- Iyanla Vanzant has most wanted to take on this topic since Oprah's Lifeclass began. "In my case, my father was there but he wasn’t able to be present. My brother suffered all of his life…just for not having my father say something very simple: 'You’re OK. And you matter.'"
- Iyanla says fathers have three main roles. "Protector, provider and to be a model, a demonstration of what it is to be a man. How a man needs to be, how a man needs to show up. Not just what a man does."
“Kids have a hole in their soul in the shape of their dad,” says Roland Warren from the National Fatherhood Initiative. "It's difficult to be what you can't see. So we have this cycle."
The Census Bureau says one in three children are growing up in a home without a father, affecting 24 million children. The National Principal’s Association says 71% of high school dropouts come from fatherless homes.
Iyanla says when a father invests in a son’s life, he grows more empathetic, more confident and more successful. NBA superstar Dwayne Wade is proof. “Moving in with my dad at the age of nine was probably the most important part of my life,” he says. “That was at the point and the age that I needed that male voice. I needed the discipline, I needed someone to look at and say, ‘I want to be like you.’”
“Fathering is much like real estate. It’s about location, location, location.” Roland Warren from the National Fatherhood Initiative
"We need fathers to recognize their responsibility doesn't just end at conception. That doesn't just make you a father. What makes you a man is not the ability to have a child. Any fool can have a child. That doesn't make you a father. It's the courage to raise a child that makes you a father." - President Barack Obama
There are 150 fatherless sons in the audience. Bobby is one of them. He grew up on the west side of Chicago and eventually went to prison. “Most of the guys that I knew, they didn't have fathers so, but we all played ball and stuff like that but it all lend to negative things as far as, indulging in drugs and you know getting involved in gangs,” he says. “If would've had someone telling me, ‘Don't do that. You know, I love you, that would made a big difference. I was always seeking that male role model.”