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ABBE Community Meeting

Asheville Buncombe Black Elders Project

Asheville Buncombe Black Elders Engagement (ABBE) Project is an initiative of Age-Friendly Buncombe County.  ABBE started virtually in March 2022 with Community and Public Engagement (CAPE) Staff at Buncombe County, Age-Friendly Buncombe County (AFBC), community partners, and Black Elders defining the mission as well as coming up with ideas of interest.  The mission of ABBE is “Outreach and engagement with Asheville/Buncombe Black Elders to promote wellness and prevent isolation.” 

Rasheeda Hall and ZaKiya Bell-Rogers (CAPE), Billie Breeden (AFBC), Brea Kuykendall (Land of Sky Area Agency on Aging), and Vance Goodman (Council on Aging of Buncombe County) planned and hosted the first in-person ABBE Community Meeting on Saturday, April 1 from 12:45 - 2:45 pm at the East Asheville Library.  The ABBE Luncheon was a time for enjoying good food, making social connections, listening to Black Elders about their preferences regarding the direction of ABBE, and educating attendees about the organizations that work to support older adults.

ZaKiya Bell-Rogers, Rasheeda Hall, and Billie Breeden worked together to facilitate the meeting. Presentations included:

  • Gretchen Batra talked about AARP’s role in supporting older adults;
  • Vance Goodman provided information about the many services available through the Council on Aging of Buncombe County to help older adults age in place;
  • Brea Kuykendall provided information on evidence-based health promotion and disease prevention programs available through Land of Sky Area Agency on Aging;
  • Billie Breeden discussed Age-Friendly Buncombe County’s initiatives in keeping older adults safe, well, and engaged and;
  • Rasheeda Hall talked about the work of the Reparations Commission and encouraged attendees to watch/attend the meetings.

Rasheeda Hall also facilitated a discussion about the direction of ABBE.  Community members preferred meeting every other month on a Saturday with the time of 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM.  Community members enjoyed the opportunity for socialization, requested more activities at the meetings, and liked the educational presentations from community providers, but preferred fewer presentations per meeting.   The next ABBE Community Meeting is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, June 24 from 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM with the location to be determined.

Many thanks to ZaKiya Bell-Rogers for designing the invitation for the ABBE Luncheon and reaching out to the community, and Rasheeda Hall for working with Bubba J’s to provide the food for the luncheon.  Much gratitude to the attendees from the Black Elder Community who provided input on future programming, Rasheeda Hall, ZaKiya Bell-Rogers, Brea Kuykendall, Vance Goodman, and Gretchen Batra for making the first ABBE Community Meeting a success!!

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Updated May 15, 2023 07:13 PM
Published May 15, 2023 02:07 PM