Men changing the landscape and narrative among fathers

Four men with a shared mindset wanted to change the narrative for the role of fatherhood.

Friendships made during middle school and college brought Marcus Green, Fred Sterdivant, Erik Howard and Kenneth Inselmann together.

“We were all pretty much brand new fathers and looked up across the landscape and thought we don’t necessarily know how to do this, but we’ll swing it,” said Fathers Among Men Chairman Marcus Green.

“The thought was I’m sure there are other fathers out there that probably feel the same way we do, and then we thought about the potential of fathers who are probably more seasoned than we are that could lend advice,” he said.

Founded in July 2016, their initial mission was to help fathers. It has morphed into keeping fathers a vital part of the families lives, empowering and encouraging men in their role as a parent.

“There is something to be said about fathers getting together and be able to have conversations from the vantage point of being a father,” said Treasurer Fred Sterdivant.

“It also creates a space where you can mentor the youth because the best way to build stronger fathers is to talk to some of the youth prior to them becoming fathers – to help guide their expectations and make better choices leading up to that,” he added.

There are a lot of filling in the blanks for the needs. Not necessarily big but important; something as simple as learning how to tie a tie.

“Being a young man, knowing the things you don’t know. It can be very difficult and so we want to pass on that knowledge,” said Green. “We want to step in the gap.”

Focusing on a project called “Second Generation” they offer fathers the chance to learn new skills that could also provide income for the men.

Taking in unwanted furniture, the men learn how to reupholster the pieces.

Elevating to the second goal is building a tool workshop where certain items could be made or re-purposed.

“This helps create a sustainable solution,” Sterdivant said.

“The hope is that there are some fathers who are really proficient at all the aspects of it that can take this whole footprint and go to another city where it is not being done and partner with that city,” he said. “Cities have fathers who are underemployed and furniture that is no longer wanted.”

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