VMC Conference 2023By Bridget Brewster
So much information. So much sharing of ideas. So much Villager conversation. So much food. So much energy. All this packed into one very full day!
Several Pasadena Villagers made the trek to Oakland to participate in this statewide conference of California Villagers: Wayne April, Barbara Madden, Jeff Gutstadt, Jo Moore-Yeargin, Bridget Brewster and, of course, our brilliant leaders, Katie Brandon and Priyanka Kumar. We can all be proud of our presence at the conference . . . from the moment of registration when Priyanka greeted everyone at the door with a nametag and her winning smile, to Katie addressing the entire conference to share our good relationship with Congresswoman Judy Chu and how that relationship was nurtured.
We were challenged and excited by many perspectives, important statistical data, personal opinions and experiences as we recognized we are in the midst of a caregiving crisis. Various speakers asked us to consider our response to how we, as villagers, navigate the transitions of aging as a Village rather than alone. Several people addressed the need to engage inter-generationally in order to create dynamic, life-affirming relationships. As we “grow older with grace,” we can create trusted relationships with an ethic of care, which is relational, responsive and creates inter-dependence for everyone.
Village Movement California released this Conference Recap with data, session recordings, and information that we encourage you to review. A major highlight was the release of the village Impact Report, It Takes a Village to Age Well: Expanding the Village Model of Care for California’s Older Adult.
Every one of us agreed this was informative and enlightening on many levels. It was wonderful to hear other Villagers praise the Pasadena Village. Apparently, we’re doing great work and others throughout the state know about it. Katie Brandon summed it up well, “It was an amazing opportunity to connect with leaders from Villages that are bigger and smaller than ours. We shared ideas, grappled with challenges, and built community.”