C3: The Power of Partnership: Centering Father Engagement in Advocacy

Area of Focus: Government Affairs and Advocacy
Content Level: Learner

In this session, Children’s Institute will share how fathers, advocacy staff, and program leaders partnered to change the narrative of father involvement and well-being through state and local policy change focused on racial, social, and economic justice. Participants will gain advocacy strategies to create community-driven policy change in their own communities.

For over 20 years, Children’s Institute’s Project Fatherhood has provided parenting support to 15,000 men in caregiving roles in Los Angeles. The organization does this through an integrated network of activities that promote effective and nurturing parenting, relationship-building skills, and economic stability. Fathers are integral to families and provide a strong foundation for educational success and emotional well-being, which builds pathways to economic mobility and lifelong health. Healthy fathers can be an encouraging presence in their children’s lives and lead to increased positive childhood and family outcomes. However, the disparities and systemic inequities that fathers of color experience require meaningful and targeted investments.

In understanding that community-centered solutions are the best policies, Children’s Institute’s Government Relations & Advocacy and Project Fatherhood teams cultivated a network of elected officials to champion father well-being and amplify a new narrative about fathers. The effort declared June Fatherhood Well-Being Month through House Resolution 36 and included local advocacy that engaged over 100 fathers, community partners, and government agencies.

In this workshop, Children’s Institute will share how centering and organizing power through lived experience creates meaningful community-driven policy change. We will share our advocacy journey and facilitate participants through a strategizing exercise for their own work.

Learning Objectives

  • How to link programs with effective government relations, advocacy, and policy engagement
  • The fundamentals of creating an advocacy plan
  • How to evaluate current advocacy capacity and identify next steps to elevate your work.


Terry Kim
Director of Government Relations & Advocacy
Children’s Institute

Keith Parker
Community Innovations Program Manager
Children’s Institute

Kelsey Gordon
Government Relations & Advocacy Associate
Children’s Institute

Jonathan Vasquez
Government Relations & Advocacy Assistant
Children’s Institute

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