The Non-Profit Fathers’ Uplift Helps Black Men Become Better Fathers
Within the Black community, there’s a negative stigma that floats around about Black men not being good fathers or being there for their children. And in the United States, there’s a general attitude of astonishment when in the presence of a Black father who’s actually taking care of their kids.
However, good Black fathers aren’t as rare as people believe them to be and Fathers’ Uplift is here to prove that.
Fathers’ UpLift is a nonprofit organization that works to assist fathers in overcoming barriers that prevent them from remaining engaged in their children’s lives.
The Massachusetts-based organization also provides mentoring, cultural outings and counseling to children who are growing up without their fathers.
“There is complexity when it comes to getting men involved in therapy in Black communities,” said co-founder Charles Daniels in an interview with Healthline. “Past treatment of Black men in mental health facilities and lack of trust are barriers. We provide guidance to men who had experiences like my own father had.”
With a full clinical and coaching team, and programs that teach other professionals on how to provide adequate services to Black men, Fathers’ UpLift aims to:
Provides fathers with a safe space to spend time with their children in a stress-free setting.
Support agencies in developing creative ways to increase male engagement and create a father-friendly environment.
Address fathers’ concerns about poverty and the importance of their roles in the life of their families through supportive groups, psycho-educational support, and professional development that promote self-advocacy.
Engage in research and advocacy that render solutions on ways to engage fathers in the lives of their children.
Daniels founded Fathers’ UpLift with his wife Samantha Fils-Daniels. Though both of them grew up in single-parent households, they each had very different experiences.
Together they’ve built an organization that combines life coaching and clinical therapy aimed specifically at Black fathers and children, boasting a 95 percent success rate.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 20 percent of children live without a father. Additionally, the Pew Research Center reports that Black households account for 28 percent of solo-parent families, while White households are at 42 percent.
And despite these statistics, Black men are still made the poster children for absentee dads. Which is why Fathers UpLift not only aids Black fathers but look into the reason why some Black fathers were unsuccessful in being apart of their children’s lives.
Just in America, Black men face structural racism, economic disadvantages, emotional trauma, high incarceration rates, and many other issues that not only affect them but also their children.
Daniels says that when he started to think about his own father and the reasons why he couldn’t be there for him, it led him towards creating Fathers’ UpLift.
“I thought about the things he was going through that prevented him from remaining active in my life,” he said. “Then I said to myself, ‘What if someone had been there to help him?’ It might have made a tremendous difference.”
With his wife, Daniels made it a goal to make sure that no child would feel the way he felt and set out to ensure that all children experience the feelings associated with having an active father, even if they are not in the same country, the same city, the same state and same home.
Today, more than five percent of the 5,000 plus Black fathers who work with the organization stay on as coaches.
Photos: Fathers' UpLift