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AARP Awards 2021 Community Challenge Grant to George Washington Center for Aging

Emily Pickren

Tim Pierce

August 18, 2021 — The George Washington (GW) Center for Aging, Health and Humanities has been named a recipient of a 2021 AARP Community Challenge grant, one of four grantees selected in the District of Columbia.

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The grant will be used to support the GW Center for Aging’s Age-Friendly Social Innovation Challenge, which will bring a diverse, intergenerational group together to design strategies for building age-friendly infrastructures and to establish an Age-Friendly Regional Network for the Washington-DC metropolitan area (DMV) in partnership with GW Nashman Center and the five age-friendly municipalities of Alexandria, Va.; Arlington, Va.; the District of Columbia, Hyattsville, Md; and Montgomery County, Md.

“We hosted the first Age-Friendly Ecosystem Summit in May 2021 in collaboration with our age-friendly partners to share our current regional best practices,” said Dr. Melissa Batchelor, Director of the GW Center for Aging. “We are looking forward to this inaugural Age-Friendly Social Innovation Challenge – where we will bring diverse groups together to generate the ‘Moon Shot’ ideas needed to solve problems the DMV will face over the next 25 years as we all grow older together.” 

This project is part of the largest group of grantees to date with $3.2 million awarded among 244 organizations nationwide. Grantees will implement projects to promote livable communities by improving housing, transportation, public spaces, civic engagement, and connection with family, friends, and neighbors with an emphasis on the needs of the 50-plus. Many of this year’s awards support revitalizing communities adversely impacted by the pandemic and include a focus on diversity, inclusion, and disparities.

All projects are designed to achieve one or more of the following outcomes:

  • Create vibrant public places by improving open spaces and parks and activating main streets.
  • Deliver a range of transportation and mobility options by increasing connectivity, walkability, bikeability, wayfinding, and access a wider range of transportation choices.
  • Encourage the availability of a range of housing by increasing accessible and affordable housing solutions.
  • Increase civic engagement by bringing together residents and local leaders to address challenges and facilitate a greater sense of inclusion.
  • Ensure a focus on diversity and inclusion while improving the built and social environment of a community.
  • Support local recovery from the coronavirus pandemic by emphasizing economic development, improvements to public spaces, and transportation services.

“We are incredibly excited to support the GW Center for Aging as they work to improve the quality of life for older adults throughout the DMV, to encourage promising ideas and jumpstart long-term change,” said Louis Davis, Jr., Director, AARP District of Columbia. “Our goal at AARP District of Columbia is to support the efforts of our communities to be great places for people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities.”

Other grantees in the District of Columbia include DC Greens, DC Office of Planning, and Vida Senior Centers. The full list of grantees can be found at

The Community Challenge grant program is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative, which supports the efforts of cities, towns, neighborhoods and rural areas to become great places to live for people of all ages. Since 2017, AARP District of Columbia has awarded grants to ten nonprofit organizations and government entities. View the full list of grantees and their project descriptions at and learn more about AARP’s livable communities work at

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About AARP

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit, and follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates on social media.​

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