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Boggs Center honors 100 local dads this Father's Day

June 14, 2013

This Father’s Day, the Lindy Boggs National Center for Community Literacy at Loyola University New Orleans and the New Orleans Fatherhood Consortium will honor fathers like Darren Aldridge, who has struggled to take the right path with his life and the life of his young son. Aldridge will join a group of more than 100 fathers recognized at the Favorite Father Celebration today, June 14 at Loyola. The event celebrates fathers for overcoming challenges to contribute not only to their families, but also to thousands of young men in the city desperately needing a role model.

The ceremony, set for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the St. Charles Room of the Danna Student Center on Loyola’s main campus, features guest speaker WDSU meteorologist Damon Singleton. The event will highlight the work of the Boggs Center and the New Orleans Fatherhood Consortium to promote positive images of African-American fathers and to stress the importance of fathers and strong father figures on child, family and community well-being.

That work is especially important in New Orleans, according to two new reports released this week by the Boggs Center. The reports emphasize that African-American men staying involved in and supporting the lives of their children has a significant and long-term impact on their well-being.

The reports include detailed data analysis provided by the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center. Together, the reports reveal key findings among African-American fathers in New Orleans, including:

  • In New Orleans, only 48 percent of all working-age African-American are employed compared to 74 percent of white men. Lack of employment undermines a father’s ability to provide for his children and serve as a confident role model.
  • Only 15 percent of African-American male adults in New Orleans have an associate's degree or higher, compared to 66 percent of white male adults.
  • Significant positive involvement from fathers helps children perform better in school, and protects them from engaging in delinquent and unhealthy behaviors. That involvement is associated with less drug use, less truancy, fewer problems with depression and lying.
  • All fathers of all income levels—including fathers who do not share a home with their children—can positively impact the development of their children.

For copies of “Our Fathers, Our Future: A Portrait of Black Fathers in New Orleans” and “Recognizing the Underutilized Economic Potential of Black Men in New Orleans,” contact James Shields in Loyola’s Office of Public Affairs at 504-861-5888 or 504-952-1287.

The mission of the New Orleans Fatherhood Consortium is to develop comprehensive social supports, programs, public awareness and policies that assist fathers in reaching their fullest potential.

The Boggs Center was instrumental in the formation of the New Orleans Fatherhood Consortium in 2007. The Boggs Center actively supports the work of the community-based practitioners to enhance adult literacy, as well as the efforts of university-based educators to connect thought to action and theory to practice.

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Loyola at a Glance is written and distributed for the faculty, staff, students and friends of Loyola University New Orleans. It is published by the Office of Public Affairs, Greenville Hall, Box 909, 7214 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70118. (504) 861-5888.

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