We are so grateful to all of the people who offered so much wisdom over the course of our two days together for the Aspen Forum on Children and Families. From parents and neuroscientists to presidential appointees and social workers–it felt like they all pushed further into the complex and deeply worthwhile questions of how to end poverty so that families can achieve their unique dreams. Here are just a few of our favorite quotations:

“We want to be a part of the process because that makes us want to be more successful.” Rynn Bell, Family Tree, Ascend Parent Advisor

“We don’t have broken children. We have a broken system.” – Myra Jones-Taylor, ZERO TO THREE, Ascend Fellow

“I’m new to philanthropy. I’ve never been in a sector with less accountability.” – Dr. Richard Besser, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

“Inequity is not inevitability.” – Dr. Sarah E. Watamura, Stress Early Experience and Development Research Center, University of Denver, Ascend Fellow

“Childcare is the big issue for parents trying to get ahead.” Daniel Torres, STRIVE International graduate

“Parenting is a form of crisis.”‘ Dr. Matthew Biel, Center for Trauma and the Community, Georgetown University Medical Center, Ascend Fellow

“Families and communities are more resilient and more agile than systems.” – Raquel Hatter, The Kresge Foundation, Ascend Fellow

“Humans are wired to be interdependent. You don’t get anywhere by yourself.” – Mia Birdsong, Ascend Fellow

“Don’t just pick our brains — hire us.” – Yolanda Johnson Peterkin, New York Housing Authority, Ascend Parent Advisor

“Poverty is not monolithic. The stories of people in poverty are not monolithic.” -Dr. Lori Pfingst, Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Ascend Fellow