AARP Connecticut’s Efforts to Engage Our Latino and Hispanic Residents
By Nora Duncan
The objective of AARP is to help people live their best lives. It’s in our mission statement: AARP enhances the quality of life for all as we age. We champion positive social change and deliver value through advocacy, information and service. And it’s also a part of AARP’s vision: A society in which all people live with dignity and purpose, and fulfill their goals and dreams.
AARP Connecticut’s membership and volunteer group is not reflective of the state’s 540,000 Latino and Hispanic residents. It must be so for us to have a positive impact on the causes and concerns of the Latinos and Hispanics who call Connecticut home. Awareness about all of the tools and programs AARP offers in the community is low. To help the state’s vibrant and growing Latino and Hispanic population access news they can use, AARP Connecticut has expanded its Spanish-language content online, on the air and at local events. Some of the outreach includes:
- Launched an AARP Connecticut Spanish-language blog with relevant national and local news and posts from our Latino and Hispanic volunteers: www.aarp.org/espanolCT.
- Sponsored the Bridgeport Democratic Mayoral Primary Candidate Debate with the Greater Bridgeport Latino Network last summer.
- Partnered with the Connecticut Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission to recruit bilingual volunteers for community outreach.
- Sponsored a Connecticut Latina Leadership Conference with the Association of Latino Professionals for America and the Hispanic Federation.
- Increased media outreach to tell the story of AARP’s Spanish-speaking volunteers in the community and provide access to information and materials that are important for Latinos and Hispanics.
- Will sponsor the Latinas and Power one-day conference for the third consecutive year on May 19.
Those are a few recent examples of AARP Connecticut’s efforts to engage our Latino and Hispanic residents and develop a group of volunteers that can be the voice of the community and accurately reflect its needs.
AARP Connecticut’s priority is helping all of our state residents age 50+ be the very best they can be. Through our legislative advocacy, we focus on critical issues that affect them, such as Social Security, financial security (retirement), protection against unfair utility rate increases, safe driving programs and family caregiving services and supports.
Connecticut has the 18th largest Latino and Hispanic population in the United States and the 15th largest Latino statewide eligible voter population, according to Pew Research Center. Your successes, concerns and struggles are important to the growth and development of Connecticut. AARP Connecticut is teaming up with Latino organizations and media outlets to give you a voice and provide information that is relevant to you.
There is a Chinese Proverb that sums up our future ambitions in your community: If your vision is for a year, plant wheat. If your vision is for ten years, plant trees. If your vision is for a lifetime, plant people.
We want to be a part of your community and we welcome any suggestions, feedback and invitations to participate in organized events we may not be aware of quite yet. If you are interested in bringing free AARP programs to your community or are interested in becoming an AARP volunteer, please contact us. We can also be reached via email in Spanish or English.
For more information, or to provide us with feedback, please contact us toll-free at 866-295-7279 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nora Duncan is the state director for AARP Connecticut.