Stonewall Communities, Inc. announced today that they will launch the nation’s first lifelong learning institute designed for and by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender adults ages 50 and up to be hosted at Wheelock College. Stonewall Communities Lifelong Learning Institute (LLI) at Wheelock College will offer 8-week courses, starting March 29, 2007, as well as "lunch & learn" events, social networking opportunities and much more. Stonewall Communities LLI members will have access to various facilities and programs at Wheelock College. LLI members will also be able to participate in other activities, social events and trips. A free informational public Open House is scheduled for March 1, details to be announced.
While there are other LLI’s in the greater Boston area, this will be the first ever to be designed specifically by and for the LGBT community but open to all. Lifelong learning is a rapidly-growing social and personal growth movement for people over 50. Sometimes called "senior colleges" or "learning communities", lifelong learning institutes do not require a college education, just a passion for learning. There are no grades, tests, or requirements, and more than 400 LLI’s now operate throughout the United States. There are more than 26,000 older LGBT people in the Boston area, and part of the appeal of a lifelong learning program is the sense of community enjoyed by its members. Stonewall Communities LLI is open to anyone, regardless of age, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression.
Stonewall Communities LLI will be a member-driven organization that engages its members as learners, planners and peer teachers or "study group leaders." LLI programs are shaped by member interests and will include music and arts, literature and film, history and current events, science and technology, religion and psychology – and other topics suggested by the members. The course schedule for Spring, 2007 will be announced shortly.
"Wheelock College is very much focused on creating innovative learning communities for diverse groups of people of all ages, and the Stonewall LLI is a wonderful example of that," said Suzanne Pasch, VP for Academic Affairs and Provost, Wheelock College. "We look forward to hosting and working with Stonewall Communities as they develop the Institute in partnership our faculty and staff."
"Lifelong learning matches Stonewall’s mission, goals, expertise and networks. We are dedicated to creating social, residential and educational opportunities for older lesbians and gay men, as well as support, connections and empowerment," states Stonewall Communities President David Aronstein."We currently have 14 Board Members and volunteers who collectively have over 150 years of experience in community organizing, program development and lifelong learning. We believe that our LLI will help create a culture of aging in Boston’s LGBT community that is marked by generosity, compassion and vision."
Stonewall Communities, in partnership with Abbott Development, is also developing Stonewall Audubon Circle, a unique, inclusive condominium community to be located on Miner Street in the Audubon Circle area of the Fenway neighborhood, not far from the Wheelock College campus.
Editor’s Note: Background on Stonewall Communities, the Lifelong Learning Institute, and the Stonewall Audubon Circle real estate development available on request. Interviews can be arranged.
About Stonewall Communities, Inc.
Stonewall Communities, Inc. is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation. Since 1998, the mission of Stonewall Communities has been to better understand and advocate for the needs of older lesbians, gay men, and their friends. The organization is creating a range of options for older people and developing residential communities that will combine quality housing with a supportive, inclusive and diverse community. The organization will support and enhance the well-being and independence of older members of the LGBT community in their choice to age at home or in a Stonewall community. As co-founder of the LGBT Aging Project, Stonewall Communities works to improve the lives of underserved seniors, particularly lesbians and gay men, who have suffered years of discrimination and lack of access.
About Wheelock College
Founded in 1888 and located in Boston, MA, Wheelock College is a private institution with the public mission of improving lives of children and their families. The College fulfills this mission by providing a strong education in the arts and sciences and in its professional fields – education, child and family studies, and social work — for which its undergraduate and graduate programs are nationally and internationally recognized. Throughout its academic programs and student experience, the College reflects the multicultural dimensions of the communities and countries in which it operates and fosters diverse learning experiences — all of which contributes to the success, leadership, and impact that its graduates enjoy in a wide variety of careers.