15 Innovators Solving Problems and Bridging Generational Divides

15 Innovators Solving Problems and Bridging Generational Divides

Our newest Innovation Fellows are fighting for racial and environmental justice, empowering immigrant communities, healing trauma, registering young people to vote, reducing ageism and loneliness, and more.  And they’re all using cogeneration — bringing older and...

Beyond Passing the Torch

Beyond Passing the Torch

I’m pleased to share a new report, Beyond Passing the Torch: Recommendations on Leveraging Age Diversity to Build a Stronger Democracy Now — a landscape analysis of 25 civic organizations. Its goal: to document and learn from their cross-generational activities and...

Serena Bian and Ernest Gonzales Join CoGenerate’s Board

These Encore Public Voices Fellows are deeply committed to bringing generations together for mutual benefit and social impact.

By | Oct 12, 2022

Last year, Serena Bian and Ernest Gonzales became Encore Public Voices Fellows, a group of more than 60 activists and experts working with Encore.org and The OpEd Project to shape public conversation at the intersection of aging, longevity, intergenerational connection and social justice.

This year, both will be members of CoGenerate’s Board of Directors.

Serena Bian, an expert on loneliness and connection, is a mid-20s, Chinese-American Michigander focused on building intergenerational unity across America, both locally and nationally.

She was recruited by U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to conduct research for his New York Times bestselling book, Together: The Healing Power of Social Connections, where her own story of loneliness, solitude, and leadership is featured. More recently, she is helping lead and shape the Office of the Surgeon General’s work addressing loneliness, community, and connection, with a focus on cultural and systems change.

Serena also launched the Biden campaign’s Communities United program, a national effort to spark direct action across hundreds of American neighborhoods for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris while building lasting social infrastructure amongst communities.

Ernest Gonzales — a scholar in the areas of productive aging (employment, volunteering, and caregiving), health equity, discrimination and social policy — is an associate professor and director of the MSW Program at NYU Silver School of Social Work, and director of The Center for Health and Aging Innovation.

Ernest and his team at New York University’s Center for Health and Aging Innovation launched an intergenerational housing program in 2018 to promote housing and economic security among graduate students and older adults, reduce social isolation, and foster cross-generational cohesion. The program — which reflects the university’s efforts to bolster college affordability, and prioritize equity and aging — intentionally recruits first-generation students, racial and ethnic minorities, women, and individuals who live alone to share housing.

Dr. Gonzales is a first-gen Latinx gerontologist. His early life experiences growing up in El Paso, Texas with his loving maternal grandparents, parents, and uncles, inspired him to study how we age in a society that aspires for justice and equity but practices systemic racism, sexism, homophobia, and ageism.

Ernest’s research has been supported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institute on Aging, U.S. Social Security Administration, AARP Foundation, The Eisner Foundation, Fan Fox and Samuels Foundation, and other public and private funders.