Father's Day Rally Committee celebrates 35 years supporting and honoring active fathers

A special event honoring fathers was held Tuesday night in Philadelphia praising local dads who have an active role in their children's lives. It was all part of the inaugural Fatherhood Summit.

Fathers are receiving the recognition they deserve for being present and active. An awards ceremony ended the Fatherhood Summit held tonight at the School District of Philadelphia building.

"We are the narrative of what Black fathers are and not the counter narrative," said Ameen Akbar. He is one of the recipients, along with his father, who has received the award in the past.

"It feels good to be the blueprint to what fatherhood is for our own children and children in the community," said Akbar.

The event tonight is part of the 35th anniversary of the organization The Father's Day Rally Committee celebrating its continued dedication to promoting strong and stable families.

"When I was growing up as a young man, in particularly the Black community 70 percent of the households had a mother and father in them. Now the latest statistics show that only around 30 percent of households have a father and mother in it," said Bilal Qayyum. He is the president of the Father’s Day Rally Committee.

"We know too that all the statistics show that the fathers who are involved in their kids’ lives are most likely the children who will not be involved in drugs, finish school and will not be involved in any criminal activity," said Qayyum.

Those who attended had dinner and listened in on a panel discussion.

"If we're going to dramatically reclaim Black communities, if we're going to increase marriage rates, if we're going to reduce violent crime, poverty, apathy and you name it, Black fathers have to be a fundamental focus of the work," said Scholar Activist David Miller.

Wally Smith is a father, a member of PAAN Philadelphia Anti-drug Anti-Violence Network and a longtime supporter of the Father’s Day Rally Committee.

"Young men are getting so much emotion and not knowing how to channel it correctly because there is no male figure in there to teach them how to be young men," said Smith.

Philadelphia School Superintendent Tony Watlington also spoke about the importance of males and fathers in schools.

To find more events or to be involved, visit the Father's Day Rally Committee website.