The Aspen Institute Announces “Two-Generation” Approach to Move Families Beyond Poverty

February 15, 2012

Contact: Sarah Haight
Program Associate
The Aspen Institute
202-736-2928 |

Original Report and New Fellowship Program Promote “Two-Generation” Strategy

Washington, DC, February 15, 2012 Today the Aspen Institute’s Ascend program released a report announcing a two-generation approach that targets education for both children and their parents, to help families achieve economic security.

The new report, “Two Generations, One Future,” makes the case for focusing on simultaneous educational opportunities for parents and their children as a promising way to move families beyond poverty.

“A two-generation approach can be a game-changer for families with low incomes, especially those young families who have been hurt dramatically by the recent recession,” said Anne Mosle, Ascend executive director. “We are seeing promising results from programs and policies around the country that promote education and skills for parents and provide quality early-learning opportunities for their children.”

The Institute also announced that its Ascend Fellowship will go to an inaugural class of 20 leaders from around the country who are pioneering two-generation approaches in government, philanthropy, research, educational institutions, nonprofit work, media and the private sector.

Mosle cited the Jeremiah Program in St. Paul, Minn., and the Community Action Project’s CareerAdvance™ program in Tulsa, Okla., as examples of the two-generation approach. The Ascend Fellows, she said, are “on the cutting edge of this innovative work in their communities, their research, and the policies they have put in place.”

Ascend was launched in 2011 with support from national foundations and women philanthropists. It is a hub for programs, policies, systems, and research using the two-generation approach, and builds partnerships around breakthrough ideas and proven strategies to move parents and children—two generations—beyond poverty together. Educational success is central to its work.

The full list of Ascend Fellows:

Ms. Katie Albright
San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center, Executive Director

Ms. Cara Aley
American MoJo, President and COO

Mr. Reggie Bicha
Colorado Department of Human Services, Executive Director

Ms. Mia Birdsong
Family Independence Initiative, Vice President

Dr. P. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale
Northwestern University, School of Education and Social Policy, Institute for Policy Research, Professor of Human Development & Social Policy and IPR Faculty Fellow

Ms. Karla Davis
Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Commissioner

Mr. Steven Dow
Community Action Project, Executive Director

Dr. Chris King
University of Texas at Austin, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, Ray Marshall Center, Director

Ms. Andrea Levere
CFED, President

Mr. Steve Liss, Photographer

Dr. Meera Mani
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Children, Families and Communities Program, Director

Dr. C. Nicole Mason
NYU Wagner Women of Color Policy Network, Executive Director, Assistant Research Professor

Ms. Margaret McKenna
Lesley University, President Emeritus and Professor of Leadership

Mr. Wes Moore
Author, Host, Youth Advocate

Reverend Vivian Nixon
College & Community Fellowship, Executive Director

Dr. Eduardo Padrón
Miami Dade College, President

Ms. Gloria Perez
Jeremiah Program, President and CEO

Dr. Mario Small
University of Chicago, Chair and Professor of Sociology

Mr. Henry Wilde
Acelero Learning, Senior Vice President of Operations

Dr. Richard Wylie
Endicott College, President

NOTE: You can keep up with Ascend on Twitter through the @AspenInstitute account and the two-generation hash tag #2gen.

The Aspen Institute Ascend program is a hub for breakthrough ideas and proven strategies that more parents, especially women, and their children beyond poverty towards educational success and economic security. For more information, please visit



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