past event
Community Development

The Father Factor: A Critical Link in Building Strong Families and Communities


Co-hosted by Ascend at the Aspen Institute and the GOOD+ Foundation

The important role of fathers in society has been increasingly documented in recent research and by experts working with families, but it has not gotten the attention it needs from a broader range of policymakers and practitioners. Through this day-long forum, we seek to:

  • Share research and ideas, highlight promising practice, and explore policy opportunities to increase the engagement of both fathers with their children and social service organizations with fathers; and
  • Raise awareness about the importance of fathers in helping children and families achieve their full potential.

9:00 am – 9:30 am Welcome and Introductory Remarks
Welcome and setting the stage: why a focus on fathers and why now?

  • Eric Motley, Executive Vice President, Institute Advancement and Corporate Secretary, The Aspen Institute
  • Anne Mosle, Vice President, The Aspen Institute, and Executive Director, Ascend at the Aspen Institute
  • Jessica Seinfeld, President + Founder, GOOD+ Foundation
  • Jerry Seinfeld, GOOD+ Fatherhood Leadership Council Chair

9:30 am – 10:45 am Illuminating the Bright Spots: Fathers and the programs that serve them
What are the hallmarks of engaging fathers effectively? Hear from fathers and programs that work with fathers about their lessons and recommendations for serving fathers and families.

  • Jesus Benitez, Mentor Coordinator, CUNY Graduate Center
  • Raheem Brooks, Assistant Director, CUNY Father Academy
  • Jason Gortney, Director of the Office of Policy and Innovation, Children’s Home Society of Washington
  • Michael Nestor, Father
  • Alan-Michael Graves, Director of the Fatherhood Initiative, GOOD+ Foundation

10:45 am – 11:15 am Doing the Best I Can: Fatherhood in our Communities

  • Kathryn Edin, Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University

11:30 am – 12:45 pm Building a Positive Policy Environment
Visionary leaders understand that many of our public systems and services were not designed for 21st century families. Learn how these leaders are redefining how they view families, and in particular, the role of fathers, and what that means for public policy and systems.

  • Reggie Bicha, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Human Services
  • Kim Dent, Executive Director, Ohio Commission on Fatherhood/Ohio Department of Job and Family Services
  • Joes Jones, Founder, President & CEO, Center for Urban Families
  • Raquel hatter, Deputy Director, Human Services Program, The Kresge Foundation

3:15 pm – 3:45 pm Closing Keynote

  • Reverend Dr. Raphael Gamaliel Warnock, Senior Pastor, Ebenezer Baptist Church

3:45 pm – 4:00 pm Closing Remarks


Event information
Thu Nov 29, 2018
8:30am - 4:00pm EDT
The Aspen Institute,
Smith Conference Room
2300 N Street NW
Washington, DC