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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Statement on Immigrant Family Separation


The United States was founded on the aspirational vision of “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.” Today, it is more important than ever to keep our eyes wide open and reconcile our deeply flawed history of slavery, genocide, and gender inequity with the freedom and opportunities the Constitution set forth for all people. There is…

New Ascend Report Offers Blueprint for State Leaders Fighting Poverty


As prospects seem to diminish for the next generation being better off than the current one, it is essential to elevate the successful work being done to address intergenerational poverty and create a path of opportunity. Two-generation (2Gen) policies have advanced greatly over the past decade, resulting in positive outcomes for families. 2Gen approaches embrace…

Ascend Federal Funding Opportunities Brief

New Federal Opportunities to Advance Two-Generation Approaches to Improving the Lives of Children and Parents

Because of recent legislation passed in February and March of this year, the federal government will be providing significant new funding to state and local governments in 2018 and future years through an array of programs serving low-income children and parents. These new funding streams, and the legislations’ increased focus on improving outcomes using evidence-based…

The Future of Work and Family Prosperity

Last week, as the Department of Labor announced the latest round of employment numbers, I was fortunate to be with the Aspen Family Prosperity Innovation Community—experts and innovators committed to helping families with low incomes become participants in the economy—engaging in a new conversation about the future of work. The Aspen Family Innovation experts came…