BOOKS FOR DAD

02 December, 2016

INCARCERATED YOUTHS SPEAK OUT AT 2016 INTERNATIONAL MEN'S DAY OBSERVANCE

        
           In 2012, the USA International Men’s Day Team moved Incarcerated  Men and Youths into the International Men’s Day equation through the creation and implementation of the International Men’s Day Healing and Repatriation Initiative.  On Saturday, 19 November 2016, incarcerated youths at New York’s Adirondack Correctional Facility joined individuals, organizations, and institutions in 81 nations in observing 2016 International Men’s Day (www.imd-global.org).  Under the leadership of Mr. Carry Greaves, a mentor, poet, Senior Contributing Editor to IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD®, and Chair of the International Men’s Day Healing and Repatriation Initiative, a group of youths incarcerated at the Adirondack Correctional Facility utilized 2016 International Men’s Day as opportunity to speak out about, among other things, why many youths in our schools and in our communities are so angry.           

            Mr. Greaves, Chair of the International Men’s Day Healing and Repatriation Initiative, launched the observance by asking each of the incarcerated youths to give one or two positive words.   The group offered the following: ·        

Peace and Love ·        
Family Unity ·        
Freedom ·        
Brotherhood ·        
Making it home to my family ·        
No violence

         After explaining the importance of International Men’s Day and why it should be celebrated each year, Mr. Greaves talked to the group about making a pledge to work to positively transform themselves and their communities.  He went on to say:  “Once we make a pledge, we cannot break it.”              

          When the youths were asked: “Why does it seem that so many youths today are so angry?”, they utilized the opportunity to speak out against Fatherlessness, lack of parenting, and being taught not to express their emotions.              

          Mr. Greaves gives the following account:              

          “One individual blamed his Father.  He told us that his Father was never in his life and he is holding a grudge against him for that.  I explained to him that in order for him to grow spiritually, he will have to let go, because he has a three-month old son and he will not be able to properly raise him if he continues to carry anger inside of himself.  A number of other individuals blamed their family for not being parents.  These individuals believed that their parents acted more like their friends and not as their parents.  Other individuals in the group blamed rap music for promoting a fake tough image.  They also expressed their belief that many young men were taught to not express their feelings so they keep their feelings ‘bottled up’ until they explode.  We spoke about the need for a strong family structure, the need for the violence to stop in our communities, and the need to have community forums about police killings.  Out of the group of young men, only one had a GED.  However, the other young men made a pledge to go to school and get their GED.  I told them that I will be on them if I catch them slipping.   What I see is that these individuals never had the proper guidance or someone they can talk to.  One of the young men told me that I was like the Father that he never had.   These young men are so angry and in pain.  I could see it in their eyes. At the end of the discussion, I asked each individual to read an article published in the September 2016 issue of IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD®,  ‘Letter To A Fatherless Daughter’.  I told them that whenever they came across the word ‘her’ and ‘daughter’ in the essay, they could replace these words with ‘him’ or ‘son’.  The young men loved the essay and I believe they also enjoyed the discussion.  Since that day, they come to me and want to sit down and have more discussions like the discussion they participated in on International Men’s Day.   I gave each of them a hug, words of encouragement, and told them to always be prepared because I have a tendency to show up when they will least expect it’".

17 November, 2016

DRAWING A STRAIGHT LINE TO RECIDIVISM, SUSTAINABILITY, AND RENEWED PROSPERITY IN PHILADELPHIA

          
          Heralded by many as the “Next Great American City”, the fifth largest metropolitan area in the United States, the City of Philadelphia is on the move.  Real estate developers are transforming an area between Market and Chestnut Streets spanning from 11th to 12th Streets once considered the epicenter of Philadelphia into East Market, a towering and expansive structure which will be home to residential units, restaurants, retail outlets, and office space. Looking westward, a cluster of gleaming glass and steel skyscrapers which rise above the end of the Walnut Street Bridge and which appear to obfuscate the line of demarcation between the City of Philadelphia’s downtown business district, University City, and the neighborhoods surrounding Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania come into view .. These developments are helping to create excitement about Philadelphia. Despite the perceived “renewed prosperity” of Philadelphia’s downtown business district and University City, the Chief Executive Officer of the City of Philadelphia – its Mayor – like most mayors of American cities – is grappling with key challenges to continued growth, sustainability, and the need to develop “human capital”. There is a straight line to recidivism – a key challenge –, sustainability, and renewed prosperity in Philadelphia.


           The City of Philadelphia has a reported recidivism rate of 65.3% and a reincarceration rate of 41.1% -- a set of circumstances which impacts upon the amount of money it can allocate to attract and retain multinational corporations that bring new jobs and spend on infrastructure, public transportation and education. Each month, approximately 2,500 formerly incarcerated souls – Men and Women – pour into Philadelphia’s neighborhoods -- uneducated and unemployable.. These souls represent an untapped target market for “human capital” which begs to be developed – “human capital” which can be utilized by corporate tenants who occupy the growing cluster of office towers in Center City Philadelphia and dot the City’s westward skyline. Operation Fresh Start ™, which is the brainchild of The Honorable James M. DeLeon, a highly respected veteran jurist in the Criminal Court Division of the City of Philadelphia’s Municipal Court, is a key “piece of the puzzle” to moving formerly incarcerated souls who pour monthly into the City of Philadelphia into the “human capital” equation. Two of the components of Operation Fresh Start™, The “City Council Mentorship Initiative” and the “District Attorney Mentorship Initiative”, which Judge DeLeon designed, seeks to create a pathway for the 2,500 formerly incarcerated souls who return to Philadelphia each month. The “pathway” is a “mentoring pathway” –by which these fully and successfully vetted 2,500 souls would serve as mentors for at-risk youths. It is also serves as a pathway that decreases the economic burden of Philadelphia’s taxpayers.


          Why is there a need for both a “City Council Mentorship” Initiative and a “District Attorney Mentorship” Initiative? Judge DeLeon sees the creation of pathways for reintegration and redemption for formerly incarcerated souls as an “all hands on deck” proposition. Every level of government must play a role in helping to reduce and eradicate recidivism and developing the City of Philadelphia’s “human capital” and renewing its prosperity. Mentors – fully and successfully vetted individuals who are formerly incarcerated souls would receive, among other things, under the City Council Mentorship Initiative, a “Letter to the Board of Pardons from City Council personally attesting to the Mentor’s successful mentorship”. Additionally, there would be a “Letter of Understanding” between the District Attorney’s Office and the City Council’s office regarding the benefits of the City Council’s Mentorship Initiative. This “Letter of Understanding” would be supplemented with an understanding with the State Supreme Court, the Governor, and the District Attorney’s Office that the Mentor is a participant in the City Council’s Mentorship Initiative. Similarly, under the District of Attorney’s Mentorship Initiative, a letter would be generated for the Mentor addressed to the Board of Pardons “personally attesting to the Mentor’s successful mentorship”.


          How would mentorship training be administered? When it was brought to Judge DeLeon’s attention that Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, a premiere mentorship organization in the United States had recently aligned a part of its program with Job Corps to provide much needed mentorship, he decided that it would have the needed expertise to successfully train formerly incarcerated souls in mentoring and to make mentoring safe under both the City Council’s Mentorship Initiative and the District Attorney’s Mentorship Initiative.


          “Big Brother Big Sisters of America has the capability to train any Philadelphia citizen that is applying for a Governor’s pardon or clemency and that individual can take and complete its mentoring program and after successfully completing it can be placed as a mentor for one of the endangered youth who is enrolled in Job Corps, involved in a Social Services program, or in the juvenile court system in a safe environment. The upside is the youth is being provided with legitimate and positive real life options from an individual who has walked the same road and a letter is generated by either City Council or the District Attorney’s Office to the Board of Pardons attesting to the Mentor’s community or volunteer service – something that will be considered as a factor in the Pardon Application,” explained Judge DeLeon.


          The mentoring skills acquired by formerly incarcerated souls through Operation Fresh Start’s ™ City Council’s Mentorship Initiative and District Attorney’s Mentorship Initiative can lead to their employment in related fields such as youth counseling or social work. At the same time, the City Council’s Mentorship Initiative and District Attorney’s Mentorship Initiative will provide the City of Philadelphia’s youths – its Next Generation of Leaders, Husbands, Fathers, Wives, and Mothers with a life line – a life line in the form of Mentors who will help them overcome the dysfunctional environment they were born into – an environment that could put them on the fast track to prison or to an early grave and deal with anger management and conflict resolution issues.


          If we want a city that we can all be excited about . . . a city that offers renewed prosperity for all of its citizens , , , a city that attracts and retains businesses which provide employment opportunities . . . a city that develops and invests in its “human capital” . . . a city that operates on the principle of inclusiveness, then we must embrace and implement -- with all deliberate speed -- Operation Fresh Start’s ™ City Council’s Mentorship Initiative and District Attorney’s Mentorship Initiative.

"DADS ON THE AIR" LOOKS AT 2016 INTERNATIONAL MEN'S DAY IN THE USA AND EXPLORES "MOVEMBER" AND MEN'S DEPRESSION AND MENTAL ILLNESS

Australia's DADS ON THE AIR (www.dadsontheair.com.au), the longest running radio program solely devoted to Fatherhood and Men's Issues, explores 2016 International Men's Day in the United States.  But the dialogue on Fatherhood and Men's Issues does not end there.  DADS ON THE AIR places the spotlight on Movember which is a movement established in 2003 to resolve the critical state of affairs of Men's Health and generate public awareness about the Men's Health.  It has raised about US$700 million in funding which is used to benefit Men's Health.  Sam Gledhill, the Men's Health Program Manager at Movember talks to DADS ON THE AIR.  Depression and mental illness continues to be the proverbial "elephant in the room" for Men and Boys.   Special Guest Matt Barwick and author of  a powerful book, "Life In Limbo" says that most men avoid open and honest communication about physical and mental health. But he does not stop there. 

15 November, 2016

PHILADELPHIA MAYOR ISSUES INTERNATIONAL MEN'S DAY PROCLAMATION

The United States International Men's Day Team is pleased to announce that the Mayor of the City of Philadelphia, The Honorable James F. Kenney, has issued a Proclamation which declares Saturday, 19 November 2016 as "International Men's Day" throughout the City of Philadelphia.

12 November, 2016

UNITED STATES 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

Soon after the results of the United States' 2016 Presidential Election were released, e-mails came flooding in to members of the USA International Men's Day Team from our colleagues and friends in Australia, Africa,  the Caribbean, Europe, Canada and Asia.  Their e-mails expressed surprise and concern about the impact of the Presidential Elect.  The USA IMD Team will continue its work to heal, to dialogue from a solutions-based perspective, to build bridges and transcend boundaries, and to address and resolve -- through its USA 2012-2022 International Men's Day Ten Year Platform  and its many Initiatives --  hunger, Fatherlessness, the need for real-life options and more physical and mental health resources and support services for Men and Boys, the need for the establishment of an Office of Men's Health in the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the need for the establishment of a Men's Studies Department and Curriculum in every college and university,  the need to level the educational playing field for boys and adolescent young males,  the need to rethink how we are raising and socializing Boys -- Our Sons -- the Next Generation of Leaders, Husbands and Fathers --, restorative justice, ethnic and religious intolerance, genderism, violence, homelessness, and poverty.

REBUILD!  RETHINK! RENEW!

04 November, 2016

PRAYER FOR THOSE WHO NEED IT: JEROME TEELUCKSINGH, Ph.D. , FOUNDER - INTERNATIONAL MEN'S DAY




          In 2016, the world will again observe the International Day of Prayer for Men and Boys.  It is a special day that continues to promote peace, healing, cooperation and harmony.  Here is a prayer that seeks to reflect on praying for change and those who need prayers in their lives:



We pray for those members of the human family who are considering suicide and attempted to end their lives. Give them inner strength  and faith to overcome personal challenges and ease their burdens.



We continue to pray for fellow global citizens who committed suicide and their grieving families and friends. We pray that their actions will not be in vain but serve as a lesson and light to prevent future tragedies.



Pray for unfortunate fellow human beings who are terminally ill and suffer from painful ailments. Let them realize that suicide is neither an escape nor a solution. Pray for refugees and deportees whose lives have been disrupted.



The world must constantly pray for the victims of natural disasters, child abuse, human trafficking and rape. Give them the power to regain control of their lives. Let them transform their misery to a miracle.



Pray for the persons who are responsible for evil actions. Let them realize the cruelty and suffering that others endure. We pray for the women and babies who died during childbirth. Let their deaths not be in vain and that the future will have improvements in medical services.