Village news

Village Featured in Sunday Chicago Tribune

Chris Sweda///The Chicago Tribune
September 18 | Featuring a beautiful photo of Village members Mel and Pam Washburn (by the Tribune’s Chris Sweda), a recent story in the Chicago Tribune discussed how older adults are using technology to thrive in their communities, and how the Village plays a part. The article begins: “Mel Washburn is a former firefighter, professor and litigation attorney. Whether fighting fires in a building, a classroom or the courtroom, he realized once he retired that 90% of his social life had revolved around work. “Washburn, 77, knew he needed to find a way to build a social network in retirement. Washburn also knew that he and his wife, Pam, 75, wanted to continue living independently in their own home. “He quickly learned that technology could play a vital role in accomplishing both goals. Early members of The Village Chicago, a membership-based organization whose purpose is to connect and improve the quality of life of Chicagoans over 50, the Washburns now socialize through both in-person and Zoom events. And they rely on technology to maintain a safe environment at home.” Read the entire article, written by John W. Bateman, on the Tribune site.

Village Recognizes Three Trailblazers in Building an Age-inclusive Society

September 2, 2022 – The Village Chicago, a vibrant community network supporting adults in navigating life after age 50, has named three Trailblazers – an author, an individual, and an organization – as part of its annual Trailblazers Awards. “These three recipients are helping to transform attitudes, change policy, and improve our health and wellbeing at every age,” said Darcy Evon, CEO of The Village Chicago. “They have shown outstanding leadership in building a fully age-integrated, inclusive society where everyone’s strengths are appreciated, respected, and utilized.” The three Trailblazers for 2022 are Dr. Becca Levy (author), Dr. Neelum Aggarwal (individual award), and the Jane Addams Senior Caucus (organizational award). (more…)

Village Op-Ed on Ageism in the Chicago Tribune

photo by Ira Nicolai//Getty Images
July 11, 2022 | The Chicago Tribune published an op-ed on ageism by Village CEO Darcy Evon and Tom Kuczmarski, co-founder of Chicago Innovation: “Here’s the thing about ageism. It’s not always malicious, but it hurts. Is there anyone who would say that we don’t want everyone, no matter what their age, to participate fully and to the best of their ability in American society? “Yet in this nation, the idea of living to your fullest potential seems to stop when a person is seen as “older.” Everyone is getting older — all day, every day. So where’s the logic in age bias, even if it’s well-meaning, against those of us who get older before we do?” Go to the Tribune’s site for the entire op-ed.

Volunteers are Central to the Spirit of the Village

April 30, 2022 | April is National Volunteer Month, and before it ends, the Village Chicago would like to thank the dozens of volunteers who contribute everyday to its purpose and goals.

“As a network of members, we’re driven by four guiding principles, all of which point to the centrality of volunteerism to our mission,” says Darcy Evon, CEO of the Village. The four principles are:
  1. Recognize and engage each person based on their unique strengths.
  2. Build a collaborative community where all can share their life experience.
  3. Never forget that everyone has something to teach and something to learn.
  4. Provide a sense of belonging through community.
“Most of our volunteers are members helping members, but we also engage members in serving those in the broader community,” says Darcy. “Furthermore, the Village engages many non-members who want to participate in the Village community.” (more…)

Ready to Watch: Our Thought Leader Event–Ageist, Racist? Who, Me?

March 15, 2022 | The Village Chicago is pleased to share a video of our recent Thought Leader event in which we explored identity, privilege, and the role of anti-racism in our efforts to dismantle ageism.

Titled “Ageist, Racist, Who, Me?” the video features Ashton Applewhite, an award-winning activist, author, and recipient of the Village’s Trailblazer Award in 2021. Her groundbreaking book, This Chair Rocks – A Manifesto Against Ageism, has helped catalyze a global movement to recognize and eliminate age discrimination. She was joined by Village Board Member Molly Matthias of Facing History and Ourselves, Chicago – an educational organization that uses lessons of history to challenge teachers and their students to stand up to bigotry and hate. (more…)

Join Us for a Community Conversation: Ageist? Racist? Who, Me?

February 23, 2022 | Village members and the general public are invited to join us for a free online event on Wednesday, March 2, at 5 PM (CT). Two thought leaders – activist and author Ashton Applewhite and Village board member Molly Mathias — will lead a candid exploration of identity, privilege, and the role of anti-racism in dismantling ageism. All audience members are encouraged to participate in this important conversation.

Ashton ApplewhiteAshton Applewhite is an award-winning activist, author, and recipient of the Village’s Trailblazer Award in 2021. Her groundbreaking book, This Chair Rocks – A Manifesto Against Ageism has helped catalyze a global movement to recognize and eliminate age discrimination. She co-founded Old School, a clearinghouse for anti-ageism resources, and her TED Talk, “Let’s End Ageism” appears on journalism site Stacker’s list of 50 essential civil rights speeches.

Molly Matthias is on the Village Chicago Board of Directors. She works for Facing History and Ourselves, Chicago – an educational organization that uses lessons of history to challenge teachers and their students to stand up to bigotry and hate. Prior to that she was Manager of Mentoring and Inclusion Programs at Chicago Innovation.

Please register for this free one-hour event by clicking here.      

Sponsor Home Instead Honors The Village Chicago

Home InsteadFebruary 22, 2022 | The Village Chicago is pleased to announce the receipt of a special grant from Home Instead as the Skokie franchise celebrates its twentieth anniversary of providing home care for older adults. The grant, designated for the Village’s unique Brain Health and Memory Loss program, was one of twenty awards that Home Instead distributed to organizations serving older adults as part of its celebratory “Twenty-for-Twenty” program.

“We are grateful for the recognition of our Brain Health and Memory Loss program,” said Darcy Evon, Chief Executive Officer of The Village Chicago. “It will support our person-centered, strengths-based approach to helping our members and their families.” “We are big fans of the Village, and appreciate its mission of enhancing the quality of life, and the value placed on the social engagement and well-being of the community,” said Michael Melinger, co-owner of Home Instead.

A Special, Intergenerational Valentine

February 14, 2022 | This past Valentine’s day, Illinois State Representative Margaret Croke asked The Village Chicago to share 100 gift bags made by children at the Play2Day childcare center in Lincoln Park. Each adorably decorated bag was unique, and contained candy and educational flyers from Rep. Croke’s office as well as KN95 masks contributed by the Village. Shown here is a resident of Chicago Methodist Senior Services Chicago, a partner of The Village Chicago, receiving his Valentine.

‘Musical Pen Pals’ Plays the Right Note

January 4, 2022 | From the Chicago Tribune: “From February through May, the Music Institute of Chicago paired 25 music students, age 6 to 18, with adults age 65 and over. Every other week, the pairs met to share music and conversation. Victor Ribadeneyra, director of community engagement for the Music Institute, credits the school’s President and CEO Mark George with coming up with the concept for this program. “We have an initiative at Music Institute of Chicago called Music as Service,” Ribadeneyra explained. “The goal is to serve anyone who doesn’t have access to music.” He said that means playing music for seniors who are isolated, at soup kitchens and at homeless shelters, among other locations. “The older adults were selected through a group called Senior Connections, which is part of Chicago Methodist Senior Services. Then we got a grant from the RRF Foundation for Aging that allowed us to expand the program.” That grant made it possible for the music institute to partner with five social service agencies to locate seniors for the program: Highland Park Senior Center, North Shore Senior Center in Northfield, Senior Connections in Evanston, The Village Chicago in Lincoln Park and Westminster Place in Evanston.” Click here to read more.

Where Is the Affordable Housing for Older Adults? A Thought Leaders Panel

December 8, 2021 | Last week, The Village Chicago hosted a Thought Leaders Panel on the topic of affordable housing. The housing crisis impacts individuals and families across the income spectrum. A panel of experts discussed strategies that can remove the barriers to finding a home in a livable, engaged community and how we can all help.

Panelists included: Earl L. Chase, Executive Director and VP of Heartland Housing; Gail Schechter, Executive Director of H.O.M.E.; Britta Larson, Senior Services Director at the Center on Halsted; and Donald Bell, Housing Justice Field Organizer at Jane Addams Senior Caucus. The discussion is moderated by Callie Alton, Director of Membership & Engagement for The Village Chicago. Click below to view the recording of this live event, OR copy and paste this link to share with friends, families, and colleagues who wish to learn more about this important topic:

To learn more about the panelists and resources on affordable housing, click here to view a supplementary guide.

The Village Chicago Has Support for Family Caregivers

October 20, 2021 | November is National Family Caregivers Month and National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. While supporting caregivers and individuals with memory care and brain health needs are part of the Village Chicago’s mission year-round, throughout November The Village Chicago will present a series of free events via Zoom featuring leading experts with new insights and information on family care-giving.
Village CEO Darcy Evon says, “The role of the family caregiver has never been more essential or more in demand. In addition to spouses and siblings, a new “sandwich generation” of Millennials and Gen X need all the help they can get managing children, work, and aging parents. The Village Chicago stands ready to help with events such as these and our ever-expanding support services for family caregivers.” CLICK HERE to read the full press release.

Tom Kuczmarski, Town Hall Apartments and Ashton Applewhite Selected as The Village Chicago’s 2021 Trailblazer Award Recipients

August 2, 2021 | The Village Chicago is excited to announce the recipients of the 2021 Trailblazer Awards, which recognize outstanding achievement and extraordinary leadership in changing the narrative on aging. The awards will be presented September 21 at our annual benefit: “It’s the New Roaring ’20s!”

Trailblazers are individuals, organizations and authors who shatter stereotypes about aging and show that the decades of life after 50 are vital, engaging, productive and fulfilling.

Board President Karen Terry noted, “We are living in a time when working together toward common goals has taken on existential importance. What’s at stake now is our city, our country, our planet. Through their work, these Trailblazers have demonstrated the immense benefits of a fully age-integrated, inclusive society where everyone’s strengths are appreciated, respected, and utilized.” CLICK HERE to learn more about our Trailblazer Award recipients!

From left: A portrait of Tom Kuczmarski, an image of Town Hall Apartments from the street, a portrait of Ashton Applewhite From left: Tom Kuczmarski, Town Hall Apartments and Ashton Applewhite (image of Ashton Applewhite courtesy of Adrian Buckmaster)

Chicagoland Villages Collaborative Launch Aging Brain & Body Series

April 22, 2021 | Chicagoland Villages are working together to provide quarterly seminars that educate, bring awareness, and highlight the exceptional work at the leading dementia research centers being done related to brain and body health. The purpose of this series is to provide our community with information, interventions, techniques and tools that support us all at various levels of mental and physical health and wellness. Participating Villages include Chicago Hyde Park Village, South Loop Village, Skyline Village Chicago, and The Village Chicago.

The first event launched the series on April 15, 2021 with Connecting Through Communication for Families and Friends of Persons with Dementia, featuring Dr. Angela Roberts. In this talk, Dr.  Roberts covers how cognitive changes affect conversation and social communication; the importance of communication as a form of connecting with persons who have cognitive impairment/dementia; and strategies for creating and maintaining connections through engaging activities and effective/meaningful conversations with persons who have dementia.

See below to view the recording OR copy and paste this link to share with friends, families, and colleagues who wish to learn more about this important topic:

Future of Work Hosts Dr. Rao Kotamarthi on Mitigating Climate Change

March 17, 2021 | Whether you missed the live event on March 10, or want to share it with others, please enjoy this recording of Mitigating Climate Change and Its Impact on the Future of Work, featuring guest speaker Dr. Rao Kotamarthi! Dr. Kotamarthi – Chief Scientist & Department Head for Argonne National Laboratory’s Atmospheric Science and Climate Research Group – has nearly 30 years of experience in climate research. He is Principal Investigator for projects ranging from climate modeling to wind energy for the Department of Energy’s Environmental Research Office. He led teams of climate scientists who analyzed the climate change impacts on Department of Defense installations and assessed the climate change vulnerabilities of lifeline infrastructure systems — transportation, power, water/wastewater, and telecommunications. He authored the soon to be published book, Downscaling Techniques for High Resolution Climate Projections – From Global Change to Local Impacts, published by Cambridge University Press, UK. In his presentation recorded below, Dr. Rao Kotamarthi discusses how innovations and President Biden’s plan should mitigate climate change and impact the future of work. He also shares what jobs these initiatives might create and/or eliminate, how future jobs may change and what we as individuals can do to help. Click the image below to view the recording OR copy and paste the link to share with friends, families, and colleagues who wish to learn more about this important topic:   Mitigating Climate Change and Its Impact on the Future of Work Featuring Dr. Rao Kotamarthi from The Village Chicago on Vimeo.

Our 2020 Annual Report is Here!

March 8, 2021 | The Village Chicago 2020 Annual Report (click here to view the PDF) features our successes and underscores our comprehensive response to the pandemic. Some of the highlights include our new brain health and memory loss program, expanded opportunities for social connection to reduce isolation and loneliness, and increasing diversity, inclusion and equity in our community. We also recognize our broad community of donors, partners, collaborators, members, family and friends who helped the Village have a remarkable year. Please enjoy the report, and if you would like to help older adults and join our efforts, you can donate here.

The 2020 Village Annual Report
Designed by friend of the Village, Kathy Krick (2021)

Back to the top