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Active Aging Rep. John Lewis


Active Aging: Rep. John Lewis via Social Media

With my gerontologist lens on life my heart leaped as I watched the Right Honorable (a title given to certain high officials such as government ministers and one I loved the sound of) Congressman John Lewis occupying the floor of the House at the U.S. Capitol.

Congressman John Lewis has long been active in politics. From the Civil Rights movement of the sixties and now a 2016 sit in. Congressman Lewis remains as active, committed, and politically passionate in upholding his principles. From the sixties we have black and white photos and film. Today we watch the protest action via pirated live streaming from the floor. How was this made possible? The social media platform Periscope.  Individuals with their smartphones began recording and history has been made. Why? The traditional recording C-SPAN video was cut off because the House was not formally in session. Amazing! Today we can watch democracy in action with seventy-six year old Congressman Lewis leading the way using a platform launched in 2015. No smartphone, no coverage without social media there no story. Social media can make a difference in sharing your message.

This year I spoke at SXSW and asked the audience to image living to age 120, to consider legacy building and the opportunities of aging. Today Congressman John Lewis just showed us what the possibilities are. Cheers for taking a stand!

Judi Bonilla is the Director of Program Innovation at Advocates For Aging and author of Freewheeling after Sixty. Previously she was a fellow for Hispanic In Philanthropy and Senior Service America, Inc. Bonilla has spoken at South by Southwest (SXSW) the American Society on Aging, and Certified Senior Advisors conferences. She has received a Special Commendation from the City of San Diego for the inaugural Older Driver Awareness Week in San Diego, the Association of Travel Instruction Jack Gorelick Achievement Award for her passionate commitment and perseverance to the growth of the profession of travel instruction and the Women In Transportation Innovative Transportation Solutions Award.