By: Jeffery M. Leving
This Sunday is set aside to honor and celebrate Father’s Day, but many Chicago dads will be spending the day alone. This unfortunate condition is related to the reality that over 50% of children born in Chicago are born out-of-wedlock. This frightening statistic translates into the harsh reality that many of these children will never know their dads. This is not just a vital statistic; but an alarming issue for Chicago that needs to be confronted head-on.
The national average statistic is lower, but not by much – 41% of children born in the USA are born out-of-wedlock. This translates into millions of children living absent their biological father. Not good, considering children who live absent their biological fathers are, on average, more likely to be poor, to experience educational problems, become victims of abuse, and are more likely to engage in criminal behavior. But there is hope, because young men are placing fatherhood and family time at the top of their list of priorities.
To turn the tide of fatherlessness, I will be sitting on an expert panel presenting with Dr. Kirk Harris and Neli Rowland to hopefully analyze this important information with solutions to help turn “this father-absence trend around.” This think tank will occur at Malcolm X College this Saturday at 10am (doors open at 9am). This Fatherhood Expo panel is being brought to Chicago for free by the Congressional Black Caucus and Congressman Danny K. Davis.
Remember, not all children are fortunate enough to have a responsible father in their lives. But, we can never forget that to improve the well-being of America’s children, we must restore responsible fatherhood as a societal norm in our communities.