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Transcend Politics: Keep Children and Families at the Center


Originally published in The Huffington Post We opened this week with millions of Americans honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, and we will close the week with the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States. A dramatically different political, policy and power environment emerges with the incoming Trump Administration, one-party control…

Mr. Scruggs Goes to Washington


  I recently gave a talk at the LISC National Leadership Conference in Houston, Texas, alongside community development leaders from across the country to inspire, motivate, and energize practitioners in the field–stories about people who are activists, advocates, and ambassadors for positive transformation in their communities. I shared a story about how Mississippi County, Arkansas,…

It’s Time for a Paradigm Shift in Head Start


Last week the Office of Head Start released the much anticipated revision of the Head Start Program Performance Standards (standards). This is the first comprehensive revision of the standards since they were first released in 1975. These standards are more than a decade in the making since the bipartisan passing of the Improving Head Start…

Expanding the Potential of 2Gen Programs – 3 Ideas for Funders


The March 2016, Making Tomorrow Better Together, report by Ascend at the Aspen Institute was brutally honest on the value of what they called “Two-Generation 1.0 programs” — programs that at their heart were wonderfully intentioned to provide valuable services to both parents and children, but which produced only modest participant outcomes at a relatively high cost.…

Becoming 2Gen: Ascend Network Partners Respond


Becoming 2Gen: Ascend Network Partners Respond, Pt. 1 "How do we get started?" is a frequent question Ascend staff receive from organizations new to the two-generation approach. Taking on new program components and more than doubling a target population can seem overwhelming. However, the 2Gen approach starts with a shift in mindset, and organizations at…

Me and My Posse


Lessons and Innovations from the 2Gen Field   We, as people navigating life, intuitively recognize the value of social capital in helping us reach our goals, personal and professional. The network of people and institutions that we rely on is instrumental on a daily basis, especially in helping us get through tough and transitional times,…