The Agenda

Our legacy theme Wide World of Fathering reflects the multi-dimensional role that fathers play in the lives of their children and the diverse set of circumstances they face that may impact their parental experiences. Summit presenters will offer thought-provoking content and evidenced-based strategies for agencies and organizations who wish to use targeted approaches for addressing the specific needs and challenges fathers face that will promote more inclusive and equitable outcomes. 

In-person attendees will also enjoy catered breakfast and lunch, light entertainment, social networking, discussion forums, vendor table engagement and more. Join us! 

University of Michigan-flint

Riverfront Conference Center

1 Riverfront Plaza, Flint, MI 48502


Free Parking for our event is at 300 Harrison St in the University Pavilion Parking Ramp. If you go to a parking lot that requires you to pay any amount of money, it is the wrong lot. See the attached map at the bottom of this email that also indicates a road closure near the conference center due to construction. 

Detailed Parking Directions

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Note: All times listed are Eastern time zone.

8:30 - 9:30am

In Person


9:00 - 10:00am

In Person

Networking Breakfast

10:00 - 10:10am

Welcome and Introductions

Emcee: Terrance Grantham

10:10 - 11:20am

Plenary: When Broken Boys Become Broken Men

Shon Hart, Founder, InvolvedDad

Shon Hart will share powerful messages from his new book, Broken Boys Become Broken Men: The Journey of Becoming Whole.

This keynote session will deliver three objectives to attendees:

11:30am - 12:20pm

Session 1: The Importance of Fathers in Child Welfare: Past, Present, and Future

Demetrius Starling, MDHHS Children's Services

This session will discuss:

12:20 - 1:30pm

In Person

Lunch break (catered)

1:30 - 1:45pm

Entertainment presented by Detroit Musix

Erinn Alexis, saxophonist

Johnnie Pierson, vocalist

1:50 - 2:40pm

Breakout A: Panel Discussion - Fathers and the Child Support Program

Moderator: Amy Lindholm, SCAO Friend of the Court Bureau

Panelists: Ian Agee, father; Tony McDowell, Director, Genesee County Friend of the Court; Jevona Fudge, Macomb County Prosecuting Attorney Family Division

Panelists will explore the impact of the Michigan child support program on fathers and families, progress toward better father inclusion, innovative ideas, and respond to questions from the audience. 

Breakout B: The Ripple Effect of Plantation Politics on Black Fatherhood

Kevin Lavender, Jr., Founder, The Fatherhood Network

Derek Miller, Program Supervisor, 4DAD and Healthy Babies Healthy Start Program, Kalamazoo County Health and Human Services

A historical and contemporary analysis of how paternal duty has been negatively impacted for black fathers by the dynamics of the slavery system and its ripples.

Breakout C: Generational Fatherhood - A Candid Conversation

Clay Roberts, Jr., Founder, All Things Fatherhood

Mr. Roberts, Jr., will delve into his personal journey depicted in his book Super Dad, offering poignant insights into navigating fatherhood amidst challenges. Through clips from his film Generational Fatherhood: A Candid Conversation, he will facilitate a compelling exploration of the diverse experiences and perspectives shaping fatherhood across different generations.

2:45 - 3:35

Session 2: The State of America's Fathers

Chris Hook, Equimundo

Michigander men's engagement with their families is at an all-time high, and while greater progress is needed, more men than ever are making sacrifices to be involved in the lives of their children. Yet, we see a resurgence of negative stereotypes about minority fathers in the media and politics, and continued weak federal supports for father-friendly policies like paid leave and child support reform. Join this participatory workshop on what we know about fathers in the US in 2024: how are they portrayed in the media? What are the narratives to be aware of in this election year? And last, how can we better support fathers, especially low-income minority dads, with positive, uplifting messages that honor their contributions to families rather than diminish it?

3:35 - 4:00pm

Giveaways / Closing Remarks / Evaluations

Emcee: Terrance Grantham