A photo of Austin Oswald. Austin Oswald, PhD, MPhil, MA, BSc, CTRS

Postdoctoral Scholar, The Goldsen Institute, University of Washington School of Social Work

[email protected]



I have over 10 years of experience working in the field of gerontology and five years specifically in gerontological social work, primarily as an educator and community-based researcher with a focus on policy development. As a doctoral fellow at Silberman Aging: Hartford Center of Excellence in Diverse Aging, I am responsible for managing a national program evaluation of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) cultural sensitivity trainings for providers in the aging services network. This research, along with my advocacy work, has led to my ongoing efforts to increase the visibility of LGBTQ aging experiences and improve aging services to be more inclusive and welcoming of LGBTQ older adults. I am a co-convener of the Rainbow Research Group of the Gerontological Society of America and fellow at the Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research. I am deeply committed to community-based scholarship and pedagogy that empowers LGBTQ elders of color to live a just and abundant quality of life. To achieve this goal, I work closely with a community-based organization in New York City that serves LGBTQ older adults of color to build knowledge that disrupts the narrowness of mainstream research by centering their voices and lines of analyses in inquiry. Our research applies critical theory and community-based participatory methods to critically examine dominant paradigm of “age-friendly communities” to expose who matters and who benefits from these initiatives. Ultimately, the goal of this research is to develop critical knowledge products that are “of use” to those most impacted by injustice. I am delighted to join the network of scholar-activists at the Emancipatory Sciences Lab and look forward to working in solidarity with like-minded people to foster critical imagination, healing, and justice.

Keywords: LGBTQ aging, anti-racism, critical gerontology, community-based participatory methods