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18 May, 2008

VOICES FROM THE VILLAGE

Once upon a time we were a village. The village raised its children. Fathers, Mothers, husbands, wives, grandparents, great grandparents, uncles, aunts, neighbors, schools and churches shared and utilized their key pieces of the puzzle to create and implement plans that moved families forward and worked as a team to positively shape the minds and souls of its children – their future – their bridge to the future. Neighbors helped neighbors. Grandparents and great grandparents were the Elders in the village. The Elders in the village were protected and respected. Children were the heart and soul of the village. There was an unspoken and unwritten understanding that each child in the village was everyone’s child and that everyone in the village was responsible for protecting, mentoring, and loving each child and that every home, school and church within the village would be a safe haven for the children – the bridge to the village’s future -- as they made their journey from childhood to adulthood. Much has changed. There are some who say that the village is fragmented, unnecessary, powerless and voiceless. Yet, vestiges of the village still exist. If you listen closely you can hear inspiring and instructive VOICES FROM THE VILLAGE.


What do our children -- our bridge to the future -- cherish most? If given the opportunity. what would our children tell us about the person or persons that matter most in their lives? What memories will leave an indelible imprint on our children as they make the journey from childhood to adulthood? Children throughout the United States from Grades 1 through 5 received an opportunity to tell the world what they cherished most when they participated in an essay contest sponsored by JUST US BOOKS (www.justusbooks.com) entitled, The Most Memorable Moment With My Father Writing Contest. The inspiration for The Most Memorable Moment With My Father Writing Contest emanates from a chilren’s book published by JUST US BOOKS – One Million Men And Men which is authored by KELLY STARLING LYONS and illustrated by PETER AMBUSH. One Million Men And Me provides a view of the 1995 Million Man March through the eyes of a young girl who attended the event with her Father. When I learned about The Most Memorable Moment With My Father Writing Contest, I immediately contacted MS. KATURA HUDSON at JUST US BOOKS and expressed my interest in publishing the contest’s winning essays in a future issue of IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD®. Thanks to Ms. Hudson and her colleagues at JUST US BOOKS, the essays of the winning contestants of The Most Memorable Moment With My Father Writing Contest – JAHBRIL PORTER-OLLAVRIA; MARQUEZ MORROW; DENARIUS WOODs; and TIYE ATU IMA ASEGA GARRETT-MILLS are featured in CHILDREN’S CORNER. We will learn what our Contributing Editors to IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD®’s CHILDREN’S CORNER -- JAHBRIL PORTER-OLLARVIA; MARQUEZ MORROW; DENARIUS WOODS; and TIYE ATU IMA ASEGA GARRETT-MILLS -- cherish most as they tell us about the individual that matters most in their lives. JAHBRIL PORTER-OLLARVIA; MARQUEZ MORROW; DENARIUS WOODS; and TIYE ATU IMA ASEGA GARRETT-MILLS represent our bridge to the future and they are also the youngest Contributing Editors to our quarterly international parenting journal.


Fatherlessness is a universal issue. It transcends the boundaries of geography, economics, culture, politics, language, religion, and ethnicity. A dominant male presence in the lives of our children as well as the lack of a dominant male presence has a dramatic influence on the decisions that children make once they reach adulthood. These decisions involve, among other things, career paths, parenting styles, and the selection of a spouse. Fatherlessness is an issue that is explored in a powerful and riveting documentary – Father Figure – which is co-written and co-produced by two rising stars in the Fatherhood Movement – PROFESSOR ELEANOR EARL an Assistant Professor of English and Cinema Studies at Hampton University and MRS. ODETTA TAMU WRIGHT a playwright with 30 plays to her credit, poet, author and actress. You’ll find out how PROFESSOR EARL and MRS. WRIGHT through their documentary – Father Figure -- have energized the Global Dialogue on Fatherhood in our FATHER FIGURE MOVEMENT section.


DON MATHIS is a poet, publisher, author, frequent Contributor to IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD®, Father, and one of the key players in the Fatherhood Movement. Mathis, who publishes an international Fatherhood publication – The Fourteen Percenter -- (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NCP-TX-Grayson/message/1. . A number of his poems – Woman Without Out A Soul; Netherlands Sacrifice; and My Son Turns 15 which celebrates his son -- Charlie’s – 15th birthday – have graced the pages of IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD®. a Through The Fourteen Percenter. MATHIS who has been and continues to be an eloquent voice for NonCustodial Fathers is featured in our FATHERHOOD ROUNDTABLE section where he talks about, among other things, why he became involved in the Fatherhood Movement, equal parenting, and what motivated him to create and publish The Fourteen Percenter. ORONDE ASH is an author, radio jazz show host, former Assistant Coach for the Men’s Soccer Team at North Carolina State University, videographer, a father and a husband. ASH who is also featured in our FATHERHOOD ROUNDTABLE section speaks openly about, among other things, the most challenging and rewarding aspects of Fatherhod, whether adequate health and medical resources and support services exist for Men, and whether modern technology -- computers, MP3s, “game boys” and video games are hindering our children’s ability to be creative and think clearly.


BERNARD M. TIMBERG, PH.D., a media scholar, author, consultant, producer of over fifty radio, film and video productions and Assistant Professor of Communications at Eastern Carolina in Greenville, North Carolina examines Fatherhood and the New Media in Bathed In The Glow. DR. TIMBERG presented Bathed In The Glow for the Social Entrepreneurship: The New Media And The Single Fatherhood Movement Panel for which he was a co-moderator at the 97th National Conference of the Eastern Communication Association (www.ecasite.org) on 28 April 2008 which was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. DR. TIMBERG was joined on the Social Entrepreneurship: The New Media And The Single Fatherhood Movement Panel by HAYWARD FARRAR, PH.D., an author and tenured Associate History Professor at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia who was mentored by internationally acclaimed historian and Presidential Medal Of Honor recipient DR. JOHN HOPE FRANKLIN. DR. FARRAR discusses how Fatherhood is portrayed by television in Through A Changing Lens: Television Looks At Fatherhood.


What do you do if you are a NonCustodial Father or Divorced Father and through no fault of your own you have become involuntary separated from your child? Do you stop searching for your child? Do you stop loving that child? Do you resign yourself to the fact that you may never see your child again? Do you stop yearning to be a part of your child’s life? Through Good Bye, My Daughter, Wherever You Are, PAUL CLEMENTS, a prominent Father’s Rights Advocate and Founder and President of Dads Aganst Divorce Discrimination (www.daddNH.org) takes on a journey into the world of a Divorced Father.

In Obstacles As A Stepping Stone, poet, free-lance journalist and self-empowerment guru CARRY GREAVES points out to us the choices that we make today shape our future. He encourages us to develop a healthy thinking process and provides us with key pieces of the puzzle to overcoming suffering and disappointments in our lives.

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