Dare to be a great father!

Focus: HOPE has joined with 100 Black Men of Greater Detroit, Inc. to help better prepare men for their role as fathers. The program meets on Saturdays in the Focus: HOPE Family Learning Center, 1400 Oakman Boulevard, Detroit.  

Open to Focus: HOPE students and the fathers of children are enrolled in the Center for Children, the program is part of a multi-pronged initiative, which centers on the recently released book “Dare To Be Extraordinary – A Collection of Positive Life Lessons from African American Fathers” (www.extraordinaryfathers.com) by businessman and former President of the 100 Black Men of Greater Detroit William (Bill) K. Middlebrooks and journalist Leslie M. Gordon. In the book, 20 famous (ex. Robin Roberts, Russell Simmons, Dennis Archer) and not-so-famous (ex. Kim Harris Jones, Thurman Hunt, MD, Rosiland Brewer) fathers share stories about the important role and influence their fathers played in their lives.

The goal of the book and program is to “bend the curve,” (i.e., reducing the number of father absent homes in our community) according to Middlebrooks, and change the perception and reality of African-American fatherhood. William F. Jones, Jr., President/CEO of Focus: HOPE, said, “In order to build strong neighborhoods, we must develop strong families in the African-American community. Our HOPE Village Initiative focuses on providing opportunities and support for children, while our education and job training programs enable parents to reach their full potential. The Extraordinary Fathers Academy of Detroit is a natural fit that will help us to further strengthen our efforts.”


The partnership represents an unprecedented effort to ensure that the education and training received at Focus: HOPE is enhanced by the fatherhood specific instruction, thus helping to redefine and strengthen the whole male. Bill Luse, President of the 100 Black Men of Greater Detroit, says “This partnership expands and deepens our on-going commitment to serve our community and we are proud to work with Focus: HOPE and the program participants.”

The 18-week program is offered in two nine-week semesters. Each week will bring participants together for a half day of hands-on, non-judgmental engagement and exchanges to help make fathers aware of their importance in the lives of their children, partners and communities by being positively present and involved. The curriculum is derived from the National Fatherhood Initiative in Washington, D.C.

When it was announced this past Father’s Day, several men eagerly signed on to participate. “I love being a dad, and want to be the best one possible,” said Liam O. Foster, Sr. a scheduled participant. “No one had to ask me twice when I heard about the program. I’m in!”

Free for Focus: HOPE clients, the program is presented by Focus: HOPE, 100 Black Men of Greater Detroit and other yet-to-be-announced partners.

Opportunities exist to underwrite scholarships for Focus: HOPE clients to attend the Extraordinary Fathers Academy of Detroit. For more information contact Focus: HOPE Chief Development & External Relations Officer Steve Ragan at 313-494-4257 or steve.ragan@focushope.edu.