Dr. Wendy Ellis has spent the last decade developing a national ‘resilience movement.’ She created the Building Community Resilience process and collaborative, now being implemented in five metro regions, to address systemic inequities driving disparities and a range of poor outcomes transmitted in families and communities across generations. BCR is framed around what Ellis describes as the ‘Pair of ACEs’ – adverse childhood experiences in the context of adverse community environments. Previously, as a journalist, Ellis saw multiple systems – from juvenile justice to health care – fail the very children and families they were meant 
to serve. The BCR work has garnered $1.6 million in funding, including from the Kresge Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Ellis has been featured in Congressional briefings and in the Washington Post, US News and C-SPAN.

My Truth

In collaboration with the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), the BCR teams in Dallas, Cincinnati, and Portland have begun to build links to their public health departments. These linkages provide an entrée into city government as well as access to other community organizations and agencies within the cities. Furthermore, the linkages with public health departments provide a potential pathway to sustainable funding. Each BCR site has distinctive characteristics, although commonalities have emerged across sites. The next leap in this work would be to provide a deeper understanding of the linkages between individual and community adversity, inequity and resilience.

Stories featuring Wendy Ellis

As an organization with a vibrant Early Head Start program and a two-generational approach to alleviating poverty, All Our Kin has been a proud partner in Ascend at the Aspen Institute’s Family Prosperity Innovation Community. Being part of this group among 20 partnering organizations has given All Our Kin the opportunity to bring its innovative model …

Mom and Son Duo Reflect on Family Prosperity Convening Read More »

Aspen Family Prosperity Innovation CommunityAugust 11, 2022
I started off the 2022 Aspen Ideas Festival at Aspen Words Book Ball, a passion project of Isa Catto and Daniel Shaw.
Ascend FellowshipJune 25, 2022
This year, the Aspen Idea Festival returns to in-person programming at our campus in the Rocky Mountains June 25 - July 1, 2022.
Ascend FellowshipJune 15, 2022
Four outstanding organizations and partnerships have been selected to receive flexible grant funding to accelerate their work moving children and families with low incomes toward educational success, economic security, and health and well-being. Ascend Impact Fund awardees are: Association of Children’s Museums and Center for Community Resilience Center for Urban Families, Early Childhood Innovation Network, …

Four Outstanding Projects Selected for Ascend Impact Fund Read More »

BlogDecember 9, 2020
This post, by Aspen Institute senior manager of digital content and communications Kristina Saccone, was originally published on the Aspen Institute‘s website. Juneteenth, or Emancipation Day, recognizes an important moment in US history—when nearly a quarter of a million men, women, and children were freed—ending slavery nearly two years after the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect. …

Juneteenth Is a Day of Reflection for All Americans Read More »

BlogJune 19, 2020
Kwame AnkuChairman and CEOBlack Star Fund Sacramento, CAMy Vision – The problem I am focusing on solving is breaking the economic disparity cycle afflicting people of the African diaspora. I call my bold vision 100X100. It is a vision of 100 Black investment managers who will each manage $100M innovation funds by 2025. I believe we …

2018 Ascend Fellow Action Plans Read More »

Ascend FellowshipJune 19, 2019
As state and federal lawmakers prepare for the year ahead, more than 350 practice and community leaders, policymakers, researchers, and philanthropists - including Ascend Fellows, Family Prosperity Innovators, and Ascend Network Partners - joined us at the 2019 Aspen Forum on Children and Families to harness this momentum for investing in the full potential of children and families, two generations at a time.
BlogMarch 13, 2019
Share Our Strength
Last week, Ascend Managing Director, Marjorie Sims, had the privilege of moderating an Aspen Institute roundtable conversation with Billy Shore, founder and CEO of Share Our Strength. The conversation was part of a new initiative launched by Aspen Institute CEO, Dan Porterfield and co-led by Sims and Public Programs Vice President Jamie Miller focused on …

Supporting Social Impact in DC: A Conversation with Marjorie Sims and Billy Shore Read More »

BlogDecember 19, 2018
2018 Ascend Fellows
NEWS RELEASE Contact: Lindsay Broyhill Ascend at the Aspen Institute Tel: 202.721.5596 Lindsay.broyhill@aspeninstitute.org Prestigious Aspen Institute Ascend Fellowship Announces 2018 Class of Leaders Diverse Leaders Selected for Their Groundbreaking Work Advancing Opportunity for Children and Families With Low Incomes Washington, DC, September 6, 2018 – The Aspen Institute announced today the 2018 class of Aspen …

Prestigious Aspen Institute Ascend Fellowship Announces 2018 Class of Leaders Read More »

Press ReleasesSeptember 6, 2018

Convenings Featuring Wendy Ellis

Date: June 26, 2022
Location: Aspen, CO
From San Antonio to Boston and from Los Angeles to Cincinnati and thousands of communities between, the Power of Place is about unearthing collective purpose and capital. Hear from visionaries who zero in on historical traumas to rebuild trust and a...
ConveningJune 26, 2022
Date: June 8, 2021
Location: Virtual (Zoom)
A discussion between Wendy Ellis and Laura Huertas Migus about the development, implementation, and learnings from their founding of a truth and racial reconciliation project....
ConveningJune 8, 2021