Advancing Equity in Development and Beyond

With funding from NextFifty, the League and Senior Fellow Lindsay Miller recently completed a project, “Enhancing the Equity and Inclusiveness of Age-friendly Initiatives,” which helped communities in Colorado add a racial equity dimension to their work on behalf of older adults, particularly as it relates to AARP’s “Age-friendly Communities” initiative.

As Principal and Founder of Beyond Growth Strategies, Lindsay has vast experience in community and economic development, specializing in equitable development – a strategic process of planning, investment, and development that aims for the benefits and burdens of growth to be experienced equitably by all members of a community.

Lindsay conducted a study that analyzed fifty Age-friendly Action Plans from communities throughout the U.S. and found three areas that communities could improve their age-friendly planning: social equity, social isolation, and ageism. Utilizing the League’s Civic Index, Lindsay created the Better Aging Civic Index, a tool to help planners and local leaders pursue community-based solutions to enhance the equity and inclusiveness of age-friendly work. When the project was finished, the program laid the groundwork for infusing equity and inclusion into local age-inclusive initiatives throughout Colorado and the United States.​

Recently, much of Lindsay’s work has focused on Denver, Colorado, more specifically, the Sun Valley neighborhood. The Sun Valley neighborhood has historically been physically, socially, and economically isolated – bordered by train tracks, the Platte River, a major highway, and the Denver Broncos football stadium – and 80% of its population lives below the poverty line. It has recently experienced major reinvestment and redevelopment, with the Denver Housing Authority’s redevelopment of the Sun Valley Homes, the neighborhood’s primary source of housing, and the Stadium District redevelopment adjacent to the Broncos Stadium. Lindsay worked with multiple non-profits to support residents during the redevelopment projects, including the Sun Valley Kitchen + Community Center, a community center and social enterprise restaurant, the Westside Stadium Community Coalition, an advocacy group negotiating a Community Benefits Agreement with the Stadium District’s master developer, and History Colorado, a museum and cultural institution whose Museum of Memory project works to center and amplify the stories of marginalized communities in neighborhoods experiencing change.

The League and our team of senior fellows offer national expertise to bolster local initiatives in community engagement. Our focus is on fostering actionable strategies and delivering impactful results in various domains, including strategic planning, community development, equity, and inclusive belonging.

Read more about our civic assistance offerings to see how Lindsay and our senior fellows and staff can help your community. Email us at [email protected] if you’re interested in working with Lindsay and the League.

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