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Fatherhood on the Hill

POSTED: October 23, 2009, 12:00 am

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He led the way in addressing the issue of felon reentry, and the need for second chance programs to address the formerly incarcerated; now Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL) is turning his attention to fatherhood. The congressman from the Windy City is hosting a forum titled “E3 Forum: Black Fathers, Families and Communities” on Tuesday October 27 from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm in the Cannon House Office Building Caucus Room. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus, advocates and researchers will discuss the Julia Carson Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Families Act of 2009 (H.R. 2979), a companion to a bill introduced by then Senator Barack Obama in the 110th Congress.

The focus of the forum is three-fold. First, to debunk the mythology surrounding irresponsible Black fatherhood, families and communities, while exploring how public policy has contributed to deep-seated disparities in the Black communities. The other focus of the forum is to help explain the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program that was instituted during “welfare reform” and discussing its intergenerational effects. The E3 Forum is also a “Call-to-Action” for responsible public policy to transform TANF from an entitlement to an empowerment program that can remove barriers to responsible fatherhood and healthy families.

The forum will also highlight a special report on low-income Americans that was commissioned by Rep. Davis and Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA). The Congressional Research Service will also share findings of a report that was prepared at the request of Rep. Davis and shows how the scaling back of federal support for low-income Americans has undermined family formation. The Annie E. Casey Foundation, one of the nation’s foremost philanthropies, will release a report titled “Responsible Government: Investing in the well-being of Black Fathers, Families and Communities.” The Casey report will look at the effect of structural, cultural and public policy choices on intergenerational family change.

The public is invited to the E3 Forum and an RSVP is not required.

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