Updates from our Portfolio Organizations
This issue of Notes from the Field is the first of a two-part series on Youth Voices, which aims to amplify the voices of young people connected to SIF’s Social Innovator organizations. The young people featured discuss a wide range of topics, including their experiences with school amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, how they have remained engaged in their organizations, and what it means to be Black in America today. Part one features two youth who are participants of Fathers’ Uplift, a 2018 Social Innovator.
Fathers' Uplift, a 2018 Social Innovator
Fathers’ Uplift provides mental health counseling, coaching, and advocacy to assist fathers with overcoming barriers (racism, emotion, traumatic, and addiction-based barriers) that prevent them from remaining engaged in their children’s lives. Additionally, Fathers’ Uplift provides mentoring, cultural outings, and counseling to children who are growing up without their fathers. In response to COVID-19, Fathers' Uplift pivoted quickly to help the community they serve, through providing both programs and services, as well as emergency relief necessities.
In early July, Charles Daniels (Founder & CEO) began hosting a podcast series titled “Absent for a Reason” (AFAR) along with cohost Leonard Tshitenge (Coach). The series covers various topics surrounding fatherhood, such as how to navigate challenges like divorce and post-incarceration as an engaged father. Two recent podcast episodes titled “Young, Black, and Gifted” featured three young Black men in a discussion about what it means to be Black in America today. Kadin, Jayce, and Jakhari, who have participated in Fathers’ Uplift's programming, openly discussed their struggles, feelings, realities, and joys. All three boys spoke about how COVID-19 has affected their lives, including how the transition to remote online learning was sudden and difficult, although they have enjoyed spending more time with family through quarantine.
When asked how they felt about police brutality and seeing Black men and women being killed, Kadin, Jayce, and Jakhari responded that it fuels them to push harder for justice. Jayce, who is eight years old said, “Seeing all of these black people dying, it makes me sad, but for some reason, it makes me want to fight harder.” Kadin talked about how researching into Black history is essential for fighting racial injustices - his school did not discuss Black history month this year, forcing him and his friends to learn their history independently. When asked how they felt about being Black, the three boys immediately responded with pride, joy, and a sense of loyalty. Jakhari said, “being Black is a gift”.
To support families through the COVID-19 pandemic, Fathers’ Uplift has continued to offer routine services of clinical therapy and coaching, in addition to providing supplies, gift cards for essentials, and cash assistance. With support of Stand Together and the Family Independence Initiative #GiveTogetherNow Campaign, and the City of Boston's Boston Resiliency Fund, the organization has been able to provide over $30,000 in direct assistance to 73 fathers and family members since the COVID-19 crisis began, both in the form of supplies, groceries and emergency cash assistance.
Donors can support Fathers’ Uplift in the following ways:
- Make a donation here!
- Tune into Fathers' Uplift AFAR (Absent for a Reason) Podcast! The goal of this podcast is to redefine fatherhood and bring truth to many of the false myths that incorrectly explain the absence of fathers.
- Purchase products for the "Bags for Dads" program from Fathers' Uplift Amazon wishlist here and/or host remote "Bags for Dads" drive-by inviting people to purchase products for the program.