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Generations United Podcast

Kids & Family Podcasts

Join our host Donna Butts on The Generations United Podcast for candid and lively conversations with luminaries in the intergenerational field. Tune in to learn how to strengthen our communities and improve the lives of children, youth, and older adults through intergenerational relationships.

Join our host Donna Butts on The Generations United Podcast for candid and lively conversations with luminaries in the intergenerational field. Tune in to learn how to strengthen our communities and improve the lives of children, youth, and older adults through intergenerational relationships.


United States


Join our host Donna Butts on The Generations United Podcast for candid and lively conversations with luminaries in the intergenerational field. Tune in to learn how to strengthen our communities and improve the lives of children, youth, and older adults through intergenerational relationships.








Episode 19: Mary O'Donnell and Ernest Gonzales on the Benefits of Intergenerational Programs

A few months ago, Generations United released our latest set of free resources—developed with support from RRF Foundation for Aging—aimed to strengthen and expand intergenerational programs. The publications—Making the Case for Intergenerational Programs, Fact Sheet: Intergenerational Programs Benefit Everyone, and Staying Connected While Staying Apart: Intergenerational Programs & the COVID-19 Pandemic—support the growing field of practice by increasing the knowledge and skills of people...


Episode 18: Larry Nisenson on Multigenerational Living and Employee Caregiving

A new study from Generations United, Family Matters: Multigenerational Living Is on the Rise and Here to Stay, finds that the number of Americans living in a multigenerational household with three or more generations has nearly quadrupled over the past decade, with a dramatic increase of 271 percent from 2011 to 2021 (7 percent vs. 26 percent). Our report found that 66 percent of those living in a multigenerational household say the economic climate was a factor in their living arrangement....


Episode 17: Ms. Genia, Keith Lowhorne, and Ana Beltran on Kinship vs. Guardianship

Across the U.S., more than 2.7 million children are growing up in grandfamilies — families in which grandparents, other adult family members, or close family friends are raising children. Generations United, with support from the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, created a brief and national comparison chart, Adoption and Guardianship for Children in Kinship Foster Care, which focuses on adoption and guardianship for children in kinship foster care, so that these children can exit foster...


Episode 16: Dr. Anita Rogers on How the Intergenerational Field Can Be More Inclusive and Effective in Engaging and Elevating Voices and Initiatives of People of Color

Dr. Anita Rogers has been involved with the delivery of education, civil rights, human services, reentry programming, violence prevention, victim assistance and mental health in various capacities. As a development consultant, she has raised millions of dollars to help nonprofit and government agencies provide services to underserved populations, especially people of color. She now serves as a senior fellow at Generations United Dr. Rogers joined Generations United's Executive Director...


Episode 15: Rachel Fleischer on Young Invincibles' Advocacy and Opportunities for Connecting Generations as the Biden Administration Helps Communities Build Back from the Impact of the Pandemic

Young Invincibles was founded by a group of students in the summer of 2009, motivated by the recognition that young people’s voices were not being heard in the debate over health care reform. In the years since, the organization expanded from a group run out of a school cafeteria to a national organization with offices across the country. Their Executive Director Rachel Fleischer joined Generations United's Executive Director Donna Butts for a discussion on the various priorities and...


Episode 14: Alex Glazebrook (with OATS) and Adrian Sutton (OCTO) on Using Technology to Connect Generations

In this episode, Adrian Sutton, project coordinator for Connect.DC (a program of D.C.'s Office of the Chief Technology Officers), and Alex Glazebrook, director of operations for Older Adults Technology Service (OATS), discuss older adults and technology. They also discussed the role of young people helping elders understand tech. Resources discussed in this episode: Support the show (


Episode 13: Robyn Wind-Tiger on the Crises Impacted Native American Grandfamilies

Robyn Wind-Tiger is a member of Generations United's GRAND Voices network, which is a select group of grandparents and other relative caregivers from across the country. Our GRAND members serve as strategic partners to inform policies and practices affecting grandfamilies and help reveal family strengths, needs and service gaps. They provide Guidance and feedback on Generations United’s resources and advocacy on behalf of grandfamilies. In this episode, Robyn discussed with Generations...


Episode 12: Mark Meridy on the Origin of DOROT and Fighting Social Isolation

For over 40 years, DOROT has been an innovative leader in designing programs that enhance the lives of older adults by helping them build social connections with peers and other generations. In this episode, DOROT's Executive Director Mark Meridy discusses the organization's origin and shares inspirational stories of generations connecting through their work. In this episode, Generations United's Executive Director Donna Butts referenced our report with The Eisner Foundation, I Need You,...


Episode 11: John Rother and Evon Yao Discuss #OKBoomer and How Generations Can Reach Across Ages and Differences to Find Common Ground

The conversation in this episode goes back to the roots of Generations United, which was founded over 30 years ago. The purpose, according to one of our founders Jack Ossofsky, was "to argue for a caring society." Over those three decades, the organization has weathered many attempts to spark intergenerational warfare. Fortunately, they've never taken root. In this episode, Generations United's former board chair John Rother, president and CEO of the National Coalition on Healthcare, and...


Episode 10: Ana Beltran and Olivia Chase on Affordable Housing for Grandfamilies

Across the United States, more than 2.65 million children live in grandfamilies — families in which grandparents, other adult family members or close family friends are raising children – with no parents in the home. Frequently, these families come together at a moment’s notice. In an instant, the home of the new grandfamily is inadequate for their suddenly expanded household. A new report from Generations United, A Place to Call Home: Building Affordable Housing for Grandfamilies, found...


Episode 9: Trent Stamp on The Eisner Foundation and What Makes An Intergenerational Program Successful

The Eisner Foundation -- started in 1996 by Michael D. Eisner, then-Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, and his wife, Jane -- gives an estimated $7 million per year to nonprofit organizations based in Los Angeles County. In 2015, The Foundation became the only U.S. funder investing exclusively in intergenerational solutions. The Eisner Foundation's CEO Trent Stamp discusses the motivation behind The Foundation's funding priorities, what they look for in a site visit, highlights...


Episode 8: Erin Hilligan on Ebenezer Ridges, an Intergenerational Shared Site

Twenty years ago, Ebenezer Ridges in Burnsville, MN, offered a skilled nursing facility and an adult day services program. Today, they're an intergenerational shared site with HUD-funded senior housing, an assisted living facility on campus, and a child care center. They're featured in our recent report with The Eisner Foundation, The Best of Both Worlds: A Closer Look at Spaces That Connect Young and Old. Erin Hilligan started out there as an intern 25 years ago. She's now vice president...


Episode 7: ZERO TO THREE on Grandparents as Child Care Providers

Grandparents play a critical role in filling the gap as parents struggle to provide the best affordable care for their children. In fact, almost 1 in 4 children under age 5 is cared for on a regular basis by a grandparent. That's according to ZERO TO THREE's new resource, Who's Watching the Kids? The Grand Plan Grandparenting Survey. In this episode, ZERO TO THREE's Rebecca Parlakian (senior director of Programs) and Kathy Kinsner (senior manager of Parent Resources) discuss additional...


Episode 6: Nancy Henkin on Intergenerational Programming in Senior Housing

In this episode, Dr. Nancy Henkin, our senior fellow and a pioneer in the intergenerational field, discusses her mentor Maggie Kuhn, intergenerational programming in senior housing, and getting young people interested in careers in aging. Support the show (


Episode 5: Joan Lombardi on What's Going Right for America

In this episode, Dr. Joan Lombardi, a giant in the early education field, discusses the role of community elders being changemakers for children and youth. She also discusses family separation at the border. Support the show (


Episode 4: Derenda Schubert on Bridge Meadows

Our conference co-host Bridge Meadows is changing the world by starting in their neighborhood in Portland, OR. They provide safe, stable and supportive communities for youth in foster care, adoptive parents, and elders. Their Executive Director Dr. Derenda Schubert shares the intergenerational collaboration between the youth who experienced foster care and the community of elders that helped create the community at Bridge Meadows. Support the show...


Episode 3: Michelle Singletary on Financial Lessons Learned from "Big Mama"

Michelle Singletary often mentions how her "Big Mama" was so great at saving money that it was like breathing to her grandmother. The syndicated Washington Post columnist shares that wisdom with her readers each week. In this episode, Michelle not only discusses how "Big Mama" was able to raise her and four other grandchildren, she also explains that the best things grandparents or other kin can give the kids they're raising are love and security. Support the show...


Episode 2: Marc Freedman on Legacy and Living Forever

In this episode, Encore's CEO Marc Freedman shares how he got into intergenerational work, discusses his mentors, what inspires him, his book, the importance of leaving a legacy and more! Support the show (


Episode 1: Donna Butts on Generations United

In this first episode, Generations United's Executive Director Donna Butts provides an overview of Generations United, which went from a small coalition to the world leader in helping to raise and elevate the importance of intergenerational strategies. Support the show (