Black fathers across Portland are encouraged to take part in the national Million Father March, an event that aims to get hundreds of thousands of fathers to take their children to school on the first day. The event, locally sponsored by the Black Parent Initiative, encourages strong family structures that include a positive male role model, which studies have shown leads to decreased drug and alcohol abuse, premature sex and violence.
"The Million Father March is an opportunity for Black men to show their commitment to the educational lives of their children on the first day of school and throughout the school year," according to the BlackStar Project, the national organizers. "On the first day of school each year since the March began in 2004, Black fathers, relatives, men, and significant male caregivers are asked to take their children to their first day of school across the country and around the world. Fathers, grandfathers, foster fathers, stepfathers, uncles, cousins, big brothers, significant male caregivers and friends of the family will participate in the event. While this event was created for Black men, men and women of all races, nationalities and faith backgrounds are also encouraged to take children to school on this first day."
Sponsors and representatives from various community agencies will speak before the Portland City Council regarding the importance significant male role models being engaged in the lives of all children at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5. There will also be another celebration of the event at 9:30 a.m. at Faubion Elementary, 3039 N.E. Portland Blvd.