The National Fatherhood Summit was held January 4 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Mike McCormick, Executive Director of the American Coalition for Fathers & Children, one of the Summit’s organizers, provides the following update:
“The best word to describe what transpired at this eventÃ‚Â is WOW!Ã‚Â This past Friday over seventy people gathered at Abundant Life Ministries forÃ‚Â a unique experience.Ã‚Â People came from as far away as California.
“Besides the food, fellowship and presentations,Ã‚Â the most affirming and gratifying aspect of the dayÃ‚Â was the presence of SIX Michigan legislators and a handful of ministers.Ã‚Â What a significant statement of support for our goals.Ã‚Â The confirmation that our message is being heard and thatÃ‚Â legislatorsÃ‚Â are interested in our issues validatesÃ‚Â your efforts andÃ‚Â current course of action.
“New ACFC President, Linda Nielsen, in aÃ‚Â videotaped presentation,Ã‚Â indicatedÃ‚Â ourÃ‚Â responsibilityÃ‚Â is to educate, advocate and legislate.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Several legislators returned to this theme in their individual presentations.Ã‚Â All the legislators present indicatedÃ‚Â they consider our issues of utmost importance.
“On Saturday a number of people, members of F4J, Moms and Dads of Michigan, ACFC, etc. gathered at the River Creek Mall and distributed shared parenting literature to shoppers for several hours.Ã‚Â What aÃ‚Â positive way to cap off the Summit.
“Special thanks goes out to Rev. Ron Smith for all his efforts in putting the event together and to Robert and Angela Pedersen for their efforts in reaching the media with information.Ã‚Â Over 20 stories, news segments and television interviews resulted from their efforts.Ã‚Â
“ACFC Board member, Dr. Stephen Walker and I will spend the upcoming week traveling several states in the Midwest, meeting with legislators, judges, administrators and citizensÃ‚Â to discuss shared parenting and family law improvement projects.Ã‚Â Thanks to all of you who provide support and encouragement as these efforts continue.”
Pictured above is Michigan Representative Rick Jones, who spoke at the Summit. In 2005, Jones and Jim Semerad and Dads of Michigan worked hard to pass a military custody bill that protects deployed parents’ rights. To learn more, see my blog page A Victory for Military Parents.
I will be updating this blog post as videos of the speeches become available. To learn more about the Summit, see:
The ACFC’s page here.
Coverage from Michigan fatherhood advocates Robert and Angela Pedersen here.