June 2023 Fatherhood Week: A Commitment for the Wellbeing of the Family

By Fletcher Word
The Truth Editor

The Lucas County Fatherhood Coalition announced the June 2023 Fatherhood Fire activities, particularly Fatherhood Week, during an announcement at the First Church of God, on Thursday, June 1.

“We have declared June 2023 Fatherhood week leading up to Fathers’ Day as a time of celebration, inspiration and elevation,” said Avis Files, director of Supportive Services Brothers United and Sisters United, Pathway, Inc. and co-chair of the Coalition.

The Coalition has been in existence since 2021 and has helped over 5,000 men with education, employment and other resources during that time. This year, the Coalition membership has organized a week-long period of activities designed “to bring light to the fatherhood space and to uplift African-American fathers in Lucas County,” said Files.

The mission of the Coalition “is to give a voice to low-income urban fathers – African-American – and the importance of their involvement for the well being of their children. We believe that fathers play a vital role in their children’s lives and they should be recognized and respected,” Files added.

This year’s activities – Fatherhood Week – will kick off on Monday, June 12, with a “Read to Lead Luncheon” for fathers and their children at the Mott Branch Library from noon to 2:00 p.m.

“We don’t want our children to go back to school slow,” said David Kontour, Lucas County Family and Services First Council and co-chair of the Fatherhood Coalition.

Also on Monday, June 12 at Mott Branch from 5 to 7:00 p.m. there will be  a session titled “Fatherhood Facts & Future: Learn About Child Support & Employment.”

On Tuesday, June 13,  the Health Partners of Western Ohio will hold a clinic “Take Ya-Dad to the Doctor,” at their site  ay 2244 Collingwood. That will run from 8:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

On Wednesday, June 14, “Honk for Dads” will occur at various locations around the city from 11:00 a.m. to noon.

“Igniting the Change Fatherhood Conference” will take place at Mott Branch on Thursday, June 15 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Continental breakfast will be served during this event.

The week’s last event will take place at the Greenbelt Apartments on Friday, June 16. “Fathers &Families” will offer music, food and fun from 1 to 4:00 p.m.

“When it comes to African American fathers in Lucas County, Ohio, we will work hard to eliminate bias by creating an atmosphere of equity and inclusion for all fathers,” said Files. “Our collective community impact can shift inter-generational trauma and change the lives of African American fathers and their children in the Lucas County community.”

That collective, along with Files and Kontour, which forms the Fatherhood Coalition includes the following members and their organizations: Antuan Johnson of Lucas County Children Services; Patrice Tolbert-Maggot of the Zepf Center; Christina Rodriguez and Julie Hass of Mom’s House; Darlene White of Harbor Behavioral and Ohio Means Jobs; Anita Prielipp of Lucas County Child Support Services; Michael Phillips of Lucas County Job and Family Services; Richard Langford of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc; Martrice Bishop of Lucas Metropolitan Housing; Heather Baker of Toledo Public Schools; Dr. Swawnterra Glasgow of Health Partners of Northwest Ohio; Sandra Johnson of Lucas County Family and Children First Council; Pastor Eric Von Butler of First Church of God; Ron Wells, executive assistant to Lucas County Commissioner Pete Gerken; Casandra Durfey of Family and Child Abuse Prevention Center.

Files praised the collective efforts of the representatives from the various organizations, particularly noting their singular devotion to the desire to improve the condition of families in the targeted populations.

“We know that children with involved fathers have a strong foundation for child well-being and that they are at a lower risk for a host of poor outcomes. Our commitment to fathers is a commitment to the entire wellbeing of the family,” she said.

For further information contact Avis Files (Director –Pathway Inc. Brothers and Sisters United Programs) at 419-279-0798 or afiles@pathway.org.