Annual Fatherhood Weekend

3rd Annual Fatherhood Weekend

May 15th, 2015

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According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau report, more than 25 million children now live apart from their biological fathers. That’s a 15.3 percent increase (eight to 23.3 percent) from 1960 to 2006.  Worse, nearly two in three (65 percent) of  Black children live in fatherless homes, and almost 80 percent of those children can expect to live at least a part of their childhood living apart from their fathers or significant male figure in their lives.

Lacking the presence of a strong, positive Black male in their lives, even young Black men (“YBM”) show signs of succumbing to the pressures of street culture, violence, drug use, and misogyny.  They are literally dying physically and emotionally every day from lack of love and resources.  They have not learned the basic fundamentals of manhood, and instead are trapped in the destructive and unproductive state of “boyhood,” or even worse, “malehood.”

Most of these YBM have no real sense of who they are, what good they are capable of, and the tremendous obligation they have to maximize their every opportunity.  They have never had an opportunity to learn about their unique history, accomplishments, and potential from strong Black male role model/s who are capable of teaching and guiding them by example and shared discourse. This is why so many YBM’s become distraught, angry and empty young men  who have lost hope in self-improvement or social mobility by acquiring an education and instead  resort to criminal behavior or unrealistic belief in professional athletics.

As bad as the facts cited above are and no matter how bleak the current situation is, we strongly agree with our colleague and friend, Susan L. Taylor, CEO and Founder of the National CARES Mentoring Movement and Editor-in-Chief Emeritus, Essence magazine, who writes “reclaiming the lives of our children is a battle we can win. With the quality of their lives as the guiding factor in our choices—personal, political, financial and spiritually—we can create what is needed to move these soul-crushing statistics in the opposite direction.”   The MVP Fatherhood Weekend will improve the bleak situation in Tulsa as it relates to low levels of committed fathers and overall lack of positive male influence in many inner-city families by:

 

  • Bringing together local funders of fatherhood initiatives w/local fatherhood programs in Northeastern Oklahoma,
  • Providing networking opportunity for fatherhood practitioners and stakeholders (parents, teachers, etc)
  • Providing information, inspiration, and empowerment  for Black males currently dealing with issues of fatherhood and manhood
  • Connect resources and programming Black males in need.