Average life expectancy in New York City is 81. And yet, our societal expectations of people in later life are low, acceptable roles are limited and images of aging are often one-dimensional.
In 2015, the Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health searched far and wide for 20 New Yorkers from all different circumstances and backgrounds who have both exceeded life expectancy and who are disrupting commonly-held expectations of what it means to grow old.
Through writing, photography and video, they launched the Exceeding Expectations project to explore how people find purpose in later life and how their environment and circumstances make it easier or more challenging to do so. Their stories are filled with mystery, drama, wisdom and search for meaning.
On October 24, these 20 octogenarians will meet each other for the first time and the project team will reveal what they have learned. Come challenge your assumptions about aging and be inspired. Light breakfast will be served.
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by October 20.
Exceeding Expectations is led by Dorian Block, a journalist, and Ruth Finkelstein, an anthropologist and health policy expert. It is funded by the New York Community Trust.