Event honoree John Amos; Kenneth Braswell, Executive Director and Founder of Fathers Inc.; and Joshua DuBois, Special Assistant to the President and Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships attend the first annual Heritage Awards Dinner in Harlem, NY hosted by Fathers, Inc. on January 14, 2011.
Organization Readies for 2011 Year of Responsible Men Campaign with Support of Several Urban Cities for National Mentoring Month
New York City, Los Angeles, Albany, Milwaukee and Other Cites Join Effort
On Friday, January 14th at the Alhambra Ballroom in Harlem, New York, Fathers Incorporated hosted its first annual Heritage Awards Dinner that honored five national awardees for their work in the field of responsible fatherhood and mentoring, and officially launched 2011: Year of Responsible Men campaign in partnership with the White House, the NBA, and the Ali Center. The campaign will feature a year-long slate of activities that will encourage responsible fatherhood and mentoring.
The event honorees were John Amos, most recognized for his role as James Evans in the television show, “Good Times,” and Geoffrey Canada, CEO of the Harlem Children's Zone and subject of the critically acclaimed documentary “Waiting for Superman.” Michelle Drayton, publisher of Today’s Child magazine and J-Will, host of Albany’s “JWill in the Morning” on Jamz 96.3 (Albany) served as the event hosts. The keynote speaker featured Pastor Tre’ Staton of the Empire Christian Center, and special remarks were delivered by Dr. Jeff Gardere, America’s Psychologist and host of VH1’s Dads Camp, and Joshua DuBois, Special Assistant to the President and Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
The 2011: Year of Responsible Men campaign will partner with the White House, a network of private and public grass-roots organizations, corporate partners and a high profile honorary board. Several major U.S. cities have joined in support of the campaign.
Terrence Ray, Director of Milwaukee Fatherhood Initiative; John Amos, Actor & Humanitarian; Carey Casey, CEO of National Center for Fathering; Kenneth Braswell, Founder & Executive Director of Fathers Incorporated; Joshua DuBois, Special Assistant to the President and Executive Director, White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships; (back) Robert D. Johnson, Founder and CEO of Celebrate Dads; Jerry Tello, internationally recognized authority in family strengthening, therapeutic healing, cross cultural issues and motivational speaking; and Dr. Jeff Gardere, America’s Psychiatrist & Host of VH1’s Dads Camp.
“Fatherlessness is an epidemic, and we know for many children both young and old that the effect of its pain runs deep. In America today, more than 24 million children are unable to call their father’s name in the next room,” says Kenneth Braswell, Executive Director of Fathers Incorporated. “That is why Fathers Incorporated was formed. We are committed to make a difference and get fathers more involved in their children’s lives daily, no matter what the circumstances. As responsible fathers, this is our mission.”
The campaign will include the efforts of national organizations and cities, including Mentoring USA. “For over two decades, the goal of Mentoring USA has been to encourage vulnerable youth to stay in school by providing a trained mentor, one-to-one, with sufficient resources to ensure a productive lifestyle and a hopeful outlook. Our annual accountability study has confirmed, time and again, the success of our program through our mentees high rates of graduation and progression to college,” says Matilda Cuomo, Founder of Mentoring USA.
“We are proud to join Fathers Incorporated as they promote family mentoring and nurturing, knowing that in doing so, they are creating an environment in which children and their parents can thrive and excel,” stated Mayor Michael Bloomberg via a proclamation.
About Fathers Incorporated (FI): Established in 2004, FI serves as a leader in the promotion of Responsible Fatherhood and Mentoring. The agency’s international, national, and local mission focuses on remedying the impact of father absence. This is accomplished through the use of innovative social marketing and multi-media platforms, traditional communications, and product development. FI seeks to expand the range of work in the fields of comprehensive and non-traditional family service models. For additional information, please visit www.fathersincorporated.com and www.2011YORM.com.
We hope you have enjoyed our month long series on mentoring in observance of National Mentoring Month. To find mentoring opportunities in your area, visit the National Cares Mentoring Movement website at http://www.caresmentoring.org/.
Photos courtesy of Fathers Incorporated