For Mindy Cheek, senior vice president at Greystone, diversity isn’t a corporate policy or a buzzword; it’s an integral part of daily life, and for those who have been victims of discrimination and hate, treating the need for diversity and inclusion as anything less misses the wider point about representation and dignity.
In this interview with Susan Ryan, Cheek explores the ways her personal experiences have informed her work as a senior living leader and vocal advocate for LGBTQ elders. As an openly gay woman who grew up in a conservative Texas town and initially struggled to accept her identity, Cheek feels a deep need to share her story with others – both in the hopes that others working through similar questions can feel less alone, and to expand everyone’s knowledge of the LGBTQ experience in America.
Cheek has brought that perspective to Greystone and organizations that support the needs of LGBTQ seniors, including the LGBT Aging Center and SAGE.
To close out Pride month, Cheek and Ryan discuss ways to foster true diversity within eldercare organizations; the significant hurdles that LGBTQ seniors – who came of age before Stonewall, gay marriage, and other landmarks in the march for gay rights – face when seeking compassionate, inclusive care and supports; and why creating diverse communities must be a priority for everyone, regardless of background or identity.
Explore the resources for LGBTQ elders in your community, and learn how to get involved with organizations such as the LGBT Aging Center and SAGE:
Learn how to become a volunteer education ambassador for LGBTQ elders: www.lgbtagingcenter.org/training/ambassadors.cfm
Watch Mindy Cheek’s TedX Talk: www.youtube.com/watch?v=jalrnKs0mYQ&t=40s
Learn more about The Green House Project: www.thegreenhouseproject.org
Register for GHP’s newest in-person and virtual event, DementiaVerse: thegreenhouseproject.org/events/dementiaverse