SAGE Raleigh is an active program of the LGBT Center of Raleigh and an affiliate of SAGEUSA that advocates and provides services for LGBTQ persons 50 and older.
Mission and Vision
In 2017, the SAGE Raleigh Leadership Team developed the following mission and vision statements to provide focus, guidance, and direction to the organization:
Mission: SAGE Raleigh addresses issues of aging in the diverse population of the LGBTQ community by improving the quality of life through advocacy, education, and promotion of social interaction.
Vision: To increase awareness of and participation in SAGE Raleigh and to be the premiere resource for service providers and for advocacy, education, and social inclusion to benefit LGBTQ seniors in central North Carolina.
SAGE Raleigh is an organization that is welcoming, respectful to everyone, and is committed to reach out to LGBTQ aging adults, and therefore has a vital role to play in the community. Ongoing weekly and seasonal social, educational, health-related, fun-oriented, and physical fitness events and activities are promoted that benefit the LGBTQ elder community.
Advocacy, Education, and Social Interaction
SAGE Raleigh’s Mission and Vision provide direction and focus on three key areas.
SAGE Raleigh is represented on the board of Resources for Seniors, on the GOLD Coalition, and on the Governor’s Commission on Aging. Members are active participants in senior services organizations, so LGBTQ voices are included when decisions about services to aging persons are discussed and implemented.
SAGE Raleigh has developed training programs to support leaders and staff of senior services organizations to be more sensitive and effective when dealing with LGBTQ residents, clients, families, and caregivers.
Increasing social interaction and reducing social isolation among members is a key priority. Many social programs, responding to the varied interests of our members are scheduled on a regular basis.
Social Activities for Members
The LGBT Center is reserved every Thursday morning for LGBTQ friends to come in, have a cup of coffee and a pastry, and sit around and chat. A complimentary lunch is served on the first and third Thursday of the month. At the third Thursday luncheon there is also a guest speaker as part of the ‘Lunch and Learn’ program. SAGE Raleigh women enjoy attending and receiving a complimentary cash reimbursement that covers or reduces the cost of their meal at a fun group luncheon held once per month in a local restaurant.
Weekly walks are held to encourage exercise and health as well as providing social opportunities. Five major social events are hosted each year by SAGE Raleigh: Valentine’s Day Dance, Memorial Day Picnic, July 4th Picnic, Labor Day Picnic, and Holiday Party. Other events are scheduled intermittently.
There are no dues. It is free to be a SAGE Raleigh member, and anyone can sign up to be a member. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need additional information, have questions, or would like to ask to be put on the SAGE Raleigh mailing list in order to be informed and take advantage of planned activities/events. Additionally, SAGE Raleigh is listed on www.Meetup.com, and you can register there to receive regular announcements.
You are encouraged to complete the SAGE Social Activities Survey so your interests can be considered as existing programs are enhanced and new ones developed.
To accomplish its Mission and fulfill its Vision, SAGE Raleigh counts on the support of dedicated members who will share their special skills, volunteer to help with the many planned activities, provide constructive feedback and suggestions, donate financially to the organization, or just participate in our many planned activities and events.
Individuals and groups are invited and encouraged to submit plans for hosting meetup events and activities that support this endeavor. Applications submitted are reviewed by SAGE Raleigh’s “Events/Activity Team Coordinators” to determine if the event/activity is appropriate as a SAGE Raleigh-endorsed meetup event/activity. (SAGE Meetup Event/Activity Application)
Senior Housing Initiative
One of SAGE Raleigh’s more ambitious objectives has been the SAGE Raleigh Senior Housing Initiative. Its goal is to advocate for an affordable, safe, respectful and welcoming place for LGBTQ seniors to live in their golden years.
Triangle Expo for LGBTQ Aging Adults
In June 2018, SAGE Raleigh succeeded at one of its most ambitious projects to date. SAGE Raleigh partnered with Resources for Seniors to host the very first Triangle EXPO for LGBTQ Aging Adults. The main purpose of the EXPO was to bring together providers of vital resources and consumers who are 50 and older. Hundreds of people received a multitude of resources, gifts, and service opportunities from our many vendors and exhibitors. Needless to say, the Triangle EXPO for LGBTQ Aging Adults was a huge success! Look for upcoming events.
SAGE is the country’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ older adults. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in New York City, with staff across the country, SAGE also coordinates a growing network of affiliates in the United States.
SAGE is a national organization that offers supportive services and consumer resources to LGBTQ older adults and their caregivers, advocates for public policy changes that address the needs of LGBT older people, provides education and technical assistance for aging providers and LGBTQ organizations through its National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, and provides cultural competence training through SAGECare.
In partnership with its constituents and allies, SAGE works to achieve a high quality of life for LGBTQ older adults, supports and advocates for their rights, fosters a greater understanding of aging in all communities, and promotes positive images of LGBTQ life in later years.
SAGE Raleigh History
Originally known as the “Gay & Gray Initiative,” this program was born in the spring of 2011.
In 2013, the Gay & Gray Initiative affiliated with SAGEUSA under the name SAGE Raleigh. The organization has continued to grow exponentially as new initiatives have been implemented, and membership and participation have experienced steady growth.