The following are professional insights and publications provided to us by practitioners in the fields of mental and emotional health, childhood development, education, sociology and anthropology.
If you are also a practitioner or hold an advanced degree in one or more of these areas, please contribute an article or video on the topic of absentee fathers to help us achieve our goal. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The Fatherhood Assignment proudly recognizes March 29th as National Fatherhood Day™. This is the day of each coming year that we ask you to think of a youth in your life, in your child’s life or in your community who lacks a stable male figure in his or her life. Please reach out to such youth through his or her mother on this day and offer to spend some time to better a life in need.
Youth who lack a paternal figure are susceptible to joining themselves to groups that provide them with a feeling of identity, empowerment and belonging. Unfortunately, these groups are often not good or productive ones. Street gangs target such vulnerable youth for membership, offering them identity, power, unity, excitement and the prospect of money.
But the void of a family structure in a youth’s life can be filled by another structure that also lends to excitement, power, purpose and money. Capitalism and entrepreneurship can be an enticing substitute for crime and gang membership for young people.
From the “showy” rap videos to the glam of Hollywood, to popular-culture shows such as Shark Tank, entrepreneurship can offer youth a perfect substitute for a family-void or community-disconnect, while providing the same prospects of money and power used by gangs to entice disassociated or susceptible youth. Entrepreneurship offers creativity, competition, and excitement. Businesses with people working together toward a common goal provide a sense of meaning, purpose and structure. Further, the competitive nature of gang membership can be supplanted by the competitive nature of business, requiring the tools of creativity, intelligence and inner fortitude.
Successful entrepreneurs and other accomplished businessmen should take the time to reach out to at-risk youth in their communities and expose such youth to the world of business and entrepreneurship. Businessmen in communities across the country should develop strategies and make efforts to reach out to youth of all ages in their communities who lack a paternal figure, and expose them to the concepts of entrepreneurship and capitalism to encourage such youth to avoid the dead-end offered by the gang colors “blue” and “red” in exchange for the empowerment and endless possibilities offered by the color “green”- the color of money.