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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Get involved to fight the wrongs of family court

A week ago Tuesday on September 14 the United States Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR) hosted an all day conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.
The conference was titled: A New Era: Defining Civil Rights for the 21st Century. It was covered by C-SPAN. My first report to you is that our messages on Fatherlessness are getting through. The primary theme of the conference was the breakdown of the African American family. Crucial to the theme as a subtext was father absence. Not from the perspective of 'blaming' fathers for being absent but actually discussing how misguided government policy is contributing to father absence and declining marriage rates.

Links to a number of social policies which serve to devalue fathers contribution to the family were identified including; only considering fathers worth on the basis of their financial contribution, welfare programs encouraging the formation of female single parent headed households, a misdirected child support program and the negative impact NOW has had on family stability.

While panelists did not draw direct links to the family courts, it is inevitable that the role of juvenile, probate and family courts will come under closer scrutiny.

The various panel discussions are available for viewing online. This link will take you to a discussion of "The Role of Family Structure in Perpetuating Racial and Ethnic Disparities." I recommend forwarding the presentation to the 26:35 minute mark and listening to the comments of Heather MacDonald from the Manhattan Institute.

ACFC and its affiliated organizations will continue connecting the dots for legislators, policy makers and the public at large. Much of the commentary from panelist's throughout the day could have easily been coming from the likes of many of ACFC's directors, officers and advisors. For years Dr. Stephen Baskerville, Dr. Warren Farrell, Dr. Gordon Finley, Dr. Linda Nielsen and many other allies have been researching and communicating the correlations between, and effects of, fatherlessness and negative child outcomes.


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