Tennessee Department of Human Services Hosts Symposium in Partnership with the Assisi Foundation: 2G for Tennessee

Thursday, September 15, 2016 | 05:27pm

National, State, and Local Partners Gathered in Memphis to Discuss Two-Generation Strategies and Community Partnerships Focused on Building Cycles of Success

NASHVILLE. – The 2G for Tennessee symposium hosted by the Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) in partnership with the Assisi Foundation was held in Memphis on Wednesday. The symposium included partners from the national, state, and local levels who gathered together to discuss innovative ways to help Tennesseans reach their greatest potential. The symposium focused on a two-generation approach, called 2G for Tennessee, which has a specific focus on partnering with parents and children together to improve the whole family’s well-being.

“The 2G for Tennessee symposium in Memphis was an absolute success. We were joined by more than 100 community partners, TDHS employees, and national two-generation partners,” said Dr. Raquel Hatter, Commissioner of the Department of Human Services. “The forum was focused on introducing the two-generation strategy to the community. A highlight of the session was a graduate from the Goodwill Excel Center who told her story of resilience in the face of challenges. She is a mom and student at Southwest Tennessee Community College. She was met with a standing ovation. This is evidence that with the proper services and a team that champions a family, cycles of success are possible. Her family is on a course to realize their version of the American dream. I want to give special thanks to the Assisi foundation in this effort. This is what we do.”

The Assisi Foundation and the Tennessee Department of Human Services are partnering to build capacity in the Memphis system of support for families.

“The Assisi Foundation is excited to work with the Tennessee Department of Human Services on identifying and implementing the very best two-generation approaches for programs, systems, policies, and research,” said Dr. Jan Young, Executive Director of the Assisi Foundation of Memphis.

The symposium included sessions focused on aligning programs, services, and partnerships to better serve individuals and families in a manner that supports a lifetime of success.

“Tennessee is transforming human services and accelerating community collaborations to leverage services, funding, and policy on a shared North Star - that all children and families are economically secure, educated, and healthy,” said presenter Anne Mosle, Vice President of the Aspen Institute and Executive Director of Ascend. “Shelby County is poised to lead a powerful two-generation public-private partnership.  Governor Haslam's two-generation proclamation combined with Commissioner Hatter's commitment to offering new solutions is catalyzing action to shift the conversation across Tennessee from welfare to well-being. States across the country can learn from Tennessee’s approach.”

The afternoon sessions featured speakers from partners in other states including Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana and Our House of Little Rock, Arkansas a Rockefeller Foundation Grantee.

Georgia Mjartan, Executive Director of Our House said, “I was honored to have the chance to learn from the many incredible leaders across Tennessee, especially in Shelby County, who are moving whole families out of poverty using the two-generation approach and I was grateful for the opportunity to bring what we have learned in Arkansas across the river.”

“Thank you to the State of Tennessee and Dr. Raquel Hatter for inviting me to lift up the great work of the Memphis Goodwill Excel Center and congratulations on the Department of Human Services’ two-generation approach and awareness tour of Tennessee,” said Betsy Delgado, Vice President of Mission and Education Initiatives for Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana.

For more information on the two-generation approach, please visit the 2G for Tennessee webpage at: http://www.tn.gov/humanservices/topic/2gen-approach.