Moise Nash settled down his restless 27-month-old son with promises of a juicy McDonald’s Happy Meal as he perched the toddler, Moise Diego Nash, on his lap during the Dads of DeKalb Fatherhood Launch.
“Dads can get railroaded for whatever reason. But we must work with the mothers as a team. That’s what’s best for the kids. We can’t think about ourselves. We have to put our kids first—at all costs,” said Nash, who works in Decatur.
Nash was among about 40 fathers who attended the Dads of DeKalb Fatherhood initiative on April 2 at the Shirley Trussell Building in Decatur. As part of the launch, sponsored by the Georgia Department of Human Services, Nash and his son participated in a re-enactment of the “8 Types of Fathers.”
“It’s great to see so many fathers coming together for something positive. This is serious business. We are coming together to help fathers kill those negative stereotypes we hear all to often,” said event organizer Adika Trimble. “This is the launch of something great. We are going to host events like thins in both, DeKalb and Fulton counties. ”
After watching a video presentation, fathers and supporters in attendance heard from representatives from the Georgia Department of Labor, the Atlanta Workforce Development Agency, DeKalb County Workforce Development, Teen Dads and the DeKalb Family Law Information Center.
The Decatur event addressed a nationwide issue that President Obama has been advocating for: getting more fathers to take an active role in their children’s lives.
“There’s no more important ingredient for success, nothing that would be more important for us reducing violence than strong, stable families — which means we should do more to promote marriage and encourage fatherhood,” President Obama said in February of 2013 at a gun violence vent in Chicago. “We need fathers to realize that responsibility does not end at conception. We need them to realize that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child—it’s the courage to raise one.”
DeKalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson attended the launch event and commended Trimble for hosting an event like this one in District 3, which Johnson represents.
“I’m so glad he (Adika) is doing this program because I’m hoping we will shatter some myths around fathers,” said Johnson. “Fatherhood is a noble call. It’s a great call. I’m glad to be a father. Children need their fathers to have that positive male figure to have someone to talk to, someone to rely on, someone to feed off of.”
Attendees also had the opportunity to hear some encouraging words from guest speaker Henry M. Carter, who shared stories with a panel of young fathers. They were connected with several resources such as counseling, legal services and employment resources, including re-entry into the workforce programs and job training.
Trimble, who serves as program director for the DeKalb Access and Resource Center, says the initiative will include a lunch and learn for fathers at the end of April, a fatherhood resource fair and monthly information sessions.