The Best Start Watts-Willowbrook community partnership was a proud sponsor of the Fifth Annual Los Angeles Million Father March, which took place at Animo Watts Academy on September 28, 2013. Over 250 South LA fathers and families participated in the event, which is part of a national campaign designed to celebrate fatherhood and encourage fathers to play a greater role in their children’s education. The event was organized by the Holistic Offerings and Opportunity for People (H.O.O.P) Foundation Inc., Street Positive and City Lites Network, Inc.

Best Start Watts-Willowbrook was a key contributor to the Million Father March, beginning with monthly preparation, monetary support and assistance gathering fathers to attend the event,” stated Bryan Jones, executive director of the H.O.O.P Foundation.

In addition, the Best Start community partnership staffed a resource booth with activities for children and facilitated a discussion with fathers about Best Start. Dora Evans, a member of the community partnership’s leadership group, gave the presentation.

Best Start Watts-Willowbrook believes it is critical to engage fathers in efforts that support children under 5 and to change perceptions about fathers and fatherhood, both among men and the South LA community at-large. By providing educational materials, facilitating forums for discussion and strengthening social connections, Best Start Watts-Willowbrook works to emphasize and support the vital role that fathers play in their children’s lives.

Other participating organizations in the March included People for Community Improvement (PCI) Center, the LA County Department of Mental Health, Each One Teach One, Parent Revolution, Cal Fresh, El Camino College, Locke Wellness Center, Social Justice Learning Institute, Kedren Community Health Center-Head Start, National Immigration Law Center, Committed to Uplifting Single Parents –CUSP, AADAP Asian American Drug & Alcohol Program, Green Dot Charter School and Independent Capital Management, Inc.