Week-long celebration promotes inclusion at retirement community
Overland Park, Kans. – Tallgrass Creek, a continuing care retirement community developed and managed by Erickson Living, recently held a week-long celebration of diversity and inclusion on its campus with a series of special events and activities.
In addition to the community's already robust activities calendar, featuring dozens of clubs and activities, fitness classes and opportunities for continued learning, Diversity Week offered residents a variety of ways to engage with one another on this important topic.
Walk For a Cause
The week kicked off with "Walk for a Cause", a walk around Tallgrass Creek's picturesque grounds, providing residents with the opportunity to raise awareness for a cause or charitable organization of their choice. Causes ranged from Alzheimers' disease to breast cancer, the Gift of Life Kidney Foundation, autism, essential tremors, myasthenia gravis, muscular dystrophy, the American Heart Association, the American Stroke Association, micro polyangiitis, Wayside Waifs, a local animal shelter, and the homeless.
"The wide range of causes our residents support is a great example of how diverse Tallgrass Creek is as a community," said Jan Magee, Resident Life Manager. "Everyone has different interests and passions; we're so glad to see residents feel comfortable sharing with one another in an open, accepting environment."
The week continued with a Diversity Film Festival featuring two intriguing films. First, residents viewed "Nat King Cole: Afraid of the Dark", an in-depth look at the life and talent of the trailblazing musician who conquered racial barriers to leave an indelible mark on the jazz world. Following the viewing, Magee led residents in an engaged and emotional discussion of the documentary's themes
The next day, the community offered two showings of "Won't You Be My Neighbor?", a documentary that examines the life and legacy of Fred Rogers, the beloved host of the popular children's television show, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.
"Both films showed how these brave men blazed a trail of opening minds for people to be accepted. In their own ways, each made tremendous sacrifices that continue to remind us that we all deserve acceptance," said Magee. "Their deep passion to tear down the walls of discrimination that divide us was very thought-provoking."
Not So Different
On the final day of Diversity Week, Tallgrass Creek hosted a special presentation with Angela Fields, a featured speaker from the Johnson County Genealogical Society and Library. Her fascinating program illustrated how DNA testing shows that genetically, human beings are more alike than they are different.
"The reminder that despite our differences, we all have much in common was a fitting conclusion to our celebration of diversity at Tallgrass Creek," said Magee. "We are fortunate to enjoy a friendly, close-knit community here, and I hope that the experiences and insights gained this week help to deepen our relationships and further foster a culture of inclusion."
About Tallgrass Creek: Tallgrass Creek, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 65-acre campus in Overland Park, Kansas. The not-for-profit community of more than 500 residents and 350 employees is governed by its own board of directors, affiliated with National Senior Campuses, who provide independent financial and operational oversight of the community. Additional information can be found at TallgrassCreek.com.
Photo Credit: Rod Zeigler
Photo Caption: At Tallgrass Creek, residents recently participated in Walk for a Cause to raise awareness for a cause or charity of their choice as part of the community's Diversity Week, celebrating its culture of inclusion. In addition to the walk, residents enjoyed opportunities to engage in meaningful discussions as part of a series of events and activities, including a Diversity Film Festival.