December 22, 2009
The South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families, Midlands Fatherhood Coalition and Upstate Fatherhood Coalition participated in the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships Roundtable and Community Forum on Responsible Fatherhood and Strong Communities on December 15, 2009 at Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia.
Lisa Potts, Policy Office director and Pat Littlejohn, executive director of the Center participated in a Policy and Programming roundtable discussion and had the opportunity to specifically address issues related to fathers and the child support system. Midlands Fatherhood Coalition executive director Angela Tolbert and site directors Charles Brown and Keith Ivey, three fathers, and site directors Tommy Rice and Andre McCullough of the Upstate Fatherhood Coalition joined in for the Community Forum. During the larger town-hall style meeting, three fathers from the Midlands Fatherhood Coalition, Mr. Donald Moore, Mr.Tony Bockus and Mr. Edward Harper, each addressed a Fatherhood Panel, US Attorney General Eric Holder, Joshua DuBois, executive director, White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and Mr. Michael Strautmanis, chief of staff, White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs. In front of an audience nearing 300 of distinguished guests, community and national leaders and fatherhood practitioners, each father shared a personal testimony of their challenges, benefits of the fatherhood program and one father specifically addressed the need for reform of the child support system. Mr. Strautmanis recognized the Midlands Fatherhood Coalition leadership for their great work supporting the fathers who were present.
Attorney General Eric Holder briefly addressed the audience as did President Obama through a special videotaped message.
The event, co-sponsored by the While House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and the US Department of Justice: Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance, is a part of a national ongoing conversation on responsible fatherhood initiated by President Barack Obama in June.