Colorado, Communities, and Collaboration

November 8, 2012 |

The scene at the Colorado 2019 Summit in Denver, Colorado.

Colorado is an important state for Ascend.  Indeed, in 1950 the Aspen Institute was founded in the Rocky Mountain town of Aspen, which has been home to eight Aspen Ideas Festivals, and was most recently the launching pad for Ascend’s inaugural Aspen ThinkXChange.  I recently had the opportunity to learn more about the struggles of vulnerable families in Colorado when I attended the Colorado 2019 Summit in Denver, which explored opportunities for and challenges facing over 5 million Americans who call Colorado home, including 1.2 million children under the age of 18, of which nearly 18% are living in poverty.

Hosted by the Colorado Center on Law and Policy (CCLP) and supported by two of Ascend’s philanthropic partners, the Chambers Family Fund and the Kresge Foundation, on October 19th, the Colorado 2019 Summit: Promising Practices to Reduce Poverty convened nonprofit leaders, local human service providers, and state legislators for a day-long exploration of county-based collaborations and other promising models towards moving Colorado families out of poverty.  The Arapahoe/Douglas Works! Center was one of several site visits offered at the Summit, which offered an opportunity to learn about effective, partnership-based models that focus on increasing employment among vulnerable Coloradans, including employment assistance programs for parents.

Charged with a goal to reduce poverty in Colorado by 50% by 2019, the Summit’s host, CCLP – which is a leading stakeholder in the Economic Opportunity Poverty Reduction Task Force of the Colorado General Assembly – offered an important reminder for Colorado: the value of relationships between state agencies and local communities.  As a county-administered state, practitioners, administrators, and law-makers maintain unique relationships with their communities, reflective of their distinct ability to administer services and programs based on local needs.  While there is no “silver bullet” solution to address complex problems like poverty, strong relationships within and among communities are often seen as good practice and critical components in alleviating the complex problems facing families in poverty.  As Ascend continues to elevate effective policies and two-generation solutions, Colorado will continue to be an important place of momentum and leadership.

Related Posts

The Twomey family from the Crann Centre
Three Ascend Network Partners offer proven, practical examples of how to use a 2Gen approach when working together with families with disabilities.
Ascend NetworkNovember 8, 2023
Graphic featuring a photo of Michaela Martin, Yolanda Johnson-Peterkin, Ariel Ventura-Lazo, and Dr. Daria Willis.
An episode of firsts! Our first live episode recorded at the inaugural Ascend Parent Advisor Convening in Aspen, CO in front of an audience of student parents.
Aspen Postsecondary Success for ParentsOctober 27, 2023
Headshots of 4 Fellows
Today, the Aspen Institute announced its 2023 Aspen Institute Ascend Fellows, 20 leaders from across the United States who are transforming systems so that all children and families can thrive.
Ascend FellowshipOctober 10, 2023