Terrence Ray, executive director of the Fatherhood Initiative (second from right) with summit participants (left to right): Albert Holmes, president and CEO of My Father’s House, local activist James Mosley, Dr. Patricia McManus, President of the Black Health Coalition of Wisconsin and Milwaukee Common Council President Ald. Willie Hines. (Photo by Yvonne Kemp)
Fatherhood Initiative and SDC partner to motivate and inspire local dads
Hundreds of fathers from around the Milwaukee area were assisted and motivated at the 7th Annual Milwaukee Fatherhood Summit.
The two day event was held at Destiny Youth Plaza by the Milwaukee Fatherhood Initiative in partnership with the Social Development Commission.
The focus for the Summit was Men’s Health and many of the activities revolved around that theme.
Workshops and discussion sessions were held on all aspects of health for men including physical, mental, financial, spiritual and relationship health. Hundreds of men were able to see Child Support case workers and Driver’s License Recovery staff were able to help men get their licenses back.
Many summit attendees received information from health organizations as well as got free health screenings. A Job and Resource Fair was able to link the dads with employment, financial and other resources.
Grandfathers were recognized during a special celebration for their contributions in the lives of their grandchildren.
Students from area middle and high school submitted essays about the importance of their grandfathers in their lives. Winning essay-writers were then invited to read aloud their work to their grandfathers in what proved to be a touching ceremony.
A special award was presented by Mayor Tom Barrett and Summit organizers to Dr. Lester Carter. Dr. Carter was singled out for 45 years of service to Milwaukee through his pharmacy at 24th and Burleigh. In addressing men at the summit, he urged them not to settle for less than their best and encouraged them to be the best fathers they could be.
The Milwaukee Fatherhood Summit concluded with a stirring ceremony conducted by James Mosley of the Alma Center. He gathered several hundred participants in a giant circle who then passed a cane from hand to hand, symbolizing the passing of the legacy of service to all fathers.