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Meeting The Fatherhood Challenge Conference - FREE EVENTViews: 1620
Jan 21, 2007 9:54 pmMeeting The Fatherhood Challenge Conference - FREE EVENT#

Eula M. Young
Meeting The Fatherhood Challenge Conference

Joseph Media, in conjunction with the Apollo Theater Foundation, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/ Administration for Children and Families, proudly announce a one-day conference titled: "Meeting The Fatherhood Challenge: The Importance to Families, Kids, and Communities," in Harlem, New York on February 3rd, 2007. 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

The conference will consist of a series of panel discussions and workshops during the day. This conference will give us the opportunity to share this message of rebuilding fatherhood in predominantly fatherless communities, and discuss solutions for families, organizations, faith-based institutions and government.

During the conference, we will also be featuring an exclusive screening of the Will Smith/Sony Pictures film, "The Pursuit Of Happyness." In this true story, Will plays the role of Chris Gardner, a bright and talented, but marginally employed salesman. Struggling to make ends meet, Gardner finds himself and his five-year-old son evicted from their San Francisco apartment with nowhere to go. When Gardner lands an internship at a prestigious stock brokerage firm, he and his son endure many hardships, including living in shelters, in pursuit of his dream of a better life for the two of them.

MTFC will also present an exclusive preview of the new Tyler Perry/Lions Gate film "Daddy's Little Girls." It stars Idris Elba ("The Wire") and Gabrielle Union ("Bring It On" "Deliver Us From Eva") in a romantic drama about family, community and love against the odds. A single father, Monty (Elba) is a garage mechanic who lives in a poor neighborhood and struggles to make ends meet as he raises his three young daughters on his own. But when the courts award custody of his daughters to his corrupt, drug-dealing ex-wife, Monty desperately tries to win them back, enlisting the help of Julia (Union), a beautiful -- and hard-nosed -- attorney he meets during his short stint as a chauffeur. Tyler Perry will also address the audience with an inspiring message about family.

Black Entertainment Television (BET) will be covering the conference through its news division, and will also provide content from its library for the conference. Following the conclusion of the conference, Joseph Media and BET are planning to produce a news special for the network, centered on how Hip Hop rappers and singers have coped with family issues in their lives. That special will be distributed in DVD form to community-based organizations that focus on issues of youth and family development.

The BET Network reaches more than 80 million households according to Nielsen media research, and can be seen in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean.

According to a statement from the Morehouse Conference on African-American Fathers in 1999: "Eighty percent of African-American children can now expect to spend at least a significant part of their childhood years living apart from their fathers."

For years, welfare reform focused resources on the many single mothers newly entering the labor market and provided new tools (both requirements and incentives) to them enter the labor market, supplement their wages, receive support services, and help them move towards economic independence. However, it did not provide the same sense of encouragement to low-income fathers. Little attention was paid towards improving the social, educational, and employment prospects of young fathers with little education, labor market experience or skills. As a result, these young men have often been unable to successfully contribute to their families.

The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance recently initiated an important new program called Strengthening Families through Stronger Fathers. The effort consists of a generous new tax credit to help young fathers, with the launching of five pilot programs across New York that will provide wide ranging services to them.

The conference is designed to bring public awareness to the challenges that many young fathers face, and to assist in building healthy environments for families throughout New York, and the nation.

Confirmed participants
Rev. Darren Ferguson - Pastor, Mott Haven Reformed Church/Luke 4:18 Ministries

Nicole Duncan-Smith - Activist/Author, "I Am Hip Hop"

Bill Stephney - President, Joseph Media/ Executive Producer, "Fatherhood Challenge"

Shawn Dove - Publisher, Poppa Magazine

Roland Warren - President, National Fatherhood Initiative

Derek Phillips - Founder, Real Dads Network

Dr. Wade Horn - Asst. Secretary, Administration for Children and Families/HHS

David Blankenhorn - Author, "Fatherless America"

Thabiti Boone - Community Activist/Author

Anwan Wesley - Founder, Fatherhood Magazine, Pittsburgh, PA

Dr. Ronald Mincy - Professor/Author, Columbia University

Tyler Perry - Playwright/Filmmaker, Preview of "Daddy's Little Girls" film

Peter Holoman - Director, Male Development and Empowerment Center, Medgar Evers College

Allan Houston, NBA Star/Entrepreneur, "Fathers and Sons" Camp

Bob Pickett - Radio Host/Attorney, KISS-FM "Open Line"

Alicia Crowe - Attorney/Family Law Expert; Author, "Real Dads Stand Up"

Brian Schwartz - Attorney/Family Law Expert, Ceconi & Cheifetz

Kenneth Braswell, Founder, Fathers, Inc./Assistant Program Manager, OTDA Fatherhood Initiative

Dana Ross - Filmmaker/Author, "Black Fatherhood: Reconnecting With Our Legacy"

Panel discussions:
"Fathers, Family and The Future" (Morning)

"Families and the Law: Creating Connections or 'Courting' Disaster?" (Afternoon)

National Fatherhood Initiative

Prudential Financial

Forest City Ratner Companies

Sony Pictures Entertainment

Black Entertainment Television

Administration for Children and Families/HHS

Supporting Organizations:
Real Dads Network

Fathers, Inc.

Proud Poppa Magazine

Official website: www.realdadsnetwork.com

For more information:
Bill Stephney - Joseph Media, (908) 522-8322
Florene Wiley - Apollo Theater Foundation, (212) 531-5300

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