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Calling All Activists: The MEA Activist-in-Residence Program

With the Activist in Residence program, the Modern Elder Academy is offering activists an opportunity to amplify their voices while being nurtured in a healing environment.

In these extraordinary times, activists are all around us — putting energy, wisdom, heart and soul into changing the world. There are many themes in social justice today and the Modern Elder Academy (MEA), located in Baja California Sur, Mexico, is dedicated to changing the way the world views aging. Founded by visionary Chip Conley — co-host of AGEIST’s Happy Hour w/David Stewart — MEA has just announced their 2021 Activist in Residence (AIR) program to nurture, and to note, those who are in this conversation about aging with us, through dedication and service to their communities. Because activism can be exhausting, thankless, and deeply meaningful work, MEA will provide a healing environment for activists to restore and reflect, and an opportunity to amplify their voices, projects, and organizations. MEA’s AIR program is designed to recognize activists and introduce their work and wisdom to the global MEA community and beyond. 

AIR Honors and Supports Activists

MEA is the first-of-its-kind midlife wisdom school leading the conversation on transformative aging, intergenerational collaboration, and long life learning. Due to the pandemic, MEA had to postpone its weekly intensive academic programs and scholarships for the 2020-21 season. Swerving to a newly-designed educational experience in a more open-air environment at their oceanfront campus, Sabbatical Sessions allows MEA to continue safely serving guests, staff, and the local community. And, still committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, MEA is launching AIR to honor and support those who are doing the hard work of activism in their communities. A generous grant from the Association for Growth and Education (AGE) is empowering MEA to host eight activists during Sabbatical Sessions in 2021.

People may apply or nominate someone else. AIR applicants and nominees need not be academics, or formally attached to an organization. Starting grass roots projects, serving people hit hard by Covid and other disasters, or working with young people to help them understand the wisdom of older generations…it all counts. Successful applicants will demonstrate relevant community service, organizing, research, movement building, or related work experience, and an interest in responding to the needs of underserved communities, with ageism as a key focus, but not the only one, as MEA understands that age and other social causes often go hand in hand. Applications must be received by January 31, 2021. MEA will contact awardees via email and phone no later than February 28, 2021. Award recipients must respond and accept within one week of notification or the award will be offered to another applicant.

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