National Fatherhood Initiative has been created to help the African American community rediscover the value of true fatherhood. An interdenominational group of African-American pastors has united to ignite a movement to renew marriage and fatherhood in the African-American community.
The movement, led by 10 pastors in partnership with National Fatherhood Initiative, Urban Ministries, Inc., and The National Center on African American Marriages and Parenting, has been initiated by a “Call to Action,” which educates and inspires the black church to address the declines in marriage and father involvement that plague the black community. Clergy around the country will be recruited to sign the Call to Action, indicating their desire to join the movement to reverse these destructive trends.
Since the 1960s, marriage and fatherhood have declined faster in the black community than in the rest of the population. In 1970, seven out of 10 African Americans between the ages of 20 and 54 were married; today, just four in 10 are (compared to nearly six in 10 in the general population). Today, one in three children in the country live apart from their biological fathers, but two of three African American children do. Social science research over the past several decades has showed that children who live outside of a married, two-parent home face significantly greater risks across nearly every measure of child well-being: poverty, delinquency, drug abuse, teen pregnancy, school performance, and emotional and behavioral problems.Roland C. Warren, president of National Fatherhood Initiative, said, “It is no coincidence that while the state of the black family has declined, that the state of the black community – in terms of poverty, incarceration, school failure, and other measures – has also deteriorated. Marriage and fatherhood must be renewed in order for these problems to be reversed.”
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Recalling the African-American church’s central role in the civil rights movement, the leaders of this Call to Action recognize the power the church can have in creating positive change in the black community. The Call to Action states:
“Similar to how the church had a central role in the civil rights movement of the 20th century, we believe that now is the time for the African-American church to lead the way in reversing the alarming decline in marriage and the exponential increase in father absence that we have witnessed in the African-American community over the past several decades. The consequences are too great for the church to accept anything less than a leadership role in joining the national movement to renew marriage and fatherhood, starting in the African-American church.”
If you would like to get involved visit The National Fatherhood Initiative website at http://www.fatherhood.org.
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