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Thank you, Aging Activisms.

It is with a mixture of sadness, deep love, and gratitude that I am stepping back from the steering committee of Aging Activisms this September. After an amazing year and a half, I am off to pursue some new adventures – hopefully taking all that I have learned from and with the Aging Activisms community to continue to do work for a more just and fair world.

I am so thankful for this past year and a half. Being a part of Aging Activisms has challenged me, motivated me, made me laugh, made me cry (sometimes at the same time), and introduced me to countless new ideas and ways of thinking. It has shown me how to love more deeply, think more critically, and listen more attentively. Coming out of my undergraduate studies at Trent, I don’t think I could have found a more inspirational community to be a part of. From participating in GRAN’s Hello Friends event in the summer of 2015 when I first started this work, I knew how lucky I was to be surrounded by such amazing activists, advocates, and friends. The Aging Activisms Symposium, the Feminist Brown Bag Series, the Montreal Media Capsules Workshop, and all of the writing projects, (just to name a few things that I’ve been involved with through Aging Activisms!) have brought a fire into my soul that has deepened by commitment to working for justice.

Thank you to all of the radical, outspoken, passionate, caring older women I have met through Aging Activisms. Thank you to the Raging Grannies, GRAN, RECAA, OWL, ACT,and everyone else whom I have had the honour of meeting and working with. Each and every person I have met has truly brought me hope and inspiration, not only when we are all together, but also whenever I am feeling low or overwhelmed.

Thank you to Pat, Melissa, Maddy, Emma, and Eugenia – all of whom I have had the pleasure and honour of working closely with – for teaching me so much through conversations in the office, Skype chats, and afternoon meetings, and just by being your radical, caring, intelligent selves. And of course, thank you to May, for your fierce leadership, your vision for Aging Activisms (and letting me be a part of it!), and your ability to bring so many wonderful folks together. Thank you for your advice, mentorship and love throughout the past year and a half, it has meant the world.

I cannot wait to see Aging Activisms grow and blossom as it always does, and I am excited to continue to be a part of this amazing community.

Thank you for all of the work you do to make the world a better place for everyone.

With love and in solidarity,

jesse whattam

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