Samuel Gresham, Jr., a member of the Executive Council for AARP Ohio, who introduces the speakers for our broadcast explains at the opening of the program:
“I’ve spent much of my life seeking to improve our communities through my work in a variety of roles with the Columbus Urban League and the Ohio Commission on African American Males and through many volunteer endeavors, including AARP Ohio. I invite you to join me for a very special program highlighting some exceptional people.”
Now imagine yourself sitting on a porch, speaking with someone you’ve admired – perhaps a family member, a community leader or a national figure – about what inspires and motivates them, about key moments in their life, and about joy, and pain.
Most of us have memories like this, overhearing a grandparent or parent talking about a decisive moment when they were a child, or talking about what their dreams were for life. These moments connect us to our personal history and help us to better understand ourselves and our community.
It’s not that AARP magically understands what older Americans want and need.
It’s that people tell us. And we listen. We honor those voices. We learn from them constantly.
You tell us that for all our differences, most of us share important values and goals for ourselves and our families.
You tell us that you look forward to many years of life, filled with friendship, family, and strong connections to our communities.
You tell us that you want our political leaders to roll up their sleeves and solve problems in a unified spirit, for the good of the country.
You tell us that no matter where you live, who you vote for or how much money you have, we all want a better world for children and grandchildren.
We want to continue to grow and learn.
AARP gets it.
Maya Angelou said: “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
For this program, we sought to capture and preserve the voices of African-Americans ages 50 and over from across Ohio.
In the end, we spoke with more than 20 African Americans of varied ages and life experiences — our youngest is 12 and our most experienced is 88. Their personal reflections about the things they value and appreciate, and the things they have overcome, will inform and inspire.
AARP’s members are the soul of AARP.
Some work minor miracles each and every day to help their loved ones or neighbors. Others reinvent themselves, launching new careers, starting businesses, discovering new interests, and holding on to their dreams – really, people in many different stages of life’s journey.
We are comprised of hard-working folks in their 50s and 60s, on the job every day, thinking about their future, trying to save for retirement, a lot of them still helping their kids with everyday expenses – including college bills.
We are comprised of people of great wisdom and experience, in their 70’s, 80’s and 90s who are still on the go, devoted to their friends and families, their communities, and their interests.
Patriotic Americans who want to give something back to their communities.
If you want to find out more about AARP Ohio, please give us a call at 866-389-5653 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or write us a letter. We’ll read it with care. We want to know what’s on your mind.
Please remember: AARP is ready to be your partner. With your help, we can make better lives. With your help, we can make a better world.