Dr. Kelly G. Fitzgerald has a Master of Science and Ph.D. in Gerontology from the University of Massachusetts Boston (UMB) and a Master of Public Administration from Georgia State University. Currently she is an Adjunct Professor in the Erickson School of Aging Studies at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), Associate Lecturer for the Management of Aging Services (Master of Science) program at UMB, and Graduate Faculty member at Western Kentucky University (WKU) where she teaches online graduate and undergraduate gerontology courses and supports various research projects. She has also developed and conducted several research and training projects for various governmental and non-governmental (NGO) organizations.
Since 2012, Dr. Fitzgerald has represented the International Federation on Ageing at the United Nations (UN) in Geneva. In May 2014 she was elected as Vice-Chair of the UN NGO Committee on Ageing in Geneva and continues to serve in this position.
Dr. Fitzgerald has a broad interest in aging topics and has been active with several different organizations. A few examples include supporting the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Network for Age-friendly Cities and Communities, serving as Chair for the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education’s (AGHE) Global Aging Committee, and is an AGHE Fellow and a Gerontological Society of America (GSA) Fellow. Her research, training, and publications focus mainly on disasters and older adults, age-friendly cities, refugees, and ageism.
Addressing Ageism and Ensuring Older People’s Rights: An Agenda for Global Education and Training
Dr. Dana Burr Bradley is the Dean of the Erickson School of Aging Studies and a Professor in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Public Health at UMBC. She completed her Ph.D. from Carnegie-Mellon University as a Rockefeller Foundation Humanities Fellow and has worked extensively on long-term care, generational and longevity economy policy issues. Most recently she has worked in collaboration with the WHO on strategies to make communities both age-friendly and great places to retire. Before joining UMBC, she was affiliated with WKU, Duke University, and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where she directed transformative and strategic change initiatives for non-profit organizations focusing on leadership and policy challenges in an aging society. A fellow of GSA and AGHE, Dr. Bradley says that leadership, which means suggesting “the possible” and crafting an environment of “the probable,” is important to her. She has served as the Past President of the Southern Gerontological Society, Treasurer of AGHE, Secretary of GSA and is currently Chair-Elect of AGHE.
Dr. Helen Barrie has a Ph.D. in Human Geography and Honours in Social Policy. She is a Senior Research Fellow in The Australian Alliance for Social Enterprise (TAASE) at the University of South Australia. She is the immediate Past National President of the Australian Association of Gerontology, where she was a national board and committee member for over 12 years. Her research has a focus on global and national trends in changing populations and the implications of this for society and communities. Much of this work involves an examination of population diversity; the interaction between people and the built environment, and community connectedness and social networks; all with a particular focus on ageing populations.
Dr. Barrie’s most recent work explores how the built environment, especially green and public spaces, influence ageing well. This includes exploring housing choices such as retirement village living, vertical communities, inner city ageing, and international comparisons of age friendly cities. Her research often includes using innovative approaches such as citizen science, geographic information system (GIS) and spatial analysis of social issues, ‘go-along’ interviews, or photovoice.
Kelly G. Fitzgerald, IFA Representative to the United Nations, University of Maryland Baltimore County, United States
Dana Burr Bradley, University of Maryland Baltimore County, United States
Helen Barrie, University of South Australia, Australia
Global movements advocating for better standards for human rights of older persons are gaining attention. Ensuring that the rights of older persons are promoted and respected is essential. However, education and training programs often lack a focus on the rights of older persons. By educating providers and policy makers to use a rights-based approach to care and support of older people, ageism, other discriminations, and abuse can be eliminated. The rights of older persons can therefore be realized while ensuring diversity, strengthening inclusion, and providing a platform for their voice in aging policies, programs, and services.
This workshop will consist of three parts: 1) an introduction to the topic of using a rights-based approach in education and training, 2) examples of two case studies, and 3) roundtable discussions in which the aim is for participants to gain and share valuable information and make connections in order to facilitate rights-based training within their own work settings.
To help guide the later discussion, the workshop will open with a brief introduction to why including a rights-based approach in education and training is vital. Two examples of how this can be accomplished will follow. The first example will focus on a university institution and how it incorporates a rights-based approach in a global aging graduate certificate program. The second example is an introduction of how a two-week train-the-trainer program for a global NGO addressed rights and how to have a rights-based approach in training NGOs that work with and for older people.
The second part of the workshop is organized into round table discussions in which the participants will respond to several questions posed by the workshop moderator. Through these discussions, participants will have the opportunity to (a) share best practices and lessons learned in education and training programs, (b) identify needs in education and training in a global and cultural context, and (c) explore ways to potentially collaborate with other participants to contribute to a rights-based education and training program.
We challenge you to help eliminate ageism by joining us in this timely discussion about how to bring about change and ensure older persons’ rights are advocated for and globally respected.