Social Capital

Ascend Launches

April 22, 2011  • Anne Mosle

With the cherry blossoms ringing the tidal basin and the White House as our backdrop, Ascend, the Family Economic Security Program, held its launch celebration March 28 on the rooftop of the Hay-Adams Hotel. It was fantastic to see so many of our friends and partners, past and present, gathered under one roof: field innovators from California to Oklahoma to Tennessee; philanthropists and representatives of major foundations from across the country; college presidents; Administration officials; researchers and policy experts; and journalists from National Journal to Slate. With our dynamic speakers – Aspen’s Walter Isaacson and Elliot Gerson; the White House Office of Innovation and Civic Participation’s Sonal Shah; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Hilary Pennington; and of course, the electrifying author Wes Moore – it was a powerful and uplifting evening.

Watch Anne Mosle and Wes Moore at the launch.

Ascend is a hub for breakthrough ideas and proven strategies that move parents, especially women, and their children beyond poverty. Our vision of America is one in which a legacy of economic security and educational success passes from one generation to the next. The theme of both our dinner on March 28 and our roundtable the following day was a simple but compelling one: “Two Generations. One Future.” Consider the fact that in the United States today, nearly 40 percent of all children live in low-income families. Those families led by women are significantly more likely to live in low-income households, with two-thirds living in poverty. And yet – the resilience of these families is undeniable.

Ascend Launch
Photo Credit: Daniel Rosenbaum

We have an opportunity to increase families’ economic security by leveraging the strengths and assets of both parents and their children, as well as those of their communities. In the context of formidable challenges – a deepening deficit, increased food costs, lingering unemployment – it is now more important than ever that we support and lift up breakthrough ideas and proven solutions that have the power to move vulnerable families beyond poverty.

These are just some of the thoughts I shared on March 28. For more news and more information, I hope you’ll return here and the Ascend web site for more news and information.