Employment and Jobs

Valuing Care: Principles for a Post-Pandemic Care Economy

April 21, 2021  • Economic Opportunities Program

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Event Description

The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the value of caregiving work and the need for equitable and affordable access to care – for children, for elders, for those with a disability, and for all of us in hard times. Yet care work remains underpaid and often invisible, contributing to the inadequacies of the US care system and deepening challenges for caregivers and families. As we move from crisis to recovery, how can policy contribute to building a care economy that dignifies the work of caregivers and expands access to quality, affordable care? How can our systems center gender and racial equity to construct a care economy that serves all families? And how can our society support a healthy and sustainable caregiving system for our post-pandemic future, one in which the demand for caregiving is poised to continue to grow?

This special event hosted by the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program explores these questions and more. The event features an exciting lineup of policy and practice experts, cultural leaders, and caregivers, including:

  • Justin Baldoni, Director and Producer, “Clouds,” “Five Feet Apart”; Actor, “Jane the Virgin”; Cofounder, Wayfarer Studios
  • Erika Beras, Reporter, Marketplace
  • Heather Boushey, Member, Council of Economic Advisers, The White House
  • Abby McCloskey, Founder and Principal, McCloskey Policy LLC
  • Ai-jen Poo, Executive Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance; Director, Caring Across Generations
  • Dan Porterfield, President and CEO, The Aspen Institute
  • Adria Powell, President and CEO, Cooperative Home Care Associates
  • Mitt Romney, US Senator from Utah
  • Tina Tchen, President and CEO, TIME’S UP
  • Dorian Warren, President, Community Change; Cochair, Economic Security Project

Speakers discuss the important role of caregiving in our economy and society, as well as a variety of ideas for building an equitable care economy both in the near term for recovery and in the long term for a post-pandemic future.



April 21: “Valuing Care: Principles for a Post-Pandemic Care Economy.” Feat @justinbaldoni, @Erika_Beras, @McCloskeyAbby, @aijenpoo, @DanPorterfield, Adria Powell, @SenatorRomney, @TinaTchen, and @dorianwarren. RSVP: as.pn/care Join the conversation #talkopportunity.

The pandemic showed us how important caregiving is, but care work is underpaid and often invisible. How can we build an economy that dignifies the work of caregivers? Join @AspenWorkforce on April 21 for this important conversation.

We all need caregiving at some point in our lives. Children, elders, those with a disability, and all of us in hard times. How can we expand access to quality, affordable care? Join @AspenWorkforce on April 21 for a special discussion.

The pandemic revealed deep disparities along racial and gender lines, especially with respect to caregiving. How can we build a care economy that centers equity and serves all families? Join @AspenWorkforce on April 21 to discuss.

Demand for caregiving is poised to grow. How can we support a healthy and sustainable caregiving system in both our near-term recovery and post-pandemic future? Join @AspenWorkforce on April 21 for a special event on this topic.

I’m excited to take part in this @AspenWorkforce discussion on “Valuing Care: Principles for a Post-Pandemic Care Economy.” Join me April 21 to talk about the important role of caregiving and ideas for building an equitable system.

To view more outreach materials for this event, click here.



All times are in Eastern Daylight Time.

2:00-2:15 – Opening Remarks

  • Maureen Conway, Vice President, The Aspen Institute; Executive Director, The Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program
  • Dan Porterfield, President and CEO, The Aspen Institute
  • Mitt Romney, US Senator from Utah
  • Heather Boushey, Member, Council of Economic Advisers, The White House

2:15-3:30 – Panel: Policies and Approaches for Building an Equitable Care Economy (with Audience Q&A)

  • Abby McCloskey, Founder, McCloskey Policy LLC
  • Adria Powell, President and CEO, Cooperative Home Care Associates
  • Tina Tchen, President and CEO, TIME’S UP
  • Dorian Warren, President, Community Change; Cochair, Economic Security Project
  • Erika Beras (moderator), Reporter, Marketplace

3:30-4:00 – Campaigning for Care: A Conversation between Justin Baldoni and Ai-jen Poo

  • Justin Baldoni, Director and Producer, “Clouds,” “Five Feet Apart”; Actor, “Jane the Virgin”; Cofounder, Wayfarer Studios
  • Ai-jen Poo, Executive Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance; Director, Caring Across Generations


About Man Enough to Care

Man Enough to Care is a five-part miniseries from Wayfarer Studios in partnership with Caring Across Generations that explores several caregiving themes related to masculinity. The production features a filmed roundtable discussion led by Justin Baldoni and features former NFL star Devon Still, actor Nathan Kress (iCarly, Star Wars Rebels), comedian and writer Zach Anner (Speechless), caregiving advocate Robert Espinoza (Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute), and Caring Across Generations’ Director Ai-jen Poo. Learn more at manenough.com/care.


Speaker Bios

Photo of Justin Baldoni

Justin Baldoni @justinbaldoni
Director and Producer, “Clouds,” “Five Feet Apart”; Actor, “Jane the Virgin”; Cofounder, Wayfarer Studios @WayfarerStudios

Justin Baldoni is a director, producer, actor, and the cofounder of Wayfarer Studios and the Wayfarer Foundation. Baldoni is known for creating purpose-driven media that impacts social change and leaves a lasting impression on audiences. In 2020, he directed and produced “Clouds,” which became Disney’s first-ever narrative acquisition for its global platform, Disney+. He made his feature film directorial debut in 2019 with “Five Feet Apart.” He also created and directs The CW’s documentary series, “My Last Days,” and played Rafael on the network’s award-winning show “Jane the Virgin.” Inspired by his personal journey, Baldoni created “Man Enough,” a conversation series that explores the messages of masculinity while reimagining what it means to be a man in the world today. Baldoni has followed up his wildly popular viral TED Talk with a book he wrote boldly and transparently about his own journey, “Man Enough: Undefining My Masculinity,” published by Harper Collins as a part of a three-book deal, available April 27.


Photo of Erika Beras

Erika Beras @Erika_Beras
Reporter, Marketplace @Marketplace

Erika Beras is a reporter for Marketplace, covering health, education, and how the pandemic has changed the way we live and work.

Prior to joining Marketplace, Beras was a regular contributor to several top public radio shows such as NPR’s “Morning Edition,” PRI’s “The World,” and the Scientific American podcast. She has written for National Geographic, The New Yorker, and other publications.

She has been recognized for her work, receiving grants and fellowships from the Radio Television Digital News Association, the National Association of Science Writers, International Center for Journalists, the International Women’s Media Foundation, the Center for Health Reporting, Third Coast International Audio Festival, and others. She was previously a reporter at WESA in Pittsburgh and a staff writer at the Miami Herald.

Beras has reported internationally from places as varied as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Switzerland and is a returned Peace Corps volunteer.

She grew up in New York and is a native Spanish speaker. Beras graduated from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and currently resides in Pittsburgh.


Heather Boushey

Heather Boushey @hboushey46
Member, Council of Economic Advisers, The White House @WhiteHouseCEA

Heather Boushey is a member of President Biden’s Council of Economic Advisers. Heather Boushey is cofounder of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, where she was president and CEO from 2013 to 2020. She previously served as chief economist for Secretary Clinton’s 2016 transition team and as an economist for the Center for American Progress, the Joint Economic Committee of the US Congress, the Center for Economic and Policy Research, and the Economic Policy Institute.


Photo of Abby McCloskey

Abby McCloskey @McCloskeyAbby
Founder and Principal, McCloskey Policy LLC

Abby M. McCloskey is founder and principal of McCloskey Policy LLC, a research and consulting firm serving business and political leaders across the country, including presidential and congressional candidates, Cabinet-level appointees, Fortune 500 CEOs, and foundations.

Most recently, McCloskey was policy director for Howard Schultz’ 2020 exploratory presidential bid as an independent. Previously, she served as policy director for Governor Rick Perry’s 2016 presidential campaign and an economic advisor to Governor Jeb Bush’s 2016 presidential campaign. She was the program director of economic policy at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in Washington, D.C.; the director of research at the Financial Services Roundtable; a staffer for US Sen. Richard Shelby; and a policy associate with the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation and the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

Her work has largely focused on economic opportunity and policies for working families. She is a member of the AEI-Brookings Working Group on paid family leave.

McCloskey is widely published, with her work regularly published in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, National Affairs, The Dispatch, Forbes, AEI, and National Review, as well as a regular column in The Dallas Morning News. McCloskey has testified about her research before the US Congress, frequently appears on major media outlets, and is often a featured guest speaker at conferences.

McCloskey holds a Master of Science in Applied Economics from Johns Hopkins University and graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Wheaton College. She lives with her husband, three children, and golden retriever in Texas.


Photo of Ai-jen Poo

Ai-jen Poo @aijenpoo
Executive Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance @domesticworkers; Director, Caring Across Generations @CaringAcrossGen

Ai-jen Poo is an award-winning organizer, author, and a leading voice in the women’s movement. She is the executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, director of Caring Across Generations, cofounder of SuperMajority, cohost of Sunstorm podcast, and a trustee of the Ford Foundation. Ai-jen is a nationally recognized expert on elder and family care, the future of work, and what’s at stake for women of color. She is the author of the celebrated book, The Age of Dignity: Preparing for the Elder Boom in a Changing America.


Daniel Porterfield

Daniel R. Porterfield @DanPorterfield
President and CEO, The Aspen Institute @AspenInstitute

Dan Porterfield is president and CEO of the Aspen Institute. Previously, Dan served for seven years as the president of Franklin & Marshall College. He has been recognized as a visionary leader and advocate for expanding educational opportunity and improving the human condition and was named a White House Champion of Change in 2016. Prior to his appointment at Franklin & Marshall College, Dan served as senior vice president for strategic development and an English professor at his alma mater, Georgetown University, and for four years as a senior public affairs official in the US Department of Health and Human Services. He earned Bachelor of Arts degrees from Georgetown and Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and his Ph.D. from The City University of New York Graduate Center, where he was awarded a Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities.


Photo of Adria Powell

Adria Powell
President and CEO, Cooperative Home Care Associates @CHCANY

As CHCA’s president and CEO, Adria Powell oversees the cooperative’s work to provide high-quality care, support its workers and worker-owners, and sustainably grow to serve more clients. Ms. Powell supervises the senior leadership, who have oversight of the cooperative’s various divisions: operations, training and workforce development, finance, quality performance, and clinical services. She works closely with these teams to ensure that the organization maintains the best quality of services possible, by maintaining a deep investment in the development of the home care workforce.

Ms. Powell assumed the role of president in January 2017 after serving as executive vice president, at a time of significant change and challenge in the home care industry. In addition to guiding CHCA’s ongoing strategic planning efforts, she has advocated on behalf of the cooperative’s workers for adequate funding for rates that support the cost of home care services and has collaborated with Local 1199 to support home care workers.

She leverages CHCA’s identity as a worker cooperative to champion the foundation and principles of the cooperative model, both with CHCA workers and worker-owners and to the broader community. Ms. Powell works with local government bodies to support CHCA’s work and advance the stability and support of the home care workforce. Through all this work, Ms. Powell focuses her efforts and those of CHCA on providing person-centered care for every client, and continually improving the care and the jobs for those who provide that care.

Ms. Powell holds a baccalaureate degree in psychology with a minor in Black studies from Boston College. In 2000, she earned her Master of Public Administration (Health Policy & Management) from New York University.


Mitt Romney @SenatorRomney
US Senator from Utah

Senator Mitt Romney was sworn in as Utah’s newest senator on January 3, 2019. He currently serves on the Foreign Relations; Health, Education, Labor & Pensions; Homeland Security & Government Affairs; and Budget committees. On the Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Romney serves as ranking member of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy. He is also a member of the Senate National Security Working Group.

Before entering public service, he led a successful business career as the cofounder of Bain Capital, a leading investment company, and the turnaround CEO of Bain & Company, an international management consulting firm.

Prior to serving as the governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007, Senator Romney led the 2002 Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the Winter Olympics and, with a team of volunteers and managers, helped turn the struggling Games into a Utah success story. He was a candidate for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination and Republican nominee for president in 2012.

Senator Romney earned his bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and his JD/MBA from Harvard University. He is the proud husband to Ann, father to five sons, and grandfather to 25 grandchildren.


Photo of Tina Tchen

Tina Tchen @TinaTchen

Tina Tchen serves as president and CEO of TIME’S UP Now and the TIME’S UP Foundation, overseeing the organizations’ strategic plans to change culture, companies, and laws to make work safe, fair, and dignified for all. In 2017, Tina cofounded the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund, which has connected thousands of people to legal or PR support for sexual harassment. Previously, Tina was a lawyer advising companies on gender inequity, sexual harassment, and diversity. She also served as executive director of the White House Council on Women and Girls and chief of staff to First Lady Michelle Obama.


Photo of Dorian Warren

Dorian Warren @dorianwarren
President, Community Change @CommunityChange; Cochair, Economic Security Project @EconomicSecProj

A progressive scholar, organizer, and media personality, Dorian Warren has worked to advance racial, economic, and social justice for more than two decades. Like the organizations he leads, Warren is driven by the innate conviction that only social movements — led by the communities most affected by economic, gender, and social injustice — can change their communities and public policies for the better.

At this historical and challenging moment, Dorian is uniquely positioned to lead the work of Community Change, organizing and mobilizing powerful, multiracial alliances around social justice at a time when inequality, political apathy, and exclusion are on the rise.

Growing up on Chicago’s South Side, Dorian learned firsthand the power of unions to unleash economic opportunities. His great-grandparents were sharecroppers, his grandparents were janitors, and his mother was a teacher in Chicago’s public schools for more than 40 years.

Guided by his intuitive understanding of inequality, Dorian has devoted his life to building the power and capacity of low-income people. As an alum of progressive organizations and universities, Dorian is an unparalleled force in progressive politics in America.


Opportunity in America

The Economic Opportunities Program’s Opportunity in America discussion series has moved to an all-virtual format as we all do what we can to slow the spread of COVID-19. But the conversations about the changing landscape of economic opportunity in the US and implications for individuals, families, and communities across the country remain vitally important. We hope you will participate as we bring our discussions to you in virtual formats, and we look forward to your feedback.

We are grateful to the Ford Foundation, Prudential Financial, Walmart.org, the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, and the Surdna Foundation for their support of this series.


Learn More

The Economic Opportunities Program advances strategies, policies, and ideas to help low- and moderate-income people thrive in a changing economy. Follow us on social media and join our mailing list to stay up-to-date on publications, blog posts, events, and other announcements.