...and surprisingly, more fathers than I've ever seen, meeting and greeting teachers... bending over and reminding children to "pay attention, do your work," and of course the customary "don't act a fool on the first day of school!" The Million Father March is a major first step in the right direction for many fathers.
Thank you for inspiring us all to work collectively for the benefit of our children. The genius of your idea is in its simplicity. It didn't take months of planning sessions, committee meetings, or lots of money that none of us seem to have...just the willingness to get up, get dressed and take our children to school.
Baba Mustafa Mahdi
From Indianapolis, Indiana:
"I would like to say that the Million Father March is a wonderful thing that is happening in Indianapolis. I am a mother who is truly inspired by these dads who are making a difference in their children's lives. I want to commend Dr. Eugene White, Superintendent over the Indianapolis Public School District, for promoting the Million Father March on television and radio. His message is ' Fathers, take your children to school on the first day and don't stop there. Become active in the education of your children all year long.' "The news interviewed a father who was stepping up to the plate and taking his child to school this morning. I would like to commend him for stepping up to the plate as well as Dr. White for getting the word out. God Bless the Black Star Project for reaching the Indianapolis Area.
From Chicago, Illinois
"My ex-husband, Joseph McKinney, who lives in Wyoming, Michigan, felt that it was important to participate in the Million Father March with our two daughters. So he drove three hours, each way, to Chicago to be sure that he could take his two daughters to two different schools on the first day. I feel that this helps me become a better person, and it also helps him bond closer to his daughters. He exemplifies what a divorced father can be for his children. Estranged fathers (fathers who do not live in the same home as their children) should take a lesson from my ex-husband and stay focused on the well-being of their children."
From Columbia, Missouri:
"African-American youth need to know the importance of education. By showing up for the Million Father March and walking into the classrooms, we're letting the schools system know, despite the achievement gap, despite disparity, despite this or that and the other, that education is something we do value as Black men."
From Cambridge, Massachusetts:
"I believe the Million Father March represents a timely and effective model to involve Black fathers, and other concerned men, in the education of our children. This missing element (male role models of color) in our nation's schools is especially and critically important given that our nation's schools are overwhelmingly staffed with white women."
Dr. Rosa Smith
From Quincy, Illinois:
"Dads can make all the difference in the educational success of their children. Quincy Black Star and Quincy Public Schools recognize that with a celebration of the Million Father March at the beginning of each school year."
Superintendent Thomas Leahy
From San Antonio, Texas:
"I see the day of the Million Father March as an opportunity for us men to unite and show our strength in numbers by being with our kids. I see this day as an opportunity for us men to unite and encourage our educators. I see this day as an opportunity for us men and women to work together to strengthen our education system by finding ways that provide opportunities for us to reinvigorate our villages and hamlets so our children can make a difference when we encourage them to come back."
Dr. Archie Wortham
From Milwaukee, Wisconsin:
"The Million Father March is important because research has shown that when a father takes an active role in the educational and social development of a child, the child earns better grades, gets better test scores, enjoys school more, and is more likely to graduate high school and attend college."
From Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina:
"All men, regardless of the skin you might be in, but especially Black men, can improve high-poverty, low-performing schools by getting involved in the Million Father March."
From Oklahoma City, Oklahoma:
"We are sending out information about the event to local churches, to the media, to other chambers and our elected officials to get out the word about the Million Father March. We are asking ministers and elected officials to let their constituents know so that we can get as many people to participate as possible. We are asking churches to include this information in their sermons to encourage all males in the community to help reinforce a strong, fatherly presence in the life of children. We want to send the message that mama doesn't do it all ' daddy can help, too.'"
From Crete, Illinois:
"In today's global economy a first-rate education is a must. The involvement of fathers in the educational lives of their children says that education is important. So, in essence, the Million Father March is a program designed to get fathers not to go to Washington, D.C., but down the street and around the corner on the first day of school and to stay involved in their children's education during the academic year. It becomes development from the inside out, as opposed to expecting some force from outside of the community to make positive social change a reality. It is a process of empowerment."
Professor David Johnson
From Riverdale, Georgia:
"Thanks Million Father March for allowing me and the fathers of Riverdale to be part of this movement. ˜You done started somethin' now!' You definitely have our support! Keep us posted."
From Tamale, Ghana:
"I am a farmer and president of the Soya Beans Growers Association in the three Northern regions of Ghana (Northern, Upper East and Upper West). 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, except for the fact that we are financially incapacitated buy, all the same, our voices can be heard."
A. H. Abdallah
From Cleveland, Ohio:
"We want everyone involved in the Cleveland event to be proud of both the Million Father March and the purpose behind it. We have decided to take a key from your vignette where you make reference to first experiencing this type of event in South America, where it occurs on the last day of school. We want fathers to thank teachers, on behalf of their families, twice, at end of the school year and near the beginning of school year. We are also crafting a series of interventions for fathers throughout the school year in partnership with the schools. Thanks for your motivation and inspiration, which has now spread throughout the world."
From Calumet City, Illinois:
"For years our communities have been plagued with violence, poverty, sub-par education, and other socio-economic issues that continue to generate darkness for our future generations. It's time for us to unite under a common purpose: not because we are African-Americans, not because we have the same religious beliefs, not because we are in the same social class, but because we are all human. GOD's children and our very existence depend on our connectivity and love of one another. This movement, a reformation of the mind, body and spirit is the Million Father March! It begins with us! What better way to exemplify this than by leading our children to school. This is a nationwide campaign. May GOD Bless the Million Father March, and be sure to GGG (Give GOD the Glory)."