In another step to significantly improve the lives of low-income children and their parents in the United States, Ascend at the Aspen Institute launched the $1 Million Aspen Institute Ascend Fund.Learn more
Ascend at the Aspen Institute is a hub for breakthrough ideas and proven strategies that move parents, especially women, and their children beyond poverty toward educational success and economic security. Ascend works to spark a new conversation around low-income families, build a network of leaders through a national fellowship program, and elevate promising two-generation policies and community solutions.
In the United States today, nearly 40 percent of all children — more than 30.5 million children — live in low-income families. Almost three-fourths of single-mother families with children are low income. We believe that a country in which millions of families, especially those headed by women, are struggling for economic stability is not an equitable or sustainable one. The long-term economic prosperity of our country is at risk when parents and children, both of whom are resilient in spite of great odds, struggle to achieve educational and economic success.
Many efforts targeted at improving economic opportunity for families focus separately on parents or children. At Ascend, we take a two-generation approach to our work — focusing on both parents and children together — and bring a gender- and racial-equity lens to analysis.
Each of these values informs our belief that the solution is more powerful than the problem and that we can — and will — create conditions that allow economic security for all families.
We adapt quickly and efficiently to take advantage of opportunities and overcome challenges, and we engage with diverse collaborators across sectors while pursuing our goals.
We are not simply willing, but eager, to make change happen. We take risks to catalyze change and accomplish our goals.
We tackle problems in fresh ways by bringing diverse — and sometimes unconventional — resources and partners to the table.
We are clear about our goals and mission, and we are resilient in the face of challenges.
We hold ourselves to the highest standards and maintain a strong focus on quality. We seek out partners and collaborators with the same high expectations and commitment.