By Marit Peterson, Program Manager – The Minnesota Elder Justice Center
December 23, 2015
The Minnesota fieldscape in late autumn has a particular stark beauty: the rich darkness of the plowed-under earth, the moderating green of the ditch grass, the distant variegated strips of mist, trees and sky. I’ve always had a fondness for this particular landscape of my home state, and over the last year I’ve had the great pleasure of traveling over, around, across and to these parts of Minnesota through the seasons along with Amanda Vickstrom, my executive director.
We often travelled in Amanda’s car. It has a GPS navigation system, and the directions are delivered in a calm but persistent female voice: “in five hundred yards, turn right. IN FIVE HUNDRED YARDS, TURN RIGHT.” With the exception of one mysterious detour into the maze of a shopping center parking lot, the GPS-voice was a reliable navigator. But Amanda’s GPS wasn’t our only guidance on these trips; we had another map, one we came to rely upon even more profoundly: the Elder Justice Roadmap.
The purpose of our travel around Minnesota was to talk with elders and those who serve elders about elder justice. In particular, we were asking what should be included in new public awareness materials we were developing with the NCEA for rural and faith community audiences. Our conversations with people across the state were eye-opening for us. The regional and cultural nuances articulated by our neighbors, colleagues and friends that could impact the creation and use of good materials were as varied as the landscape; and in some cases, directly connected to the landscape itself. This openness was a remarkable gift, allowing us to design what we hope are materials reflecting the need for coordinated, holistic responses to elder abuse.
Guided as we were by the priorities of the Elder Justice Roadmap and the generous information-sharing by our partners around the state, we have created these new public awareness materials, designed to be used by non-professional or lay presenters for lay audiences. In the spirit of the season and the generosity of our partners to us, we now share these new toolkits with you! At this time of year, as we gather together with family and friends, we hope these materials might inspire conversations about safety, service and support to neighbors in need.
These presentation materials are designed for anyone to present, even a person newly aware of the topic. We hope you might consider passing this holiday gift along to others by making a presentation in your community!
The Minnesota Elder Justice Center thanks our collaborators, and wishes the happiest holiday season to all!
To access this new series of training curricula and materials, please visit the NCEA website here.