Forum explores challenges of black father/child relationships


African American family having dinnerThe value of positive relationships that black fathers hold with children and others is the focus of “Relationship Matters: Black Dads, the Streets and the Justice System,” a forum at the University of Illinois at Chicago for researchers, community leaders, fathers and their families.

Participants will offer family strategies for black fathers, especially those involved in the justice system or affiliated with street life, because managing and navigating relationships are central to helping prioritize fatherhood in the lives of these men.


April 2

8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.


UIC Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Road (at Halsted Street)


Featured speakers:

Creasie Finney Hairston, dean of the Jane Addams College of Social Work, will kick off the morning with the welcome address. Hairston is known for her research on the impact of incarceration and community re-entry on families and children.

Joseph Strickland, is senior researcher at UIC’s Jane Addams Center for Policy and Research. His research interests focus on the challenges of black males trying to overcome past traumatic experiences, such as incarceration, gun violence, or street gang involvement.

Lori Crowder is executive director of the Alliance of Local Service Organizations (ALSO) in Chicago, working to prevent and intervene in community and family violence through training programs for high-risk youth. She is a doctoral student in UIC’s Jane Addams College of Social Work.

Other speakers:

  • Neil Irvin, executive director, Men Can Stop Rape, Washington D.C.
  • Waldo Johnson, Jr., associate professor, School of Social Administration, University of Chicago
  • William Oliver, associate professor of criminal justice, Indiana University
  • Representatives of CeaseFire Illinois
  • African-American fathers and their families.

The free event is sponsored by UIC’s Jane Addams College of Social Work, the Alliance of Local Service Organizations, and TASC, Inc.

Pre-registration is required to secure a seat. Meals will be available to those who pre-register.

Registration confirmation will contain an agenda, directions and parking instructions.

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