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I Am Dad

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The I AM DAD. Podcast is an exploration of fatherhood insight, information, and inspiration for dads, their families, the people who love, and those that support them.


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The I AM DAD. Podcast is an exploration of fatherhood insight, information, and inspiration for dads, their families, the people who love, and those that support them.





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Exploring Manhood in Crisis: Dr. Nazsa S. Baker Discusses Masculinity and Recovery Among Disabled Black Men

TODAY we ARE going to explore the intricacies of fatherhood, masculinity, and the societal challenges that shape them. We're honored to have Dr. Nazsa S. Baker with us to delve into her groundbreaking research, "Protect and Provide: Perceptions of Manhood and Masculinities Among Disabled Violently Injured Black Men in a Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Program." Dr. Baker, a distinguished scholar at the New Jersey Gun Violence Research Center and an Assistant Professor at Gwynedd Mercy University, brings a wealth of knowledge from her extensive work on urban health disparities, violence and injury prevention, and, notably, the support needs of Black men navigating the aftermath of firearm violence. Through her lens, we'll explore the transformative journeys of Black men as they redefine manhood amidst the challenges of disability and societal expectations. Join us as we uncover the layers of resilience, identity, and the pressing need for empathetic support in the wake of violence.


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Women in Fatherhood Services: A Journey with Avis Files

In this special episode of the "I Am Dad Podcast," we have the privilege of sitting down with the remarkable Avis Denise Files, a trailblazer in the field of responsible fatherhood and family strengthening. Join us as we delve into the inspiring journey of this dedicated Program Director, Facilitator, and Entrepreneur, whose unwavering commitment to empowering fathers and building healthy families has earned her widespread recognition and admiration. Through candid conversation and heartfelt anecdotes, Avis shares insights gleaned from her extensive experience working in areas such as domestic violence, homelessness, and drug addiction services. From her early days as a Program Coordinator for OFA grant-funded healthy marriage programs to her current role as Director of Family Supportive Services, Avis's passion for creating positive change shines through in every word. Discover the pivotal moments that shaped Avis's career, including her historic recognition as the first woman to receive The Vicky Turetsky Women In Responsible Leadership Award. Hear firsthand how she navigates the complexities of blending professional and personal life alongside her husband, Michael Allen Files, as they work together to empower families through their programs at Pathway Inc. Throughout the interview, Avis offers valuable insights into the transformative power of fatherhood, the importance of community support, and the role of faith in guiding her work. From her motto, "Change A Father, Change a Family, Create a Future," to her dedication to fostering meaningful dialogue and action, Avis exemplifies the spirit of compassionate leadership and unwavering determination. Join us as we embark on a journey of inspiration, wisdom, and hope with Avis Denise Files, and discover what it truly means to say, "I am Dad."


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Unraveling the Tapestry of Young Fatherhood in the UK with Dr Anna Tarrant

Join us on the "I AM DAD" Podcast where we have the honor of introducing Anna Tarrant, a Professor of Sociology and an esteemed voice in the field of fatherhood research. As the Director of the 'Following Young Fathers Further' study and head of the new Centre for Innovation in Fatherhood and Family Research at the University of Lincoln, Anna is at the forefront of shaping the discourse around young fatherhood. With a keen focus on the parenting journeys and support needs of young fathers, particularly in low-income families, her work is pivotal in driving policy and practice to better support these men and their children. Today, we'll explore the transformation of societal perspectives on young fathers, discuss Anna's influential research, and uncover insights into nurturing the potential of these young families. Prepare to delve into the complex dynamics of young fatherhood with a true advocate for change. Welcome, Anna Tarrant, to a conversation that promises to be as enlightening as it is essential.


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Harmony in Healing: Jordan Holmes on Art, Advocacy, and the Power of Vulnerability

In this episode of the I Am Dad podcast, host Kenneth Braswell interviews Jordan Holmes, also known as Dexter Spitz, talks about his work as a scientist, musician, spoken word artist, and entrepreneur. They discuss Jordan's journey and his recent How Men Cry Movement, which aims to reshape conversations around masculinity, vulnerability, and mental health. Jordan emphasizes the importance of creating safe spaces for men to express their emotions and shares his own experiences with therapy and healing. He also highlights the value of nature and motion in promoting mental well-being. The conversation concludes with Jordan sharing a stanza from one of his spoken word pieces, highlighting the need for men to let down their guard and allow love and new experiences into their lives.


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Policy Meets Parenthood: Shaneen Moore's Crusade for Equity in Child Support

In this episode of the I Am Dad podcast, host Kenneth Braswell interviews Shaneen Moore, a PhD student and advocate for policy reform in the child support system. Moore's research focuses on the racial implications of Minnesota's child support program and how it affects families on a systematic level. She emphasizes the need for greater empathy and understanding in the mechanisms that shape the lives of countless families. The conversation delves into the complexities of fatherhood, particularly for black fathers and black daughters, and the need for policy changes to better serve families. Moore also discusses the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the child support system and the need for more representation of men, especially men of color, in health and human services. The episode concludes with a discussion on the impact of research and the need for more studies on the experiences of black families in the child support system.


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Fatherhood Unveiled: Rob Kenney's Journey from Abandonment to Internet Dad

Rob Kenney, the creator of the YouTube channel "Dad, How Do I?" shares his personal story and the inspiration behind his channel in an interview with Kenneth Braswell on the I Am Dad podcast. Rob grew up without a father and made a promise to himself to be a devoted father to his own children. He extended his fatherly guidance to the world through his YouTube channel, providing essential life skills and lessons to those who were missing a father figure in their lives. The channel went viral during the pandemic and now has millions of subscribers. Rob discusses the impact of his work, the challenges he faces, and his desire to bring fatherhood back into the spotlight as a positive and important role. He also emphasizes the importance of forgiveness and his faith in guiding his actions. YouTube.com/dadhowdoi Instagram.com/dadhowdoi Facebook.com/dadhowdoi TikTok.com/therealdadhowdoi


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Building Bridges: Lawrence Wilbon on Innovating Fatherhood and Family Support

In this episode of the I Am Dad podcast, host Kenneth Braswell interviews Lawrence Wilbon, the Director of Business and Program Development at Fathers Incorporated. Wilbon shares his personal journey of growing up without a father and reconnecting with him later in life. He also discusses the impact of his mother and wife on his life, as well as his experience as an adoptive father. Wilbon emphasizes the importance of supporting fathers and families, and the challenges of advocating for fatherhood programs. He also discusses the future of fatherhood work, including strengthening families and addressing systemic issues through policy and advocacy. The episode concludes with Braswell expressing his appreciation for Wilbon's contributions to Fathers Incorporated and the fatherhood space.


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Shaping Futures: Dr. Alvin Thomas on Revolutionizing Black Fatherhood by Rewriting the Narrative

In this episode of the I Am Dad podcast, host Kenneth Braswell interviews Dr. Alvin Thomas, a clinical psychologist and assistant professor of Human Development and Family Studies. Dr. Thomas discusses his work at the intersection of positive child and youth development and father involvement, with a focus on black children and black fathers. He explains the importance of challenging the negative narratives surrounding black fathers and highlighting their positive contributions to their families and communities. Dr. Thomas also emphasizes the need to address the mental health of black men and fathers, as well as the impact of their environment on their well-being. He advocates for a holistic approach to fatherhood that takes into account the various social, cultural, and institutional factors that shape the experiences of black fathers.


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Richard Barr Roots of Fatherhood: Richard Barr on Trust, Faith, and Transforming Communities

In this episode of the I Am Dad podcast, host Kenneth Braswell interviews Richard Barr, a fatherhood advocate and pastor. They discuss the importance of storytelling and the power of hearing personal stories to understand the why behind people's experiences. Richard shares his own story of growing up with a strong father figure and how it shaped his appreciation for fatherhood. They also discuss the challenges of doing fatherhood work in different communities, including urban and rural areas, and the need to understand the cultural nuances of each community. They emphasize the importance of trust and purpose in fatherhood work, as well as the need to address relational poverty at the root of many issues. They also touch on the role of faith in fatherhood work and the need to involve faith communities in programmatic efforts. Finally, they discuss the need to invest in the development of fatherhood programs and the importance of valuing men and fathers in society.


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The Unvarnished Truth: Janks Morton on Shaping Black Narratives in Film and Fatherhood

Dive deep into a compelling discussion on the "I AM DAD" Podcast with Janks Morton, an acclaimed filmmaker and advocate for authentic representation of African-American experiences. As he converses with Kenneth Braswell, we peel back the layers of societal narratives surrounding Black fathers, families, and the crucial role of media in shaping public perception. Morton's passionate approach to storytelling challenges and rectifies misconceptions, inspiring a shift toward positive and truthful portrayals. Tune in for a transformative dialogue that redefines the essence of fatherhood and the power of film.


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Beyond the Court: James Worthy on Community Leadership and Fatherhood

On this episode of the "I AM DAD" Podcast, we have the pleasure of welcoming James Worthy, a man whose name resonates with the impact and dedication he’s brought to the field of human services. With almost three decades of enriching experience, James stands as a towering figure in the advocacy for responsible fatherhood and family strengthening. His innovative curricula and development programs have touched nearly ten thousand lives, changing narratives and shaping futures. As a National Consultant and Family Advocate, James’s voice is one of wisdom and passion, driving forward initiatives that champion the well-being of fathers and children alike. Today, we're set to unravel his journey, his vision, and his transformative work that continues to leave indelible marks on communities nationwide.


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Championing Fatherhood, Empowering Youth, Enriching Families: The Charles Sharper Way

Coach Charles Sharper has dedicated his life to serving children and their families as a Non-Profit Executive Director, mentor, teacher, coach. He is now widely recognized as one of Atlanta’s most prominent voices in youth development. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Charles grew up with parents who fostered children for 30 years. It was there that Coach Sharper learned and developed his craft of managing and developing children. His father, Norwood Sharper, taught him the art of being firm but fair, while his mother, Gladys Sharper, taught him compassion and grace. Combining those characteristics with his passion for youth sports and recreation, The Healthy Youth USA Foundation was born. Coach Sharper obtained a Secondary Education degree from Owens Community College in Ohio. He joined the Eastern Michigan University Men’s Basketball Team and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in marketing & communications. After EMU, Charles joined the coaching staff of the Hampton University Men’s Basketball program and became a vital hand in preparing the team to win the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship, moving forward to defeat Iowa State University (then ranked 9th) in the first round of the NCAA tournament.


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What the State of Kentucky and Appalachia is Teaching us about Fatherhood w/ David Cozart

For nearly three decades, David has been a father and family advocate, a community organizer, a minister, and an influential leader. He has successfully guided and grown a local direct service program for 11 years. Over time, he has coordinated multiple events, activities, and programs aimed at the acknowledgement, enhancement, appreciation, and promotion of the institution of fatherhood and raising awareness of the challenges related to father absence. This most notably includes the 2021-established Commonwealth Center for Fathers and Families (CCFF), which is poised to enhance positive fatherhood engagement and programming across Kentucky and beyond. As Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of CCFF, David leads statewide efforts and beyond. He has been widely recognized for his contributions to the field and was most recently appointed to The National Fatherhood Initiative Board of Directors. David is widely called upon for his work around fatherhood and its correlated issues, including educational performance, violence prevention and intervention, implicit bias, black male achievement, strengthening families and communities, child maltreatment reduction, and other related matters. His work and efforts have impacted policies, procedures, and practices and served thousands of fathers, children, and families. He is the recent recipient of the Governor's Annual Services Awards, receiving the honor of the Lifetime Achievement Award.


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Dontaye Carter: Navigating the Beat of Fatherhood and Advocacy

A Husband and Father's Journey Hey there, I'm Dontaye Carter. My story is one of love, family, and a quest to make the world a better place. Eight years ago, I set out on an incredible journey, leaving behind Valdosta, Georgia, to follow my heart to Atlanta. My only mission was to marry the woman who had stolen my heart at a Valentine's Day party years earlier. At that time, I was working as a reporter in Valdosta, and she had just completed her residency, preparing for an interview with Women's Health Associates. Our love story began with a dance, and it's been a dance to our own beat ever since. When I asked her to dance, she hesitated, saying, "You don't understand, I have two left feet." But I replied, "I have two right feet. Let's see if we can find our own rhythm." And from that magical night, we've been finding our way together. Karen got the job, we got married, and together, we've poured our hearts into building a loving home for our beautiful daughter in Atlanta. I wear many hats - I'm a husband, a father, a business owner, an author, and an activist. But my greatest joy comes from being a husband and a father, cherishing every moment with my family. As the Founder and Lead Communication Strategist at Carter Media Group (CMG), I've harnessed my professional skills to make a difference. My journey has taken me from small-town stories to big-time recognition in Public Relations and Communications. I'm proud to have given a voice to survivors and their families in high-profile cases, like R. Kelly and Ahmaud Arbery, earning three prestigious awards from the 26th Annual Communicators Awards.


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Uncovering Nonresident Fatherhood: Dr. Shears & Dr. Wilbon Discuss Black Fathers in Fulton County

In the "I Am Dad" podcast, host Kenneth Braswell engages in a profound dialogue with Dr. Jeffery Shears and Dr. Matisa Wilbon about the "Dynamics of Atlanta Black Dads" report. They delve into the transformative role of Black fathers in Fulton County, challenging stereotypes and underscoring their indispensable role in family and community. Dr. Shears and Dr. Wilbon shed light on the internal and external challenges fathers face, emphasizing their capability and resourcefulness despite societal narratives that often overshadow their desire and efforts to be involved parents. They highlight the necessity for community support and policy changes that address barriers such as legitimation policies and lack of social services, advocating for a holistic approach to fatherhood support. Personal reflections reveal the emotional depth and commitment of these fathers, with poignant acknowledgments of their own paternal relationships shaping their views. The conversation concludes with a call to action for more research and community engagement to better support Black fathers, with a hopeful look towards the initiatives planned for 2024.


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From Dadvocacy to Daddying: Allan Shedlin is Advancing the Narratives of Fatherhood in Film

Allan Shedlin has devoted his life's work to improving the odds for children and families. He has three daughters, five grandchildren, as well as numerous "bonus" sons/daughters and grandchildren. Trained as an educator, Allan has alternated between classroom service, school leadership, parenting coaching, policy development, and advising at the local, state, and national levels. After eight years as an elementary school principal, Allan founded and headed the National Elementary School Center for 10 years. In the 1980s, he began writing about education and parenting for major news outlets and education trade publications, as well as appearing on radio and TV. In 2008, he was honored as a "Living Treasure" by Mothering Magazine and founded REEL Fathers in Santa Fe, NM, where he now serves as president emeritus. In 2017, he founded the DADvocacy Consulting Group. In 2018, he launched the DADDY Wishes Fund and Daddy Appleseed Fund. In 2019, he co-created and began co-facilitating the Armor Down/Daddy Up! and Mommy Up! programs. He has conducted daddying workshops in such diverse settings as Native American pueblos, veterans groups, nursery schools, penitentiaries, Head Start centers, corporate boardrooms, and various elementary schools, signifying the widespread interest in men in becoming the best possible dad. In 2022, Allan founded and co-directed the Daddying Film Festival & Forum to enable students, dads, and other indie filmmakers to use film as a vehicle to communicate the importance of fathers or father figures in each others' lives. Allan earned his elementary and high school diplomas from NYC’s Ethical Culture Schools, BA at Colgate University, MA at Columbia University’s Teachers College, and an ABD at Fordham University. But he considers his D-A-D and GRAND D-A-D the most important “degrees” of all.


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Reframing Fatherhood Through Storytelling While Grieving of Loss of a Child w/ Jermaine Wong

In this inspiring episode of "I AM DAD," we welcome Jermaine Wong, a storyteller whose life and work transcend the boundaries of art and activism. An award-winning filmmaker and Artistic Director, Jermaine's passion lies in crafting narratives that celebrate and challenge the human spirit. As a dedicated Learn To Live activist, he channels his personal journey of loss into empowering others, particularly through his work in conflict management. Hear Jermaine discuss the power of storytelling in shaping the identities of fathers and sons, and the importance of creative expression in overcoming adversity. His multifaceted approach to healing and growth offers a unique perspective on fatherhood—a role he believes is central to fostering harmony and understanding in diverse communities. Tune in for a conversation full of heart, art, and transformative wisdom with Jermaine Wong on "I AM DAD.


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Leading the Charge: Shawn Dove on Revolutionizing Black Male Achievement & Community Impact

Embark on a journey into the heart of fatherhood with Shawn Dove on the "I AM DAD" Podcast. Shawn, a titan in community-building and advocacy, shares his seasoned insights on nurturing leadership within ourselves and our children. As the founder of the Corporation for Black Male Achievement and a leading figure at New Profit, Shawn champions transformative change and highlights the critical role fathers play in society. In this episode, he unfolds the layers of his leadership mission mantra, discussing the powerful intersection of personal legacy and community impact. Listen in as Shawn Dove articulates a vision where fathers are the vanguard of change, curating a brighter future for Black men and boys. This is a conversation that ignites the spirit and calls all dads to rise as the iconic leaders they are meant to be.


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Daddies and Daughters: Dr. David Miller on Crafting the Future of Black Fatherhood

Join us on the "I AM DAD" Podcast for an enriching dialogue with Dr. David C. Miller, a visionary at the vanguard of redefining Black fatherhood. Dr. Miller merges academic expertise with real-world experience to empower generations through literature and life lessons. His poignant children's books offer vibrant portraits of Black fathers, filling a crucial gap in contemporary storytelling and providing rich cultural narratives for young minds. In this episode, we delve into Dr. Miller's groundbreaking "Dare To Be King" curriculum, designed to inspire young Black males to lead lives marked by thoughtful decision-making and emotional resilience. As a strategist with Fathers Incorporated, Dr. Miller's voice is a clarion call for fathers to embrace their role with courage and authenticity. Tune in to uncover the transformative potential of fatherhood as Dr. Miller shares strategies for nurturing strong, compassionate, and engaged fathers for today's challenging world. This is an episode for anyone invested in the heart and soul of parenting.


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Voices of Resilience: Unveiling the Strength in Fragile Families with Dr. Ronald L. Mincy

In this episode of the I Am Dad podcast, host Kenneth Braswell interviews Dr. Ronald L. Mincy, a professor of social policy and social work practice at Columbia University. Dr. Mincy discusses his journey into the field of fatherhood research and his work on the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study. He emphasizes the importance of understanding the challenges faced by low-income fathers, particularly black men, and the impact on their children. Dr. Mincy also highlights the need for more resources and funding in the field of fatherhood research and practice, as well as the importance of integrating community-based practice with research. He concludes by expressing his hope for the field to become more institutionalized and for more collaboration between researchers, policymakers, and practitioners.