Community Displacement, Tensions, and Collective Resilience


Thank you to everyone who was able to join us live for SAGE's LGBT Elder Housing 2020 Virtual Institute. 

Each live panel presentation was recorded and is available for viewing through the links below found in the agenda below. You can also watch on your smart TV, tablet, or phone, by searching 'SAGE Elder Housing Institute' on YouTube.

Live functionality, including Q&A and community polls through Slido, are no longer available in the recorded sessions. 

About the Panel

Join us for a conversation on funder’s role amidst a global crisis. Through an interactive conversation with donors, we will discuss philanthropic priorities, strategies to sustain our work, and innovative ways to access funding during a time of crisis.


Sydney Kopp-Richardson, Moderator | SAGE
Sydney Kopp-Richardson is the Director of SAGE’s National LGBT Elder Housing Initiative, working to reshape the housing landscape nationally and increase the availability of safer LGBT elder housing through policy advocacy, research, and housing development. Previously, Sydney worked in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City in direct service, organizing and advocacy, and policy analysis around affordable housing development. Through an anti-racist framework, Sydney centers the needs of LGBTQ+ communities, people involved in the justice system, people living with mental health challenges, and others living in the margins. Sydney has developed anti-violence curriculum and policy recommendations for LGBTQ+ communities and infuses this into her work in housing development and sexual violence prevention in New York City nightlife venues. Sydney brings a reverence for the expertise and legacies of LGBTQ+ elders in the formation of policies and programming developed to serve them in the fight for collective liberation, and she brings this to SAGE’s national housing initiative.

LaSaia Wade | Brave Space Alliance
LaSaia Wade is an open Afro Puerto Rican Indigenous Trans Woman. She’s the founder of TNTJ Project in Tennessee. She’s a member of Chicago TGNC Collective, Trans Liberation Collective and Director of Brave Space Alliance. LaSaia is also one of the organizers for the biggest TGNC March for Trans Liberation in Midwest history. She is now the first Trans woman in Illinois History to be honored in Women’s History month for the work she’s doing. LaSaia graduated in 2010 with a BBA in Business Management. Coming out as trans, she has 10 plus years in organizing and advocacy work with black, indigenous, trans and gender nonconforming folx around the world. She is the current Director of Brave Space Alliance, business owner of Mystical Bee Hive, while facilitating trainings across the U.S.

Andres Saavedra | Rural LISC
Andres L. “Andy” Saavedra is a Program Director with Rural LISC responsible for field program activities. From 2001 to 2014, Mr. Saavedra was with LISC's Mid South Delta program where he headed the Delta Homeownership Initiative (DHI), LISC’s HUD and USDA‐Rural Development funded programs, and LISC’s Sustainable Communities Initiative in the Delta. Mr. Saavedra has 26 years of administering grants and technical assistance to community development corporations engaged in housing development, financial independence, workforce development, and homebuyer education. Mr. Saavedra was previously the Housing and Community Development Director of the Northeast Louisiana Delta Community Development Corporation (NELDCDC) and a consultant, notably on a HUD 202 project, the Booker T Senior Village in Monroe, LA. Previously, Mr. Saavedra was a Housing Specialist with the Housing Assistance Council, a national CDFI based in Washington, DC. Mr. Saavedra has a Juris Doctor and a Certificate in Law and Public Policy from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.

Kaz Mitchell | Circle of Voices
Kaz Mitchell-Wimberly, is a recipient of the 2019 Gay City News-Impact Awards, 2019 Ebony Pyramid Entertainment (EPE) of Washington, DC UnSung Award Recipient, 2018 Brooklyn Barclay Center Pride Night Panelist, and 2017 Callen–Lorde Community Health Center’s-Health Awards for her commitment to LGBTQ+ Health, she has served as the former Board Chair, (2016-2017) of Callen-Lorde Community Health Center’s- Community Advisory Board after serving for over 4 years. She was their 1st Patient Advocate to join CLCHC in speaking to NYS Legislature about the importance of funding clinical health providers in Albany, NY (Feb. 2018). She is currently on the New York City’s Police Commissioner’s LGBTQ+ Advisory Board as well. She has made herstory as the first ever Campaign Manager and Political Strategist for the 1st ever Gay male to run for District Attorney in the borough of Brooklyn, in New York and in the country.

Larry Curley | National Indian Council on Aging
Larry Curley is a member of the Navajo Nation with over 40 years of experience working in the aging and healthcare fields. He has worked with Congress, other branches of the federal government, and national organizations on aging to develop support for programs affecting elder American Indians. After receiving his master’s degree in public administration at the University of Arizona, along with a certificate in gerontology, Curley worked as a gerontological planner at an Area Agency on Aging in Pima County, Arizona, where he was instrumental in establishing a county public fiduciary program. As a lobbyist in Washington, D.C., he successfully advocated for the passage of Title VI of the Older Americans Act, an amendment which he wrote.

Sadiya Abjani | SAGE
Sadiya Abjani is the Director of Learning and Equity at SAGE as well as a queer Muslim activist. She received her Bachelors in Islamic Studies and English from the University of Texas at Austin, where she spent time learning curriculum development and gaining expertise in training development and delivery. Previously, Sadiya worked as the Corporate Training Coordinator at the Equal Rights Center, where she delivered trainings on Fair Housing, Disability Rights, and Sensitivity and Diversity. She has done extensive work within the elder community, including developing and executing a large project surveying the South Asian elder community to isolate signs of depression.

2020 Virtual Housing Institute Agenda

Taking Care of Our Own: Best Practices and Tools to Develop Affordable LGBT Elder Housing

Join housing experts and advocates to discuss tools and best practices for developing and sustaining affordable housing for LGBT elders, including a robust map for staying aligned to mission in perpetuity. Learn about what works and what to watch out for, with holistic attention paid to the collaboration between three key players: the developer, service provider, and management company of a building. Special focus and attention will be given to crisis planning and the disparate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on LGBT elders’ access to safe, affordable housing.


Housing Models Grounded in Equity: Community Displacement, Tensions, and Collective Resilience

How does COVID help us prepare for future crises in diverse geographies? LGBT elders do not solely reside in urban centers. Gentrification’s impact on affordability, accessibility, and an elder’s ability to stay where LGBTQ+ rights have been trailblazed is evident in our current moment, necessitating a stronger presence in rural and suburban communities due to displacement. If elders are forced out of urban centers, what legal protections and housing is available elsewhere? What can we be doing to mobilize communities around support, safety, and enhanced understanding of LGBT elder needs? Visibility and public education in non-urban areas and in aging facilities is critical. Let’s discuss strategies to address these national dynamics.

The Role of Funders Amidst a Pandemic: Funding Strategies for Housing Development

Join us for a conversation on funder’s role amidst a global crisis. Through an interactive conversation with donors, we will discuss philanthropic priorities, strategies to sustain our work, and innovative ways to access funding during a time of crisis.

Legislation, Policy and Community: Advocacy Considerations in the Current Moment

2020 has brought underlying issues of inequity to the forefront, through both a global pandemic and community outrage in the movement for Black lives. Beyond forming intentional communities, what legal protections and policies can protect LGBT elders? What innovative ways are people developing alternative systems? A dearth of affordable housing has forced us to look at policy and advocacy with innovation, including legal protection and high-level policies aimed to reach LGBT elders in a diverse array of communities amidst the current public health and social justice climates.