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Posts Tagged ‘The Fatherless Generation Foundation’

The Effects of Fatherlessness within the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In Fatherless, Lifestyle, Uncategorized on February 18, 2014 at 8:23 pm

The King Family

The King Family

After reading the news report about Martin Luther King III & Dexter King suing their sister Bernice over their father’s personal Bible and Noble Peace Prize Medal for the purpose of selling it, a serious question arose in my heart.  Is Martin Luther King III and Dexter King showing signs of Fatherlessness?

I boldly declare… YES!

Now let me say, this blog is not to taint the legacy of Dr. King by casting a negative light on his role as a father, but it is the explore why the only sons of the greatest Civil Rights leader of our lifetime would do everything in their power to destroy their fathers legacy for monetary gain.

When defining fatherlessness, we find there are 4 prominent definitions:

  1. A child who has never met their father
  2. A child who doesn’t live with their biological father
  3. A child whose father has died
  4. A child who lives with a father who is disengaged

We know Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. died at 39 years old, which would make his sons 11 & 7 years old at the time of his death. And, just because they are not criminals, drug abusers, or didn’t drop out of school doesn’t mean they are not feeling the effects of their father’s death in a way that makes them behave questionably. Fatherless children are 20 times more likely to have behavioral disorders.

And, in our imaginary world of the perfect family, we believe we know Dr. King’s children undoubtedly had a support system that would have kept them from feeling fatherless. But now we must ask several questions. Before his death was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. able to fight for the civil freedoms of the African American race and continue to stay engaged with his children without his sons feeling abandoned by him producing resentment within their hearts? And… Was the support system after his death enough?

I  understand Dr. King’s drive to fight for the freedoms of the African American race in order for his children to be afforded the same freedoms as other races. However, did his fight for freedom cause him to abandon his family figuratively and create a resentment in the hearts of his children? The unfortunate answer to the question could be… yes. In my heart I acknowledge the prestige and honor their father’s legacy has afforded them, myself, and others. But I must also acknowledge the weight it must be to carry the mantle of being the sons of the good Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Lets address why I believe their resentment of their father and his legacy is the manifestation of fatherlessness. Resentment is the feeling of bitterness, anger, or hatred resulting from a real or imagined wrong. The key difference between resentment, anger and contempt stems from how a person perceives the status of the wrong-doer. Resentment is directed at people with perceived higher status. I am sure the pressure to live up to their father and his legacy was too great which place him on a pedestal he rightfully deserved. Would we dare to think that Martin Luther King III & Dexter King could resent their father for what he accomplished for African Americans? The obvious answer is… No. Would we dare to think Martin Luther King III & Dexter King would have resentment, some anger, and a nice helping of bitterness in their hearts pertaining to the fact their father pioneered the very movement that caused his death which inevitably removed him from their lives leaving them fatherless?  Now there might be some truth to that question!

If I possess resentment in my heart, how would I behave? How would I handle the legacy and the things inherited? Lets take a look at how Dr. King’s legacy and belongings have been handled.

Over the years we have heard rumors and seen the realities of how the “Estate of Martin Luther King Jr.,”which is managed by Martin Luther King III, has diminished the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for monetary gain.  

  • You cannot use any part of the “I Have a Dream” speech without paid permission.
  • In 2006 the siblings put 10 thousand items including handwritten papers up for auction; then Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin raised 32 million dollars to purchase the lot and keep the artifacts available for scholars and the public.
  • They have sued Dr. King’s close friend activist and singer Harry Belafonte to get ownership of memorabilia Dr. King gave him, including a speech the civil rights icon wrote in Belafonte’s New York apartment.
  • They have blocked Andrew Young, who was on the balcony when Dr. King was assassinated, from using film footage of Young marching with Dr. King. Young says he recognizes the family’s need to protect the Martin Luther King estate but says, “ I will not give up my right to the legacy for their right to the legacy.”

Some might see these moments in time not as opportunities for monetary gain, but as the preservation of their father’s legacy. After this recent fiasco, I would have to disagree. I see two fatherless sons resentful at the legacy left for them in the absence of their father!

Today we pray for the legacy, the family of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the effects fatherlessness is having on the family In Jesus Name, Amen!

Written by Torri J. Evans, Founder & CEO of The Fatherless Generation Foundation http://www.tfgf.org

Turkeys for the Fatherless

In Uncategorized on November 14, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Turkeys for the Fatherless

It’s time for The Fatherless Generation Foundation’s #TurkeysForTheFatherless!!

In providing our resources & services we know 60% of fatherless children grow up in poverty. And for this reason TFGF has provided Thanksgiving baskets for fatherless families for the last 2 years ensuring they will not go hungry during Thanksgiving. THIS YEAR WILL BE NO DIFFERENT! Our first year we successfully fed 55 fatherless families and last year we were blessed to fed 30 fatherless families. This year we have partnered with I Will Survive, Inc. setting a goal of feeding 120 fatherless families including 20 single mothers who are surviving cancer!

$40 feeds a family of 5 with a 15 lb Turkey, Fresh Collard Greens, Sweet Potatoes, Green Beans, White Potatoes, Rolls, and homemade Dessert! To raise $4800 it’s going to take 120 donors to give $40 each. The campaign is actually live NOW at http://www.tfgf.org/eventsprograms.html

It would mean THE WORLD to me if you gave your best donation so that 120 families will not go without Thanksgiving Dinner! Will you please donate now at at http://www.tfgf.org/eventsprograms.html

Fatherless Daughters

In Uncategorized on August 6, 2013 at 4:22 pm

From the moment Oprah Winfrey & Iyanla began to have the conversation about Fatherlessness, some people felt they were out of order for having the conversation simply due to the fact they were women!

A Fatherless Daughter

The Fatherless Generation Foundation Inc. is MORE than a conversation! And some days being a woman running a fatherless initiative can be very challenging. I believe that is partially due to the fact people are unaware of the effects fatherlessness is having on girls/women. And although The Fatherless Generation Foundation works with both boys & girls, the word “Fatherless” always seem to be synonymous with boys, when in actuality girls are equally effected by the absence of their father. And as a woman who grew up fatherless, I know this fact first hand.

Fatherless Girls are:

53% more likely to marry as teenagers

711% more likely to have children as teenagers

900% more likely to have a pre-marital birth

92% more likely to get divorced

Adolescent girls raised in a 2 parent home with involved Fathers are significantly less likely to be sexually active than girls raised without involved Fathers.

Although these statistics may not be EVERY fatherless girls reality, they are the reality of some fatherless daughters. And instead of just being an organization that talks about the negative statistics surrounding the Fatherless Epidemic, TFGF is the solution to many of the statistics clouding over this social parasite.

Go to http://www.tfgf.org to see how we help and the work we have been doing for the last 5 years.

Having an Identity Crisis?

In Fatherless, Lifestyle, Single Parenting, Uncategorized on November 30, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Am I Having an Identity Crisis?

“The value of identity of course is that so often with it comes purpose” – Richard R. Grant

Your identity is so much more than your appearance. Your true identity is the depth of who you are as an individual. And what so many don’t seem to accept is the concept that our identity is  intended to be found in our fathers.  But what happens when our father is absent? When he has abandoned us and our mother’s to fend for ourselves in every way? Many have what has been coined as an identity crisis!!!

The term “Identity Crisis” was coined by Erik Erikson. His definition of the term is, “the failure to achieve ego identity during adolescence.” Erikson also states, “During our adolescence we are faced with physical growth, sexual maturation, and integrating our ideas of ourselves and about what others think of us. We therefore form our self-image and endure the task of resolving the crisis of our basic ego identity.”

They say when you grasp a strong sense of identity in your adolescence you are well equipped and prepared for adulthood, possessing a strong sence of confidence and certainty.   But what happens when this doesn’t happen? It opens the door for insecurity, lack of self-worth, unbelief, mistrust, abandonment and a list of many other negatives ideologies leading us on a uncertain path in life. Erikson even believes an identity crisis negates the mechanism for fidelity: known to encompass sincerity, genuineness and a sense of duty in our relationships with other people!

Through my work with The Fatherless Generation Foundation Inc.  I have learned the importance of identity and how it is connected to the fatherless and their inability to navigate through life as well as finding their purpose successfully.  Not to say the fatherless cannot find success, but their navigation at times is off balance due to an uncalibrated compass. The compass of life is a tool both parents play a significant role in building and then calibrating. And when your compass is only built and calibrated by one parent, your compass is one sided and leads you in circles. Erikson states, “They may go on to seek a negative identity, which may involve crime or drugs or the inability to make defining choices about the future.”  A life that leads you in circles is what we readily call “Repeating the Cycle!”

The real question is how do you overcome your identity crisis if you are having one? How do you break the cycle and get off the “Merry Go Round?” The clear answer is… FIND YOUR IDENTITY and when you find your identity it will lead you to your purpose!

Some steps to finding your identity….

  1. Find Your Authentic Self by Listening to Your Gut: This requires silence and you learning to trust yourself
  2. Never Lose Track of Your Goals & Dreams: No dream is foolish. Put goals in place so your dream can be accomplished
  3. Express Your True Feelings… Stop Surpressing How You Truly Feel: You can’t tell everyone everything so learn to journal
  4. Learn to Say NO without Feeling Guilty or Ashamed: Guilt and Shame are intended to keep you on the Merry Go Round
  5. Learn to Take Risks: Calculated Risks ONLY

When you crack your identity code…. the contours of your life will shift!

The Apprentice

In Career, Fatherless, Human Resources, Job Posting, Lifestyle, Single Parenting, Uncategorized, Youth Programs on September 27, 2012 at 6:36 am

Are you “The Apprentice” or will you hear the infamous words “You ARE Fired!”

“You’re Fired!”

Over the past 4 years I have worked very hard to build The Fatherless Generation Foundation Inc. off of my passion, but not so much of my skill set.  The Fatherless Generation Foundation Inc. (FGF) is a nonprofit based in Atlanta, Georgia at the forefront of the fatherless epidemic who’s vision is to “Turn the Hearts of Fathers Back to Their Children.” But one thing I am clear about, my Chemistry back ground didn’t provide me with the skill set to take this organization to the global market envisioned.

For the last year I have been looking for my replacement as Executive Director to no avail. Therefore, I am looking for “The Apprentice” who will take my place as Executive Director through a unique process! Just like the popular television show, “The Apprentices” will go through a series of tasks such as day to day execution, project development, team building, curriculum planning and more to determine who will receive the job as Executive Director!

Do you think you have what it takes to run a nonprofit organization set to expand into National markets in the next 12 months and a global market in the next 3 years? Do you believe you have the creativity to run an organization as unique as The Fatherless Generation Foundation Inc? Better yet… can YOU think outside of the box?

If you are saying yes to at least 2 of the questions, send your resume and cover letter to thefatherlessgeneration@gmail.com for further instructions.

Do you have what it takes to put me out of my job?

The Occupy Movement has Hit The Boys & Girls Club

In Fatherless, Lifestyle, Single Parenting, Uncategorized, Youth Programs on September 20, 2012 at 8:34 pm

The Occupy Movement has hit The Boys & Girls Club!!!

Night before as I prepare for bed, I couldn’t help but to have a HUGE smile on my face.  Monday was intended to be our first day back at The Boys & Girls Clubs with FGF Peer Groups.  But, when I walked in the door and grab my list… only 3 kids seemed to qualify for FGF Peer Groups. I was unsure of what to make of it. As I walked into the club, kids from ALL age groups ran up to me and hugged me. But after the joyous greeting they had a serious issue with me. They were all yelling at once… “Ms. Torri, why aren’t we able to be in your group. THAT ISN’T FAIR!” I let them know it was not my decision to only allow 3rd-5th graders this quarter. It was on the Education Director.

Before I knew it there were 15 girls in the Education Director’s office waiting on her. As soon as she walked in they started yelling out their complaint. Lets just say… the Education Director didn’t appreciate it and put them all out of her office with the quickness!  They all left with their heads low, but they were determined and that would not be the end of the issue.

While hanging out with them in the Learning Center they were still expressing their complaint loud and clear. One girl said… “I have been with you for 2 years. What is up with that Ms. Torri?” I told them I had not control over it. They would have to figure out how to overcome the obstacle or deal with it until next semester.

I walked away and went into another room. By the time I had come back, this group of 6th-7th grade girls had huddled and put a strategic plan in place. They sent one person in to represent their issues to the Executive Director over the entire club. They went straight to the TOP! By the time they had come out… the Executive Director had given me clearance to do what I wanted concerning the Peer Group.

Immediately I got with the Education Director and we made an extreme compromise. We would host 3rd-5th and 6th-8th graders at the same time in a different room. 2 groups at one time!

No doubt I compromised so the kids could have their Peer Groups. I knew in my heart it was the right thing to do!

A Life Without Daddy

In Fatherless, Lifestyle, Single Parenting, Uncategorized on September 8, 2012 at 1:32 am

Back in April of this year, I was blessed to have  a small portion of my fatherless journey published in Jet Magazine.  I can admit, initially this article caused some conflict within my own family. Some felt like I had “aired my dirty laundry!” Others felt I did not paint my mother in a favorable light. What I know to be true is, this article was not easy to have written and then be published. But this article brought my mother and I closer together as we both were able to deal with the truth of my fatherless experience…. this article brought healing to my family!

It is time for the fatherless to tell their stories of “Life Without Daddy!” Who is with me?

READ my story “Decades Without Daddy” on page 17 here http://trendmag2.trendoffset.com/publication/?i=104545

“Why Did My Daddy Leave?”

In Uncategorized on September 6, 2012 at 2:36 pm

“Why Did My Daddy Leave?”.…. This is the epic question many children are asking to an epidemic plaguing the earth!

Check out what was said at the first event to answer this question

Join us for “Why Did My Daddy Leave?” Part II Panel Discussion  on October 6th, 2012 at Gordon Biersch located 3242 Peachtree Road Northeast Atlanta, GA 30305 from 12pm-3pm!

What a Single Mom Said About FGF

In Uncategorized on November 15, 2011 at 4:09 am

I contacted the Fatherless Generation Foundation to get some mentoring for my 12 year old son since being “fatherless” has been affecting him emotionally, mentally and spiritually. When contacting Ms. Torri Evans we made a date to meet to discuss some options and ideas that would benefit my son.  In the meantime while working on a plan that would be consistent for him she told me about the peer groups that she provides at The Boys and Girls Club at Brookhaven and others as well. I thought that this would be a perfect opportunity to attend to see what she can provide and to see how the children react to the activities, conversations and just in general but to also be a part of something that would make a positive impact in their lives.

I attended the peer group from ages 10 to 12 years old along with my son. I must say this was one of the most enlightening experiences I have had in a while. As we entered the club all the children ran to Ms. Evans and hugged her, they were excited to get the activities started even the ones who knew it was not their day to participate begged to be involved. She started with two songs to dance to so they can get pumped up and ready, not as if they needed it because they were already excited but it was a lot of fun for myself just watching the kids dancing and singing. She then continued with a video that expressed abandonment and rejection in a very touching way that brought tears to my eyes. This video did not only bring my own pain back but I felt the pain of my son as well. Now there was a discussion held after the video and it was an opportunity for the kids to release their emotions and feelings on being without a parent in the household. Some cried, some did not want to speak and some kids could not stop talking at all. After the group discussion was over some of them still just wanted to stay and vent some more.

The Fatherless Generation Foundation provides an outlet for children who may have a hard time discussing things with the parents or any other loved one. It allows them to express their anger, their hurt, and the love that they have. It gives them a chance to show how huge of a soul they have in such a little body. Sometimes us as parents forget that they are going through a lot as well, that they have feelings as well because we are so wrapped up in all of our responsibilities. The foundation allows them to see that just because they may feel neglected or rejected that the reality is they are great children and it is not their fault and it does not mean they can not be successful. What it simply shows them is that they can be anything they want, they can be great parents, they can break the cycle and they can get through it. The way to get through it is releasing, expressing and learning and that is what FGF is all about. I know for a fact if I had this growing up I would have had an easier time growing up without my father in my life.  If there were a lot more groups such as this one this world would be a better place.

By Kimberly Seabrook

 

Beyond Fatherless

In Uncategorized on November 10, 2011 at 3:52 am

We have established that the statistics say, 24 million people are or have grown up without their biological fathers in their lives.  The statistics go on to say 40% of all American households are fatherless and 70% of African American households are fatherless. But once the statistics have been touted now what? How do they play out in your personal affairs? Does your elementary school teacher give you a break because your dad left home last month? Or how about… Does your boss have sympathy for you because you grew up without your father and today is a bad day for you because it is “Father’s Day?” NOPE!

There is so much more to being “Fatherless” than some numbers!  In the next few weeks we will begin filming a documentary called “Beyond Fatherless!” This documentary delves into the life of fatherless celebrities, business owners, politicians and more.