Adults age sixty-five and above are currently the fastest-growing segment of the US population. In 2016, there were 47.8 million individuals age sixty-five and over in the United States (US Census Bureau 2017), and this number is expected to more than double by 2060. By 2040, nearly half of older adults are expected to come from diverse racial/ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds (Vincent and Velkoff 2010; Johnson, Rodriquez-Salazar, et al. 2018). San Francisco’s population of older adults is higher than the national norm.
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Today, Regina’s Door in Oakland serves as a healing artistic space for survivors of sex trafficking, as well as a launching pad for theatrical productions featuring the stories and performances of survivors. Its start came in 2014, when Regina Evans decided she needed to do something to help her community. “We have young girls being brutalized every day. In Oakland trafficking is very hidden, but if you go down International Boulevard, you also see very young girls — twelve, thirteen, fourteen years old, and you know they’re being raped,” she said.
The arts and culture sector continues to have conversations on multiple levels about how to advance the causes of equity, inclusion, and diversity. The discussion is not new, but the momentum toward implementing clear action steps is building. A new level of understanding of the ways in which racial and social inequities are the result of complex systemic issues has given rise to a realization that the path to truly effective solutions will require deep, and deeply challenging, institutional change.