Barbranda Lumpkins Walls

Barbranda Lumpkins Walls is a features editor for AARP Media who spotlights everyday people doing exceptional things. These folks might not make national news, but they deserve a shout-out. She loves pop culture — especially food, fashion, television and R&B music. Family, friends and spirituality play important roles in her life. And traffic.
Laurie Ahern, 2015 Purpose Prize winner. Credit: Encore.org; EMBARGOED TILL NOV. 13, 2015.
En español | An Episcopal priest and a former judge. A journalist and an artistic director. A doctor and an advocate for impoverished women. They’re the winners of the 2015 Purpose Prize, which recognizes people over age 60 who combine passion and experience to find new ways to solve tough social problems.
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Several months ago my parents and I had breakfast at a neighborhood restaurant in Cleveland. After finishing our meal I asked the server for the check. “It’s already been taken care of,” she said.
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John Cherry had no job, no money, no home. What he did have were debilitating health problems and drug and alcohol addictions. “I hit rock bottom,” says the 60-year-old Washington, D.C., resident.
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I’ve had the good fortune to interview a raft of fascinating folks during my 30-plus years as a journalist: Lionel Richie, Shirley Chisholm, Gwendolyn Brooks, Stokely Carmichael (aka Kwame Turé) and many more. But the one person I yearned above all to share time with, Oprah Winfrey, eluded me.
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Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced this week a proposed program to improve access to groceries for homebound older Americans and people with disabilities who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the food stamp program. AARP spoke with Vilsack about the pilot program and food insecurity among older adults.
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AARP Bulletin and AARP The Magazine are among the periodicals and 150,000 books available to visually or physically challenged Americans through a free service of the Library of Congress.
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President Barack Obama and a host of experts and advocates for older Americans gathered at the White House July 13 to discuss a variety of issues about aging in America. Government programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are great triumphs, Obama told nearly 200 attendees at the White House Conference on Aging, which since 1961 has been held about once a decade to help chart the course of policies on aging. More than 600 “watch parties” were held across the country, allowing thousands more to view the conference online.
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The nation's face of hunger is changing: More than 8 million boomers ages 50 to 64 are turning to charities for food assistance, according to a new report by Feeding America, a network of 200 food banks that provide food and groceries to Americans in need.
2015 White House Conference on Aging
“Older adults are an asset to our country,” said Sylvia Burwell, U.S. secretary of health and human services, at a White House Conference on Aging regional forum in Boston on May 28.
Family sack race
I’m always surprised when I hear friends or colleagues say that their families rarely get together for reunions. That’s because between me and my husband, there are at least a couple to choose from every year. So we usually pick one and set aside some vacation time for it.
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