White House Conversations on Fatherhood

This national conversation began on Father's Day weekend with an event hosted by President Obama at the White House. The Conversation will reach communities across the country in the coming months through a series of Town Hall meetings.  The outcome of the Conversation on Fatherhood will be to inform federal policies supporting the development of strong fathers and healthy families.


Town Hall meetings will explore ways in which fathers, community organizations and the government can come together to encourage responsible fatherhood and strong communities, reconnect youth who have fallen away, and strengthen our nation's families.


If you missed watching President Obama’s Town Hall media event on Friday, June 19, 2009, on “Fatherhood and Personal Responsibility”, I suggest you make every effort to review it!  It is the kick-off to a series of similar town hall meetings that will be held in various parts of the country in the near future.

  • Step 1:            go to www.whitehouse.gov 
  • Step 2:            Scroll down to the bottom of the page until you get to the category “Issues”
  • Step 3:             Under “Issues”, click on “Family”
  • Step 4:             On this page, look at the RIGHT HAND COLUMN and click on “Responsible Fatherhood”
  • Step 5:             SKIP over the video screen – it is a short “Public Service Announcement”
  • Step 6:             To view the entire White House proceeding, scroll down to the bottom of the page where it says “watch or  read the President’s full remarks”
  • Step 7:             Click on watch.
  • Step 8:             It will re-route you to You Tube.   You won’t have to do anything but turn your speakers on, sit back, and get inspired!
Town Hall Forums on Responsible Fatherhood

Chicago, Illinois, August 5th, 2009:  The White House launched the next phase of its national conversation on responsible fatherhood and strong communities with the first regional Town Hall on the importance of fathers in building healthy families and strong communities. The Town Hall took place on Wednesday, August 5, 2009 at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The event was cosponsored by the White House Domestic Policy Council's Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and the Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families. Senior White House and Administration staff spoke at the event, along with local community leaders and experts on fatherhood.


Manchester, New Hampshire, September 23rd, 2009:  The White House Conversations on Fatherhood continued in New Hampshire on September 23rd, where Education Secretary Arne Duncan spoke about the importance of involving fathers in their children's education at a Forum on Responsible Fatherhood


"Getting fathers involved in their children's education will take turning off the TV at home and opening the school doors to them," Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Wednesday. "Both sides have to move toward the middle, toward each other," he said in an interview after a forum attended by dozens of nonprofit groups, churches, and government officials around New England.  "What's fascinating to me is that both sides need each other so badly. Educators desperately need parents to be more involved, particularly fathers, and fathers desperately need to be involved in their children's education," he said. "There's just this tremendous untapped potential and power here."  click here to read the full story


Atlanta, Georgia, December 15, 2009: The third in the series of White House Conversations on Fatherhood was held in Atlanta Georgia and co-hosted by the Department of Justice and the President's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships - click here to read coverage of the Fatherhood Forum on the President's Advisory Council blog.  Attorney General Eric Holder spoke at the event, stressing the intersection between fatherhood and criminal justice issues: the importance of working with incarcerated and reentry fathers as well as their children and families.  Click here to read AG Holder's speech.

Press Coverage

AOL Black Voices - Next Level of President Obama's Fatherhood Initiative Kicks Off In Chicago

Joshua DuBois, director of the White House Office of Faith Based Neighborhood Partnerships (FBNP) and Michael Strautmanis, chief of staff to Obama's senior advisor Valerie Jarrett), hosted a town hall meeting at the University of Illinois in Chicago. It drew an estimated 500 people to the South Loop , with Black Voices in attendance. Speakers included Rep. Danny K. Davis (D, Illinois), who reflected on growing up with his father, saying it was instrumental in his development.

read more


U.S. News and World Report - White House to Launch National Fatherhood Tour Next Week

The Obama administration is taking its effort to promote responsible fatherhood, which it launched with a White House town hall event just before Father's Day, on the road, hosting a half-dozen town halls in the next few months in different parts of the country. The first event will happen in Chicago next Wednesday. It will feature a videotaped message from President Obama, a roundtable and networking session for local nonprofit groups, presentations by administration officials, and a panel of local dads, according to an adviser for the effort.  read more


U.S. News and World Report - Obama the Role Model's Fatherhood Initiative

Children need mentors, and fathers are good mentors. When the father can't do the job, another responsible male adult is needed to step in and encourage and foster the child. This is true of boys and of girls. Girls need their fathers for self-esteem even as mom is being a role model for what a woman can and should be. Barack and Michelle Obama are wonderful role models for kids, and anything they can do to encourage others is all for the good.  read more


Chi-Town News - Former Bulls player, others, turn out for White House town meeting on fatherhood

Chicago native and former Chicago Bulls player Kendall Gill stepped away from sports patter last night to talk about an unusual subject for athletes: Fatherhood.  Gill says his one regret was not becoming a father sooner.  “Had I had children sooner it would’ve made me a better person, a better father, a better basketball player,” says Gill. His comments came last night during the first in a series of events arranged by the White House to spur a national conversation about responsible fatherhood.  read more


Chicago Sun Time - White House Hosts Chicago Town Hall on Responsible Fatherhood and Strong Communities. 

Following up on the the White House Fathers' Day Town Hall, the Obama Administration continues the national conversation on fatherhood and healthy families.  read more

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Ohio Practitioners' Network for Fathers and Families (OPNFF)
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Cleveland, OH  44106





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