What are the gifts and challenges of different ages and stages of adult life? What are some myths and truths about generational differences? Dr. King said, “Peace is not the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.” How do we acknowledge and create justice from existing tensions among Baby Boomers, Millennials, Gen X and Gen Z? As a pediatric psychologist, political and social justice organizer, teacher, parent, wife, and daughter, Dr. Karen Wills has been learning about adult development and inter-generational communication for about 40 years. Yes, that’d make her a Boomer. Let’s consider what those labels of generational identity mean, and don’t mean…. okay, Boomers (and others)?
Dr. Karen Wills (she/her), Acting Executive Director of MUUSJA, Minnesota’s UU Social Justice Alliance, is a “born and bred” Unitarian Universalist. Her mother was a California UU organizer, and her fathers were gay rights activists. Karen has attended 13 different UU congregations in Boston, Pasadena, Chicago, Iowa City, Provincetown, and Minnesota. She spent many years volunteering as a religious education teacher and youth advisor. As a hospital-based pediatric neuropsychologist, Karen advocated for children with disabilities and special health care needs. Her coolest jobs before working with MUUSJA were teaching sign language to chimpanzees, training young psychologists, coordinating Girl Scout jamborees, leading phonebanks to defeat the same-sex marriage ban, hosting an activism fair at the state capitol, and organizing political campaigns for several Minnesota state representatives. She and her husband live in Bloomington, and love visiting their daughter, Emma, in Los Angeles — especially midwinter!