Meet our members! AFN’s greatest asset is our members—a diverse network of national, regional, and community-based foundations, financial institutions, and grantmakers—investing in advancing equitable wealth building and economic mobility. Check back each month and meet your peers!
1: What is the mission of your organization and how is advancing equitable wealth building and economic mobility incorporated into the work?
AARP is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for all as we age. We lead positive social change and deliver value to members through advocacy, service, and information to make things better for society and play a positive role in communities of all kinds.
AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to the more than 100 million Americans 50-plus and their families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name.
Advocating for people age 50-plus is at the heart of our mission. It’s part of what we do every day from our national office in Washington, D.C., and from offices in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. On health security, AARP fights to protect Medicare, expand access to health care, lower prescription drug prices, support caregivers and protect nursing home residents. On financial stability, we fight to protect Social Security, establish savings plans for workers and stop scams and fraud. We also work to combat age discrimination in the workplace and speak up for the vulnerable and underrepresented on issues like affordable housing and food security.
2: How does your organization bridge the racial wealth gap?
Multiple AARP Thought Leadership projects and initiatives focus on the intersection of equity and longevity, including the Building Equity in Longevity series and a report entitled, Our Collective Future: The Economic Impact of Unequal Life Expectancy. A vital part of our thought leadership agenda focuses on addressing disparities in wealth creation and retention among people age 50 and older from groups who have historically faced barriers and discrimination in doing so. We welcome conversations with value-aligned groups as we continue to advance our thought leadership agenda.
Together, older adults are far from a monolithic group and it’s important to challenge any existing perceptions that they may be, including related to their financial health. AARP’s Longevity Economy Outlook Series points to ways in which people age 50-plus are contributing to economic growth in the United States and around the world. In addition to sharing AARP’s Longevity Economy Outlook reports, here’s a blog post that I wrote to highlight the economic value of empowering women age 50-plus.
3: What prevents organizations from investing in greater economic equity? How can that be addressed?
The more we frame equity as a “need to have” for the success of individuals, organizations, and economies at large, the more we can move away from the “nice to have” mindset. Data that connects equity with the bottom line for businesses, communities, and economies more broadly is necessary. That is why AARP produces reports like the ones mentioned above.
4: Share a question you would like to raise to your AFN community.
What are some of the most promising models you have seen that address disparities in wealth creation and retention, including for adults age 50 and over?
5: What have been some of the biggest benefits of being part of the Asset Funders Network?
I greatly appreciate being part of a peer community who also care about these issues and whose work can inspire my own. I also greatly value all the research papers that AFN has developed: they been extremely helpful in helping to shape my strategies to address asset poverty and lack of economic mobility in my community.
6: What TV show are you watching and what do you like about it?
I recently watched the first episode of Working: What We Do All Day on Netflix (hosted by Former President Barack Obama) and really enjoyed it. I am finally getting caught up on Ted Lasso on Apple TV… also highly recommend!
About Julie Miller, Director of Thought Leadership, Financial Resilience, AARP
Julie Miller seeks to propel new conversations and cultivate partnerships that will challenge the status quo of longevity and empower people to have the financial and economic stability to live longer, healthier lives within her role at AARP. A practiced public speaker and facilitator, she regularly presents to a wide spectrum of audiences across diverse industries.
Prior to joining AARP, Julie spent a decade as a social science researcher at the MIT AgeLab, where she led translational social science research across key topical areas of longevity planning, caregiving and wellbeing, housing and home logistics, and transportation and livable communities. As a Rappaport Public Policy Fellow through Harvard University’s Rappaport Institute, Julie supported the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs in its administration of the nation’s first statewide Governor’s Council to Address Aging. Over the past fifteen years, she has served as a lecturer and program coordinator at Northeastern University, Boston University, and UC Berkeley, taught adaptive yoga in a variety of settings, and produced two documentary films centering “Vibrant Aging.” Julie has served as a volunteer board member for several community and university initiatives elevating disability advocacy and financial social work, respectively.
Julie’s work and comments have appeared in major news outlets such as The New York Times, Barron’s, Rethinking65, and CNBC, as well as in peer-reviewed academic journals such as The Journal of Financial Planning, Families in Society, The Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, The Journal of Workplace and Behavioral Health, and numerous edited books.
Julie received her Doctorate of Philosophy in social work at Boston College, her Masters in Social Work with a concentration in gerontology from The University of California, Berkeley, and her Bachelors of Science from Northeastern University, where she studied human services and American Sign Language.