The CoGenerations Project

Generations collaborating for the common good through dialogue, mutual mentoring, and engagement.

The CoGenerations Project is a participatory action research (PAR) and practice effort designed to increase cross generational dialogue, mutual mentoring, and engagement to address shared societal concerns.

This project emerged from Rick Lathrop’s 28 years of experience at Global Service Corps (GSC), an international service-learning volunteer program launched in 1993 while a student at Fielding Graduate University, and with the support of Fielding faculty, fellow students, and a small startup grant.

Over 80% of the GSC program volunteer participants were of the ages 18 – 30. Due to forced indefinite shutdown of GSC due to Covid in March 2020, and concurrent societal unrest particularly among youth, Rick decided to take lessons learned with GSC to work intergenerationally to address shared concerns.

Initial project research with younger people identified key concerns shared across generations: Climate Change, Racial and Gender Issues, Economic and Educational Inequities, and Health Issues.

Research also indicated that while generations share these concerns, there is a lack of intergenerational communication and collaboration often based on mistrust and unequal access to resources

The CoGenerations Project plans to continue PAR work to better address these barriers, and particularly to develop training modules to prepare individuals to effectively dialogue, share expertise and engage together.