The Agenda

Our theme for 2022 is "Wide World of Fathering," where our speakers will address the diversity of situations and parenting issues facing fathers, as well as opportunities for agencies and organizations working with fathers to increase inclusion and equity in serving fathers.

Note: All times listed are Eastern time zone.

Day 1

Tuesday, May 17

10:00 - 10:15


Emcee - Terrance Grantham

10:15 - 11:45

Social Work CEUs

Plenary: The Work, Worries & Wonder of Fatherhood: The Power of Cultural Rituals & Routines to Build Bonds Through Talk, Touch & Listening While Combing Hair!

Dr. Marva Lewis

Welcoming and engaging fathers is a powerful, yet often overlooked relationship in daycare centers, schools, and early childhood interventions designed to support parent-child attachment. Fatherhood presents many challenges in community contexts that include racial inequities for health and well-being, race-based trauma and stressors of the COVID-19 pandemic. The daily routine of combing hair and 'wash-day routines' present no-cost opportunities for fathers to emotionally connect with their young sons and daughters. Findings from research will describe the cultural 'call and response' synchrony of interaction and intimate emotional attunement that occurs during hair combing interactions. Community-based interventions based on this research provide forums for fathers to talk, touch, and listen while combing their young child's hair.

12:00 - 1:30

Social Work CEUs

OCS Customer Service Credit

Workshop: The Routine of Hair Combing Interaction: A Tool to Strengthen Fathers' Connection to Children, Culture & Community

Dr. Marva Lewis

Early childhood providers committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion have few culturally responsive tools to specifically address historical trauma response in families of color. This interactive workshop presents an overview of community-based Talk, Touch & Listen Parent Cafes. In a psychologically safe space, fathers will have an opportunity to share their personal stories of childhood experiences of racial acceptance or rejection based on their skin tone or hair type. They will have an opportunity to give voice to the values they have for their children and the quality of relationship memories they want for their child during the hair combing routines. Finally, participants will recognize the impact of messages of colorism on young children.

1:35 - 1:50


Curated by Detroit Musix

1:50 - 2:50

OCS Customer Service Credit

Workshop: Girl Dad/Boy Dad

Shon Hart, Cole Williams

Many times dads fight tooth and nail to protect their daughters and allow their sons to run in the wild. Is there a difference when it comes to raising boys and girls? Let's ask a Girl Dad and a Boy Dad to hear their perspectives.

With their "Fathers Heart Podcast" Shon and Cole reveal the true unadulterated heart of fathers. They understand when a father is understood, and given a space to show up authentically, he will nurture, guide, and lead not only his family but will also grow and develop the missing parts of himself. A Father's Heart Podcast is about tackling the tough issues that impact a man's unfolding journey to fatherhood. They offer new sessions weekly on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook for insightful dialogue and thought-provoking conversation on the heart of being a father.

Emcee's Closing Remarks 2:50 - 3:00

Day 2

Wednesday, May 18

10:00 - 10:15


Emcee - Terrance Grantham

10:15 - 11:30

Plenary: Antiblackness: A New Analytical Perspective on Black Fathers and the Parenting of Black Children

Dr. Bakari Wallace

This session will present data from a study that sought to understand how gendered-antiblackness shapes the experiences and perceptions of a group of Black working- and middle-class fathers–emanating from both the U.S. and abroad–and how this phenomenon determines their approach to, and practice of, fatherhood.

11:30 - 11:45

Fatherhood Motivation

Emcee - Terrance Grantham

12:15 - 1:15

OCS Customer Service Credit

Workshop: Engaged Fathers: The Best Playmakers

Reginald Day

This workshop will present ways to change the narrative of how fatherhood involvement is perceived by systems and institutions. It will also cover the explicit implications of lack of involvement of the father, specifically Black fathers due to implicit bias during pregnancy and the postpartum period.

Participants will learn strategies to ensure that - as Black and Indigenous mothers are centered in care - fathers are, as well.

1:15 - 1:45


Curated by Detroit Musix

1:45 - 2:45

Workshop: Black Fathers: How Do We Build Legacies?

Paul Osbourne, Kofi Morris

This workshop will explore the many ways we as Black fathers can build healthy families and community legacies that preserve, protect and create safe spaces that preserve our traditions.

Legacy can include some of the following; family traditions, passing on skills, origin stories, land, life insurance, and our fatherhood journey.

Emcee's Closing Remarks 2:45 - 3:00

Day 3

Thursday, May 19

10:00 - 10:15


Emcee - Terrance Grantham

10:15 - 11:15

OCS Customer Service Credit

Workshop: The "It Factor" of Fatherhood

Civi Mahdi

This workshop will explore the tangible and intangible factors of fatherhood that impact a child's life and development, encouraging fathers to provide these factors through their very important role as a father.

11:20 - 12:20

OCS Customer Service Credit

Panel Discussion: Michigan Voices of Dads: Fathers of Children with Special Health Needs

Moderated by Bomani Gray

Ben Hughes

Michael Aaron, Jr.

Richard Kloeckner

Members of the Michigan Voices of Dads will focus on sharing their experiences and insights parenting children with special health needs. There will be time for audience question and answer.

12:45 - 1:30

Workshop: Fathers & Family Court

Damon Pitt

Amy Lindholm

A father will share his experience navigating the court process and trying to maintain a relationship with his children while separating from their mother. At each step, what resources are out there for fathers? We will share links, tips, talk about bias, and bust some myths. The information provided in this session will be specific to Michigan court cases and processes.

1:30 - 2:00

OCS Customer Service Credit

Panel: Ask the Experts Your Family Court Questions

Moderated by Shon Hart

Amy Lindholm (MI State Court Administrative Office)

Erin Lincoln (Wayne FOC)

Tony McDowell (Genesee FOC)

Jason Walker (Muskegon FOC)

Jeremy Hogue (Gr. Traverse/Antrim/Leelanau FOC)

Traci Schenkel (Kent FOC)

Fathers, this is your chance to ask questions in a safe space! Custody, parenting time, child support, and the whole friend of the court process are confusing and overwhelming. “Zoom in” to this session with your questions and ask in the group setting or request a private breakout room.

2:00 - 2:30

Closing Activity and Remarks

Emcee Terrance Grantham