The 2021 Aspen Forum on Children and Families

This virtual convening hosted bold and innovative leaders โ€“ including parents, practitioners, policymakers, researchers and philanthropists โ€“ to address longstanding and compounding inequities that block parents and caregivers from accessing education, employment, and health improving opportunities. Through a series of panels, keynote speakers, and breakout sessions, we highlighted accomplishments as well as shared a set of policy recommendations that reduce disparities and increase the social and economic mobility of families.

Event Information

DATE: June 7th and 8th, 2021

TIME: 2:00 – 5:00pm ET / 11:00 – 2:00pm PT


HOST: Ascend at the Aspen Institute

Watch Full Recordings

Watch the recording from day one of the convening.
Watch the recording from day two of the convening.

Program Sessions and Lessons

Click on session titles watch individual sessions and to learn more about the themes discussed.

Land Acknowledgement
2:00 PM – 2:10 PM
Joe Hobot, PhD

Power Shifting: Parents Leading the Way
2:10 PM – 3:00 PM
Tetiana Anderson, Allan Wachendorfer, Tameka Henry, and Tedi Grey Owl in conversation with Marjorie Sims

State of 2Gen: Our Moment is Now
3:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Matt Biel, MD, Lorelei Vargas, and Anthony Barrows in conversation with Anne Mosle

Voices from the Field: The Ascend Network in Action
3:30 PM – 3:40 PM

Cash is King
3:45 PM – 4:10 PM
Melvin Carter and Aisha Nyandoro, PhD in conversation with Nisha Patel

Bringing 2Gen to Life: Taking Equitable and Effective Actions for Families
4:10 PM – 4:50 PM
Lola Adedokun, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), and Wendy Chun-Hoon

2Gen Connect: Take a Breath and Lift Up Your Head
4:50 PM – 5:10 PM
Travis Spencer

How the Word is Passed
2:00 PM – 2:15 PM
Clint Smith

The Power of 2Gen
2:15 PM – 2:20 PM
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)

The Economic Equation for Families: Big Policies, Hopeful Futures
2:20 PM – 2:50 PM
Raquel Hatter, Ed.D., Heather Boushey, Lori Pfingst, and Chris Jones

The 2Gen Line Up Breakouts: Solutions and Leaders from the Ground Up
2:50 PM – 3:40 PM
1. Truth and Racial Healing
2. 2Gen and Fatherhood
3. Postsecondary Success for Parents
4. Prosperity through Health and Asset-Building
5. Head Start 3.0

Advancing Family Well-Being: A Conversation on What is Possible
3:50 PM – 4:30 PM
JooYeun Chang and Jason DeParle with Anne Mosle

2Gen: Rebuilding a New Structure for Families
4:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Javier Martinez, Anne Mosle, and Marjorie Sims


Featured Speakers

Sen. Susan Collins


U.S. Senate

Javier Martinez

Executive Director

Partnership for Community Action

Melvin Carter


City of Saint Paul, Minnesota

Aisha Nyandoro, PhD

Chief Executive Officer

Springboard To Opportunities

JooYeun Chang

Acting Assistant Secratary

Administration for Children and Families

Tameka Henry

Chairperson of Board of Directors

Acelero Learning

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro


U.S. House of Representatives

Jason DeParle

Senior Writer

New York Times