Changing the Lives of Children, One Father at a Time!

Category: From the President

Mothers are Important to Fatherhood Advocacy

In 2005 I was chairing a community committee, Neighborhood Place Community Council. During that time as part of the committee we addressed needs of the community serviced by Neighborhood Place. Employed through Safe Place as the Street Outreach Case Manager, I was charged with finding alternate placement for homeless young people. Prior to the position with Safe Place, I was part of a team in charge of recruiting youth to the Louisville Youth Opportunity Network, through a federal grant administrated by the Louisville Urban League.

It’s because of these positions I held in the community I become known as a resource magnet, a walking directory to services provided by organizations people needed. It was not uncommon to receive calls from people looking for these recourses I had knowledge of. Over time the calls I received became more and more similar, they were calls from mothers seeking information in regards to raising their children. More specifically, many of the calls originated from single mothers raising sons.

Realizing the need to support single mother’s I took the idea of offering a Forum for these mothers back to the Neighborhood Place Community Council. They understood the value and importance of working with this demographic so with their support the first Mother’s Forum was held. To make the event a success Cable Baptist Church provided the venue by allowing us access to their Potter’s House. Through support from Councilman David Tandy, Republic bank, and other supporters we offered the forum simply dubbed “Single Mother’s Raising Sons,” Forum.

That was in 2005, it’s now 2011 and we are a week away from the 5th annual Mother’s Forum. While the forum has changed to accommodate the growing number of participants what hasn’t changed is the objective of the form, show support and provide resources to assist moms in their parenting effort, to discuss the role of fathers and how to do the job when they’re not involved, and have a good time in the process.
I’m looking forward to the 5th annual Mother’s Forum coordinated by Jacklyn Walker, looking forward to interacting with the moms and women involved, and looking toward to additional Mother’s Forums to support mothers in the future!

Lastly, the Mother’s Forum is nothing without you! Please spread the word and let people know about this great event!

Shawn Gardner

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Happy Father’s Day

It’s been over 5 years since the initial conversation took place that prompted me to bring men/ father’s together to discuss life as a father. The first meeting took place at Neighborhood Place located at Shawnee High School, and because of the success and need, I convinced the community council of 810 Neighborhood Place to help me host more. The discussions were so well received, and the need so urgent to work with fathers, I founded 2NOT1.

Since the inception of 2NOT1 Fatherhood and Families I’ve been blessed to have community support for many of the initiatives I’ve set forth through 2NOT1. The end result is awareness from Conferences, recognizing the need to work with mothers and support their efforts through our Mother’s Forum, our first ever graduation class, on 06.16.11, of TFU (Teen Fatherhood University), men having opportunities to share their frustrations about fatherhood and work with other fathers to develop solutions. Out of all these things, and many more not listed, the most gratifying event is the Father’s Day Picnic. 2011 is the 3rd year for the event.

The tagline for 2NOT1 is “Changing the Lives of Children, One Father at a Time!” At the picnic fathers and families have an opportunity to spend quality time together and that’s what it’s all about, the children. Through my years as a responsible fatherhood practitioner I know children have been positively impacted through my work and the dedication of men/ fathers who want to be the best they can be. On a personal note, there’s nothing like the feeling of knowing your a father to your children and having an impact in their lives. That’s why on a day like today, Father’s Day 06.19.11, I’m excited to say to all the fathers, HAPPY FATHER’S DAY, and as I’m granted more time on this earth and continue on my mission to promote responsible fatherhood, I look forward to a day when EVERY child can say “HAPPY FATHER’S DAY,” and mean it, to a father in their life!


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