SAN ANTONIO - When President Barack Obama in 2010 made a call to action to encourage men to take on a present and active role as fathers, it sparked initiatives across the United States, including one by the San Antonio chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.
Through breakout sessions, events and community service, members of the fraternity are engaging and educating fellow fathers on the four principles of fatherhood: faith, family, fellowship and friendship.
"Not only will we teach to that, but we will live by example to that," said Anthony Peay, co-chairman of the Fatherhood Initiative. "If those three things are in order, it sets up a great opportunity for a friendship to be developed. Once a friendship is developed, you'll see the relationship between a father and his child. The sky is the limit."
As the father of three daughters, James "Tree" Roundtree said the foundation of a family is a father.
"I've been truly, truly blessed to have a two-parent family. I get a lot of people who are not that lucky," he said.
But for Father Initiative co-chairman Archie G. Peay Jr., his upbringing wasn't as fortunate.
"He told me at a young age that I would either be in jail or dead," he said.
While the Peays run the Fatherhood Initiative, the idea for them to lead the program wasn't theirs alone.
"In my mind, I just thought what better way to show the trueness of the Fatherhood Initiative than having a father, who not only is showing his son the way. The ways of fatherhood, the ways of manhood, the spiritual guidance, the educational support, the emotional support. But, putting those two men together and allowing them to tell their story," said fraternity vice-president George Mayers, who made the recommendation.
Since taking on the task in October, the father-son duo has kicked off an outreach program at local schools.
"It's good for school-aged kids to see educated Black men come into their community, come into their homes, come into their schools and tell them, 'Hey, you can be just like me. You just got to work hard, study hard and achieve," said fraternity president Jimmie McMillion.
The fraternity is hosting a couple of events, including a talent hunt competition at St. Philip's College on Feb. 23 and a Youth Leadership Conference in March.
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If you’re interested in attending the Youth Leadership Conference, registration is required. You can find more information on the fraternity’s website.
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