A Father's Day Message Against Violence

On Father’s Day 2008, a group of visionary leaders urged other men to join them in teaching our sons what it means to be a real man -- that women deserve honor and respect, and that violence never equals strength. These ‘Founding Fathers’ signed their names to a full-page statement that ran in the New York Times on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 15. The statement features “Awaiting Instructions,” part of Family Violence Prevention Fund’s Coaching Boys into Men program, and it asks men “to help build a new kind of society, where decency and respect require no special day on the calendar, where boys are taught that violence does not equal strength and where men stand with courage, lead with conviction and speak with one voice to say, ‘No more.’”

In the statement, the Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF) saluted the leadership of hundreds of men who each expressed individual public support by lending their names and investing significant private resources in FVPF’s violence prevention programs: In addition, four men in particular were recognized as Visionaries for each make a deep long-term commitment to building safer homes and communities for all of our daughters and sons around the globe: Gateway Computers Founder Ted Waitt; Macy’s Inc. Chairman, President and CEO Terry Lundgren; Blue Shield of California Chairman, President and CEO Bruce Bodaken; and The TJX Companies President Jerry Rossi.

The national outreach was replicated at the local level in Piedmont, California by a group of women and men who are working together to raise awareness locally, led by Amy Honigman Tobe, Jeff Bleich, Pete Wilson and Abe Friedman. Thanks to their activism the local newspaper, the Piedmont Post, donated space for a similar statement carrying the names of local members of FVPF’s national Leadership Council supporters.

In other Father’s Day activities, several ‘Founding Fathers’ took to the pitcher’s mound at an Oakland A’s/San Diego Padres game to accept donations as part of a significant investment in violence prevention from Geoffrey Beene, Inc. with support from Macy’s. Learn more about these events here.

Baseball legend Willie Mays, a ‘Founding Father’ himself, also offered a special incentive to all men who signed up as ‘Founding Fathers’ by Father’s Day this year. Three of them, selected at random, had the chance to win baseballs autographed by the legend himself.

To learn more about and join the ‘Founding Fathers’ campaign, please visit www.founding-fathers.org.

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