In June 2010, Mayor Bloomberg established the Mayor’s Fatherhood Initiative aptly named “NYC DADS” to “strengthen New york City’s families by helping dads take a more active role in their children’s lives.” This is certainly an effort that we applaud! The goals of the Mayor’s Fatherhood initiative include “making all City agencies as Father Friendly as possible and championing the message that dads mater.”
During the month of June, spearheaded by Alan Farrell, the NYC Fatherhood Services Coordinator, the Mayor’s Fatherhood Initiative held their first Annual NYC Dads Matter Awards ceremony at Gracie Mansion. I was fortunate to be in attendance with my family to cheer on so many other caring, committed, and nurturing dads at this wonderful event. Ten fathers from throughout NYC were recognized and honored for overcoming challenges to become positive and consistent influences in the lives of their children.
This awesome celebration of dads was an important milestone. Mayor Bloomberg and Farrell were joined on-stage by another well-known and famous dad – Carmelo Anthony (see picture above). Listening to the remarks during the ceremony, I heard things like “these ten honorees are role-models for their kids”….we found 10 and we are SURE there are so many others”….”we know when father’s are more actively involved, we are going to see children who are thriving, more likely to succeed, less likely to end up in the criminal justice systems or have children of their own too young.” While I realize this groundbreaking initiative was implemented as a result of 33% of children under the age of 18 are growing up in fatherless homes in New York City…this push on fatherhood will uncover opportunities and reach in so many directions to dads of all stripes, and propel the involved conversation forward locally…with a similar approach as the National Fatherhood Initiative!
I could go on and on about the “NYC Dads – Mayor’s Fatherhood Initiative.” If you would like to learn more about their goals, progress, and accomplishments – check out their comprehensive YEAR 1 Progress Report.