In an effort to promote fatherhood, award-winning filmmaker Art Hooker and former director of President Barack Obama’s Office Of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships Joshua DuBois have teamed up to create the “This Is Fatherhood” challenge.
Launched on May 1st, the challenge targets young Fathers who may need encouragement and support to become better parents. Contestants can submit videos, songs, and essays about fatherhood through June 10th. The winners will receive cash prizes and a trip to Washington, D.C., for a ceremony on Father’s Day.
Miami Heat player Dwyane Wade (pictured) has signed on to promote the challenge. As a Father with primary custody of his two sons, Wade says he is honored by the opportunity. “When I was first [approached to become] involved with the initiative, I was humbled,” Wade said. He noted the President’s fatherhood speeches as further inspiration. “More than that, I was moved by the fact that one of the reasons President Obama was so passionate about this issue is that he grew up without his dad. He, too, has recognized that being a Father is his most-important role.”
Obama’s Chicago speech in February helped inspire the challenge. In it, the President noted how “there are entire neighborhoods where young people, they don’t see an example of somebody succeeding. And for a lot of young boys and young men, in particular, they don’t see an example of Fathers or grandfathers, uncles, who are in a position to support families and be held up and respected.”
Wade appears along with Obama and Jay-Z in a public service announcement promoting “This Is Fatherhood.” Eugene Schneeberg, current director of the Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, worked with predecessor DuBois to support Obama’s fatherhood program. He is also one of the challenge’s judges.