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Million Father March – A Push To Bring Dads Into Kids’ School Lives

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Sunday, September 2, 2007

Raleigh: Melvin McNeill, speaks with Shani Galloway, a teacher at Sparc Academy as his daughters look for their desks. McNeill walked his daughters to school as part of the Million Father March.
Jeffery A. Camarati/Special to The Christian Science Monitor


Raleigh, N.C. – It’s Monday morning, and Bryan Harris is walking his three daughters down a path he hasn’t traveled before. This year, he’s broken free of his long hours as a furniture deliveryman to be here on the first day of school, following his three daughters up the cement steps and grass-lined walkway to their classrooms at SPARC Academy, a K-8 charter school here. His two youngest, second-grader Shirley and third-grader Jessica, glance back at him with smiles. His fifth-grader, Ceosa, walks with her head held high.

“I wanted them to know I support what they’re doing,” he says.

Around the country, many African-American men are doing the same. They’re part of a national movement called the Million Father March that encourages people of all races, but particularly black men, to be active in children’s educational lives.

Created four years ago, the Million Father March is sponsored by The Black Star Project, a Chicago group working to build strong students, encourage parental involvement, and improve life in African-American and Latino communities. The goal is to eliminate the racial academic achievement gap, says Black Star Project founder and director Phillip Jackson. One key, he believes, is the commitment of dads.

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