Dec 1, 2020
AARP to Celebrate 2021 Purpose Prize® Honorees at Virtual Award Ceremony December 3
Golden Globe® Award-Winning Actor Glenn Close to be Presented with Honorary Award; AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins, Purpose Prize Jury Member Sherry Lansing Will Join Host Lisa Ling in Honoring 2021 Winners

WASHINGTON – AARP will recognize the 2021 Purpose Prize Award recipients and fellows during a live streaming event Thursday, Dec. 3 at 7:00 p.m. ET. AARP’s Purpose Prize is the only national award that celebrates people 50-plus who are using their knowledge and life experience to solve tough social problems. These winners and fellows are extraordinary Americans who tap into the power of life experience to build a better future for us all, founding and leading initiatives from school-safety and violence-prevention efforts to an organization that helps people with disabilities acquire assistive technologies to improve the quality of their lives.  

The virtual event will be hosted by award-winning journalist Lisa Ling and feature AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins and Purpose Prize jury chair Sherry Lansing. Golden Globe® Award-Winning Actor Glenn Close will be presented with an honorary Purpose Prize Award for her work with Bring Change to Mind, a charity dedicated to confronting, head-on, the stigma associated with mental illness. The organization works to normalize mental health conversations and build the awareness, understanding and empathy necessary to inspire action, structural change and the creation of new norms which will end stigma and discrimination. The idea for the organization came about following Close’s first-hand observation of battles with mental illness within her family.

Each AARP Purpose Prize winner will receive a $50,000 award for their organization. AARP also announced ten AARP Purpose Prize fellows, who will be honored for the mission-focused work of the organizations they lead and will receive a $5,000 award to further the mission of their organization. Both winners and fellows will receive a year of technical support to help broaden the scope of their organization’s work.

AARP invites everyone to join the free virtual event, which will be aired from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET. To register for the event, visit

The 2021 AARP Purpose Prize winners are:

Mark Barden – Newtown, Conn. – Sandy Hook Promise

  • After his son, Daniel, was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, Barden co-founded Sandy Hook Promise, an organization that aims to prevent shootings, violence and other harmful acts to help keep schools and communities safe.

Cindy Eggleton – Pleasant Ridge, Mich. – Brilliant Detroit

  • Eggleton co-founded Brilliant Detroit, an organization that builds family centers in high-need neighborhoods for families with children ages 0-8. Brilliant Detroit homes provide families with year-round support and the necessities to be school-ready, healthy and stable.

Hope Harley – Bronx, N.Y. – Bronx Children’s Museum

  • Harley is president of the Bronx Children’s Museum, which seeks to inspire children, their families and caregivers to learn about themselves within the richness and diversity of their surroundings and beyond.

Arturo Noriega – Pacifica, Calif. – Centro Community Partners

  • Noriega is the founder and CEO of Centro Community Partners, a nonprofit that provides entrepreneurship education, access to capital and business advisory and mentorship to low-income minorities.

Susan Tachau – Bala Cynwyd, Pa. – Pennsylvania Assistive Technology

  • Tachau is a co-founder and CEO of Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation, a nonprofit that helps individuals with disabilities and older Pennsylvanians acquire the assistive technology devices and services they need.

This year’s AARP Purpose Prize fellows are:

Jerilyn Brusseau – Bainbridge Island, Wash. – PeaceTrees Vietnam

Liz Fanning – New York, N.Y. – CorpsAfrica

Patricia Funegra – Arlington, Va. – La Cocina VA

Andrea Ivory ­– Miami, Fla. – Women’s Breast & Heart Initiative

Robin Kelleher – Springfield, Va. – Hope For The Warriors

Sharon Love – Cockeysville, Md. – One Love Foundation in honor of Yeardley Love

Donna Odom – Kalamazoo, Mich. – SHARE (Society for History and Racial Equity)

Ngozi Okaro – New York, N.Y. – Custom Collaborative

Katherine Soll – New York, N.Y. – Teens for Food Justice

Lisa Thurau – Cambridge, Mass. – Strategies for Youth


About AARP
AARP is the nation's largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and more than 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.

For further information: Paola Torres, AARP, 202-434-2555,