First came Father’s Day. Then Fathers Eve. Now comes “Father’s Friday,” an educational event aiming to spark a movement that raises dear old dad’s status in the parenting and working worlds.
Backed by two fatherhood nonprofits and a thriving Facebook community, Father’s Friday is a six-hour, pre-recorded streaming event on June 18. It will feature panels and diverse dad speakers discussing strategies for fathers. Planned topics include creating individual plans for fatherhood and family life, pushing for increased gender parity and more family-friendly working conditions for parents, such as paid family leave, and translating work skills to home life skills.
- Fathering Together, a nonprofit that builds virtual communities of support for dads.
- The Black Fathers Foundation, a nonprofit that offers resources to help Black men effectively raise children and strengthen families.
- Soy Super Papa, a Facebook community with a mission of empowering fathers, especially Spanish speakers, that focuses on highlighting their roles in society and within the family.
(DISCLOSURE: City Dads Group is supporting collaborator for Father’s Friday.)
The organizers want to play against the stereotypical gift to dads on Father’s Day, using the social media rallying cry of #MoreThanANecktie. They want fathers to use social media to post stories about how they are “present and engaged” with their children and “not only a breadwinner, but active in the care and management of your home.” They also ask dads to submit short videos of such statements.
The aim is to drive a narrative that fatherhood comes in many colors, shapes and styles beyond the tropes we’ve seen in media, marketing and entertainment, according to material provided by the organizers. The goal is to “elevate stories of positive and engaged fathers” and to “provide strategies and support for fathers who aren’t sure how to be [more than a marginalized stereotype] for their families, according to the organizers.
Throughout the day, members of the organizing communities will offer reflections on fatherhood.
Featured speakers will include:
- Ted Bunch, chief development officer of A Call to Men, a movement to promote healthy, respectful manhood. Bunch has been internationally recognized for his efforts to prevent violence against women.
- Josh Levs, a former journalist turned workplace equality advocate focused on fathers. He wrote the book, All In: How Our Work-First Culture Fails Dads, Families, and Businesses Alike – And How We Can Fix It Together.
- Ben Killoy, a U.S. Marine veteran, speaker, coach and podcaster. He recently wrote a Memorial Day column for City Dads Group.