LANSING, Mich. — Facebook has been offering groups the ability to come together for some time and recently they have been taking a more active role in helping to build communities outside of the social media platform. Just last week, Facebook announced the 77 groups to join the 2020 cohort of their Community Accelerator program and Fathering Together, a non-profit that started in Williamston Michigan is among them!
Fathering Together is a 501c3 non-profit with Mid-Michigan roots that supports individuals who identify as fathers to become better parents and people. Our goal is to build a strong community of fathers that provides resources and empowers its members to share their fatherhood stories.
The nonprofit brings together fathers from across the world that share the common bond of being a father. The non-profit has two main Facebook groups:
In the above groups you will find fathers proud of their role. The Dads with Daughters community has almost 125,000 members and the Dads with Sons is newer with approximately 1000 members.
Dr. Christopher Lewis is one of the co-founders of Fathering Together and lives in Williamston, Michigan. He and Brian Anderson, co-founder and Executive Director are excited to join the 77 other Facebook groups for this 6-month experience to learn from industry leaders on how best to grow their organizations, deepen their engagement, and hone their messaging.
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When Brian Anderson and Dr. Lewis learned about the program, they pursued it vigorously.
“This program would allow our communities to grow and expand our mission to help fathers learn to be better fathers for their children, but also be stronger advocates for gender equity.”
To be considered, applicants had to be a group or organization making an impact. Out of the over 10,000 organizations that applied worldwide, Facebook chose 77 groups including an ocean conservation group, a group focused on the financial literacy and growth of black women, and a group for single fathers to share parenting tips.
The Community Accelerator program will offer selected participants a wide variety of training and benefits.
As stated by Facebook:
“Selected community leaders will spend three months learning from experts, coaches and a customized curriculum to create a plan to grow their community and meet their goals. They’ll spend the next three months iterating and executing on their plan with funding and continued support from their network and a dedicated team provided through the program. Up to $3 million in total will be awarded to up to  program participants.”
The six-month program will offer participants one-on-one consulting with experts in their field as well as collaborating on a detailed growth strategy and plan. Chosen participants will spend anywhere from five to fifteen hours a week working with mentors. Funds will also be allotted to each participant.
“Each organization will get a set amount, the same amount for all of us. In addition, when the program has ended and we’ve met our goals that we’ve worked on together, there’s another $20,000 worth of grant funding that we can tap in to,” Dr. Lewis said.
One of the goals of Fathering Together is to help fathers of daughters to be active participants in pursuing gender equity for women.
“Fathers banding together can fundamentally change the future for their own daughters. Advocating for change in their own workplaces, but also in society is the prerogative of any dad with a daughter, and who is better situated to lead this change than a father looking to make the world a better place for his daughter.”
If you are a father, Fathering Together is encouraging all dads to learn more about their non-profit and to join their communities. They also are putting out a call to dads with daughters to get involved, listening to their Dads with Daughters podcast, join their community and have their voice heard – being a part of the change.
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