To all you fathers, granddads, brothers, uncles, cousins, mentors and family friends: No time to talk the talk, it's time to walk the walk. September 6, 2011 (or whenever school starts in your community) put your gym shoes on and take your kids back to school. That's what's called the Black Star Project Million Father March, and it's jumping off in a big way this year. To kick off the event, the Black Star Project held a Back-To-School Parade, Saturday, September 3, from 45th to 51st and Cottage Grove in Chicago. Parents, teacher, students, and concerned citizens came together to wish our kids well.
The Million Father March was started by Chicago’s own Phillip Jackson, founder of the Black Star Project, an outreach organization dedicated to improving the education experience of under-served youth through parent, teacher and community involvement. The Million Father March is just one way of getting black men more involved in their children’s education. Though the March primary targets blacks and Latinos, the message is universal. All men should get involved. If school has already begun, still set aside a morning to walk your child to school.
What consists of the Million Father March? “It’s very simple,” says Jackson, “Men take one morning off to take their kids to school…When children see men at school, it’s a whole different deal…children feel safer, children do better academically, better attendance…”
The Million Father March has received support from pre-K to high schools, universities, community organizations, government agencies, faith-based institutions and businesses. Once a local Chicago movement, it has spread to scores of cities throughout the country and the world. A. H. Abdallah from Tamale, Ghana, Africa writes, “…I acknowledge fully being part of the advocacy of the Million Father March in my community, Tamale, Ghana. It is good news about the Million Father March on the subject of education for the African-American. This is one world and we are the same people. Our African Association is in full support… “
Seeing strong proud supportive fathers and father figures escorting children to their place of learning sends a strong undeniable message to our youth, parents, community and society: You care. When children see you care, they care about what they do and how they perform. It’s a proven fact, students do better in school with parental involvement, and men play a pivotal role in influencing our youth.
Check out Phil Jackson in this video as he breaks down the full impact of the Million Father March. When you show your commitment by gracing your presence the first day and any day at your child’s school, that’s raising your kids well.