Father’s Day is right around the corner, but for the Philadelphia-based Daddy Universe Inc., the role of fathers is celebrated every day. Joel Austin, the founder and CEO of Daddy University, started the nonprofit organization after realizing the lack of information and support for fathers. “Fatherhood gave me purpose… generations ago dads were not even allowed in maternity wards and that has created a disconnection,” Austin said in an interview. He hopes to patch this disconnect between fathers and their children by engaging fathers in educational classes on childhood development and reinforcing the fact that fathers are a crucial component to the health and well-being of their children.
Last week, in honor of Father’s Day, Daddy University Inc. held their annual conference and father-daughter dance in Philadelphia. Educators, facilitators, fathers and government agency representatives were in attendance. The conference focused on courses on child development, parent education and holistic approaches to parenting. One of the highlights of the conference was a panel discussion on family courts, which allowed fathers and interested parties to raise questions and concerns to judges, city council members, fatherhood organizations and human service agency representatives. After the conference, fathers and daughters danced the night away during the annual father-daughter dance, which also doubles as a fundraiser for the organization.
Austin says that his program caters to fathers of all economic levels and nationalities. Investing in fatherhood, he explains, is an asset to society. You can learn more about Daddy Universe Inc. at their website: http://www.daddyuniv.com/. Information in ACF’s Responsible Fatherhood grants and efforts can be found here.