WHITE PLAINS, NY -- County Executive Robert P. Astorino today encouraged fathers and those who work with fathers to register for the 2nd Annual New York Fathering Conference taking place April 5 at the Westchester County Center, 198 Central Ave., White Plains.
To sign up, visit nyfatheringconference2016.eventbrite.com. Registration is $45 and includes continental breakfast, lunch and beverages. The event is expected to reach capacity, so please register in advance.
“With three young children of my own, I know the most important job I have every day is being a dad,” Astorino said. “Yet sadly, over 40 percent of all children in the United States today are born to single mothers. That is a staggering figure. We have to reverse that tide. We have to step up as men, work together, and be the positive role models our children and families need.”
The theme of this year’s conference is “Taking Care of Business: Equipping Dads for Parenting, Employment and Wellness.” The event will include 21 workshops on topics such as job retraining, navigating government programs, men’s health and wellness, parenting skills, and ways to better engage fathers.
Special guest presenters represent some of the nation’s leading speakers in the fatherhood movement:
· Chef Jeff Henderson, Food Network
· Dr. Ron Mincy, Columbia University
· Kenneth Braswell, Fathers, Incorporated
The conference will open with greetings from County Executive Astorino at 8:30 a.m., followed by a discussion about the importance of fatherhood with Dr. Ronald Mincy in conversation with Kenneth Braswell.
Dr. Mincy is the Maurice V. Russell Professor of Social Policy and Social Work Practice at Columbia University. He is a co-principal investigator of the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study and a faculty member of the Columbia Population Research Center.
Mr. Braswell is the founder and CEO of Fathers Incorporated, a not-for-profit organization that serves as a leader in the promotion of responsible fatherhood and mentoring.
Workshop sessions will run throughout the day, culminating with a keynote address from Chef Jeff Henderson beginning at 2:50 p.m.
Chef Jeff is the first African-American executive chef at the Bellagio; a well-known television personality; sought-after speaker and New York Times best-selling author. His reality show on Food Network – The Chef Jeff Project – followed Jeff as he brought a group of disadvantaged young adults to work for his private dining company to teach them cooking and life skills.
“The role of a father is critically important, and I encourage all dads to join us at the conference,” Astorino said. “Families are stronger when a dad is actively involved, and society is stronger as a result. On the other hand, the ramifications of growing up without a father in the home – or at least nearby and actively involved – speak for themselves. Poverty, imprisonment, drug and alcohol abuse, teenage pregnancy, emotional and behavioral problems, school dropouts; all rise when a child is raised without a father in his or her life.”