A Message from Megan Walton and Southern Maine Agency on Aging

As an Agency on Aging, SMAA’s mission is to serve older adults, adults with disabilities, and their caregivers. Since SMAA’s inception under the Older Americans Act in 1965, OAA services are required to serve older adults with the greatest social or economic need. The term “greatest social need’’ refers to need caused by non-economic factors, which include: (a) physical and mental disabilities; (b) language barriers; and (c) cultural, social, or geographical isolation, including isolation caused by racial or ethnic status (National Center on Law and Elder Rights).

In order for SMAA to do this work well, we must continually engage in conversation, learning and action. To this end, we aim to build a future that champions diversity, equality, inclusion, empathy, and justice.

We believe in a just, equitable and inclusive world when it comes to caring for older adults, adults with disabilities, and their caregivers. Our approach is the following:

  • Listen to voices of people in our community and those voices that have been historically marginalized. We need to listen so we can become stronger allies.
  • Learn about our own biases and examine our processes and practices. We will educate our staff  and volunteers. We have started to compile a list of resources here.
  • Act: We will continue to update our own practices and policies through the work of our DEI Committee. And we will proactively seek out opportunities to support communities of color in our region. If you have ideas, we welcome you to connect with us.

As an Agency dedicated to serving older adults and adults with disabilities, we must show up every day with the desire to create real, lasting change; to look at ourselves, challenge our own biases, and speak up in the face of injustice, racism, and ageism.

We must name the oppression and racism against Black and Brown people that has been damaging our country for hundreds of years. At SMAA, we stand in solidarity with Black people and marginalized communities. We remain committed to creating a community in which all people are able to live to their fullest potential.
We remain open, humble, and committed to the work we all must do, collectively, together. For more information about our DEI Committee, please feel free to contact us.

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Megan Walton
Southern Maine Agency on Aging
Chief Executive Officer