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Boggs Center director invited to White House

Loyola press release - June 11, 2012

Petrice Sams-Abiodun, Ph.D., executive director of the Lindy Boggs National Center for Community Literacy, will join President Barack Obama and other community activists in honoring 12 “Champions of Change” on June 13 at the White House in Washington, D.C. The event will recognize the achievements of individuals who have worked to empower struggling fathers and low-income men to become better parents.

“I am excited about this work because it is so important to rebuilding New Orleans,” Sams-Abiodun said. “The Boggs Center understands the role that fathers play in child and family development. Many poor men, especially in the African-American community, struggle with literacy. If we are going to rebuild our community, we need to focus on these poor men and provide them the literacy skills needed to get better jobs and have better economic opportunities. To be invited to the White House and to be a part of this conversation is truly an honor.”

Sams-Abiodun, who was not one of the 12 Champions of Change, was invited to attend in recognition of her work with Women In Fatherhood, Inc., a national nonprofit which advocates for family and community well-being through the support of positive father involvement and healthy family relationships.

In 2010, Sams-Abiodun also brokered a partnership between the Boggs Center and the New Orleans Fatherhood Consortium, dedicated to developing comprehensive programs and distributing awareness materials to help low-income fathers in the community become more effective and supportive parents.

The Obama administration created the “Champions of Change” program in 2011 to recognize ordinary Americans doing extraordinary work in their communities. Since the program was started, more than 500 champions from all 50 states have visited the White House.

“By making their communities better places to live, our champions are helping to ensure that our country’s best days lie ahead,” Obama said.

The event will include a tour of the East Wing of the White House, followed by a meeting with the president to celebrate leaders in the fatherhood field committed to helping dads around the country. The event will conclude with a briefing and conversation about tactics and programs used to assist struggling fathers and low-income men.

For more information, contact the Boggs Center at 504-864-7077 or Matt Lambert in Loyola’s Office of Public Affairs at 504-861-5448 or mlambert@loyno.edu.

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LoyNews is an e-newswire produced by the Loyola University New Orleans Office of Public Affairs. LoyNews is distributed weekly to local, regional and national news media outlets, communicating the latest news and accomplishments of the university and its community.