NYC to introduce pilot program on ageism for high schoolers

NYC to introduce pilot program on ageism for high schoolers

New York City officials are launching a new effort to curb discrimination against the city’s oldest residents — by educating some of its youngest.

A pilot curriculum jointly operated by the city’s Department for the Aging and Department of Education will introduce the concept of “ageism” to students at 13 Brooklyn high schools, with the goal of eventually expanding citywide.

Creators of the new pilot program say young people are uniquely positioned to learn about the harmful effects of age discrimination because they may have experienced a version of it themselves.

“If you see how you are marginalized and disenfranchised and hurt” by ageism, said Department for the Aging Commissioner Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez, “you would think about doing that to someone else.”

The goal of the pilot program, she added, is to bring “the two bookends of our city, the youth and older adults … in conversation.”

The city’s Department for the Aging has for years been searching for ways to spread awareness about ageism, which Cortés-Vázquez defines as discrimination based on age that can “disenfranchise” and “marginalize” its targets, while keeping them “economically disadvantaged.”

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