Two Generations. One Future.

Ascend at the Aspen Institute is a hub for breakthrough ideas and collaborations that move children and their parents toward educational success and economic security. Ascend takes a two-generation approach to our work – focusing on children and their parents together – and we bring a gender and racial equity lens to our analysis.

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Undo A System of White Supremacy: The Call for a New Social Contract


Black Lives Matter. As a collective of leaders committed to advancing two-generation strategies to end multigenerational poverty, we believe that the only path to that outcome is through a reckoning with our past and present, and a fundamental shift in our institutions. This requires a new social contract to remedy the harms of White supremacy –a…

New Report: Principles and Innovations to Drive Family Prosperity


The last few weeks and months have been profoundly challenging, and illuminated clearly the need for a sea change in the way our country engages with and supports families and communities with low incomes. At Ascend, we are particularly focused on deepening and elevating our efforts to address structural racism, including how systemic inequities impact…

I Will Not Be Deterred from My Goals as a Parent in 2020

I could live a hundred years and cry everyday of those years, and those tears would still not be enough to express the exhaustion, pain, and outrage I’m feeling at this moment. As a single Black mother of two sons and a daughter, I have three goals: (1) Protect and preserve their lives (2) Provide them…

Statement and Call to Action: Condemn Police Violence and Structural Racism

Dear Ascend Community: Ascend is committed to the work of anti-racism. Seeing and experiencing week after week what Black people and families go through, and the threat of violence they are subjected to on a daily basis, is completely unacceptable and must end. We stand against this ongoing oppression and the white supremacy that breeds…