Senior-led Age Friendly Central Brooklyn, Inc. is incorporated under the Not-for-Profit Corporation Law.
After five years of intentional programming designed to ensure equity in services, healthy aging and leadership opportunities for older adult members, Age Friendly Neighborhood Initiative of Bedford Stuyvesant & Crown Heights became the only senior-led, independent entity in New York City. The name change to Age Friendly Central Brooklyn, Inc. (AFCBI) reflects the breadth of partnerships and participation of older adults beyond Bedford Stuyvesant and Crown Heights. AFCBI expects to apply to receive 501(c)(3) status shortly.
Age Friendly Bed-Stuy & Crown Heights makes its mark
The City Council provides guidance to Age Friendly Neighborhood Initiatives on establishing a local advisory committee to implement recommendations. In consultation with CIBS, the Office of the 36th Council District convened community stakeholders from local businesses, non-profit organizations, and cultural, educational and religious institutions to leverage resources and think strategically about making the community more inclusive of older adults. Assembly Member Stefani Zinerman served as Chair and worked with CIBS and the Bedford Stuyvesant Gateway Business District to implement the local business initiative, expand older adult participations, strategic partnerships with organizations and institutions, and the creation of multi-generational programming.
AIDs prove worthy of expansion
The City Council expands the initiative to 10 new districts and renames it to Age Friendly Neighborhood Initiative. At that time, the Bedford Stuyvesant Aging Improvement District became the Age Friendly Neighborhood Initiative of Bedford Stuyvesant & Crown Heights, and recruitment began for a local advisory committee.
Age-friendly NYC makes AIDs Official
After evaluating the pilot, four Aging Improving Districts (East Harlem, Upper West Side, Bedford-Stuyvesant, and Pelham Parkway) were officially launched, with the goal of testing the replicability of the model throughout New York City. With CIBS as its fiscal partner, the Bedford-Stuyvesant AID received strategic assistance from LISC and NYAM to secure funding from The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation in 2012 and 2013.
Bedford Stuyvesant adopted as a pilot AID
The groundwork for the Bedford-Stuyvesant Aging Improvement District —the third in the city, the first in Brooklyn whose residents are primarily of African Descent—began in November. Former Council Member Al Vann embedded the AID in the Coalition for the Improvement of Bedford-Stuyvesant (CIBS) to ensure sustainability through local-control of the initiative. To advance the work, CIBS engaged Age-friendly Commission members, NYAM, and Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC) to convene conversations with 200 older residents. The results led the AID to focus on housing, workforce development, business vitality, asset building, and social services.
Age-friendly NYC launches Pilot Program
In response to their findings, the Office of the Mayor and the New York City Council announced 59 initiatives that city agencies would adopt to make New York City more age-friendly. Additionally, a four-year Commission with leaders from both the public and private sectors was seated to focus on Age-friendly Businesses, Age-friendly Schools, Colleges and Universities, and Aging Improvement Districts (AID).
NYAM releases findings of Community Assessment
Research from New York City and 33 other cities confirmed the need for older people to have appropriate housing, community support, and health services as well as access to public transportation, outdoor spaces, and buildings. The findings also highlighted the need to foster the connections that allow older people to be active participants in society, overcome ageism, and provide greater opportunities for civic participation and employment.
Age-friendly NYC initiates Community Assessment
New York City took active steps to create a better environment for its older residents by developing a unique partnership between the Office of the Mayor, the New York City Council, and the New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM). Age Friendly NYC enlisted NYAM to conduct a comprehensive city-wide assessment by leading guided conversations with more than 1,500 older adults in six languages, roundtable discussions with hundreds of professionals, a literature review, and extensive mapping using the WHO’s 8 Domains of an Age-friendly City as a framework. Residents and community stakeholders from Bedford Stuyvesant participated in the assessment process.
New York City joins the global Age-friendly movement
The origins of Age Friendly Central Brooklyn, Inc. (AFCBI) began with the launch of the Global Age-friendly Cities project by the World Health Organization (WHO). This global initiative called on 35 cities with low and middle-income communities to respond to the rapid growth of aging populations and assess how their policies, services, and structures support and enable active and healthy aging. New York City was the first city to join the global network.