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Rafi Khalid Hasan II, Director of Safe and Civil City Program, Department of Community and Family Resources,, 812-349-3559

Commission on the Status of Black Males to Join with National Initiative

Bloomington, Ind. - The City of Bloomington Commission on the Status of Black Males (CSBM) plans to organize 60 fathers, father figures, mentors and role models to welcome Arlington Heights Elementary School students on the first day of school, Wednesday, August 9.

The Black Star Project’s Million Father March is a national initiative that began in 2004 in Chicago. The initiative grew out of recognition of the power of male involvement in the education of Black students, and the belief that a father’s active participation in the educational and social development life of a child is invaluable and irreplaceable.

This year the CSBM has pledged to support the Million Father March. The commission will be joined by fathers, grandfathers, foster fathers, stepfathers, uncles, cousins, big brothers, significant male caregivers and friends, in welcoming students to Arlington Heights Elementary School, 700 W. Parrish Road, at 8:30 a.m. on their first day of school.

Although this event was created for Black men, the CSBM encourages men and women of all races, nationalities and faith backgrounds to support them by taking their children to school on this first day. CSBM Chair Cornelius Wright commented, “Not only is it important for children to see their parents and father figures invested in their education, but it’s important for children to see the men, male role models, and others from the community take an interest in their education.”

According to Black Star Project, the Million Father March has grown into a phenomenon that has expanded to 581 cities nationwide and internationally and included the participation of over 1 million men, women and children, including between 30,000 and 40,000 in Chicago alone. The Commission on the Status of Black Males hopes to work with MCCSC and other community members to expand the March to include other schools in 2018.