and rewarding lives.