Jo Ann Jenkins is chief executive officer of AARP, and previously served as the organization’s chief operating officer and as president of its affiliated charity, AARP Foundation. Follow her on Twitter @JoAnn_Jenkins.

A Church Bell Rings Out for Healing, Peace and Justice

Founded in 1776, First Baptist Church in Williamsburg, Va., is believed to be the first black Baptist church that was organized entirely by African Americans — a group of slaves and freed blacks who met secretly under an arbor on Green Spring Plantation. By 1781, the congregation had close to 200 members, and its pastor was a slave who worked in the Williamsburg tavern owned by his master. Having moved from covert locations to a building in Williamsburg, in 1886 …

Why I Feel Freedom and Fearlessness After Age 50

One of the joys of passing age 50 is growing less self-conscious about what people think of me. By now, I know I can usually trust my instincts, and even when I falter, the judgments of others don’t sting like they used to. There are far worse things in life than falling short in someone else’s eyes. I’ve found much greater value in confronting what I think of me. This has been liberating. Aging gives us personal license — the …

Now Is the Perfect Time to Think About What’s Next in Your Life

Amid all the shimmer and shine of the new year, many of us find ourselves spending longer than usual on inner reflection — wondering how we might pursue a passion or thinking hard about whether our own skin is still a good fit. I always think that the more time I spend on this end-of-the-year inventory, the bigger the opportunity I have to make a meaningful adjustment. That’s the signal that this is a good time to look deeper and …

We Need to Create Communities for a Lifetime

Too many of us are outgrowing our homes and communities. They’re not becoming too small, like children’s clothes, but they just don’t fit us very well as we get older. It’s time to make some changes. So to advance the conversation about what the future of housing might look like, AARP and AARP Foundation collaborated with the Atlantic and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to organize a two-day summit on this critical issue last week. The summit’s …

To All Veterans: AARP Extends Gratitude and Support

Veterans Day began when an unknown World War I American soldier was laid to rest at Arlington Cemetery, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1921. Similar ceremonies, at the identical hour, took place at Westminster Abbey in London and at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. All three nations were honoring veterans’ service, and celebrating the arrival of peace — a peace that was hoped to be permanent, with the end of the …

A New Way to Keep Up With Brain Health

Which fear tops the list of worries about aging? Memory loss and not being mentally alert — and that’s true for Gen Xers as well as boomers. Adding to the anxiety is an atmosphere awash in contradictory data, conflicting claims and crackpot ideas about how best to build and maintain your brain health. Everything from standing on your head to starving yourself has been touted as a brain booster — with precious little evidence to back it up. People don’t …