We Still Exist aims to partner with the community to maintain, restore, and nurture relationships between black fathers and their families by providing resources, encouragement, and support.
In a society where we are led to believe based off studies, statistics, and media outlets, that black men are not actively playing a consistent and positive role in their children’s lives, We Still Exist sets out to discredit that myth. We Still Exist was birthed from my experience of meeting people that were seemingly surprised that myself and other black men in my inner circle relished as fathers, husbands, and leaders in our communities. Originally my goal was to use my social media platform to showcase positive images of black men in their roles of fatherhood and mentorship to counteract the negative images and stereotypes that our community has become too accustomed to. As the social media campaign of We Still Exist started to take off, I received an influx of fathers and black men eager to show that yes, proud, engaged, loving black fathers in deed still do exist.
Although I received an overwhelming amount of support for the cause, I started to connect with a different population of people who either as children were having trouble forgiving their fathers or fathers struggling to forgive themselves for lack of relationship amongst each other. As I began to dig deeper into this conflict of estrangement between these fathers and their children, I discovered that often times the father is or had been incarcerated. At that point, I realized that I wanted to expand upon the mission of We Still Exist to include a goal of restoring, maintaining, and healing the relationships between men who have or are incarcerated and their children. We Still Exist wants to provide funding and resources to two groups of men and their families: incarcerated men, and men who have recently been released from incarceration.
We Still Exist wants to facilitate and support fathers who are incarcerated be able to still play an active role in their children’s life by providing transportation to their families for visits, encouragement and counseling in areas such as forgiveness, healing, and faith, and lastly providing inmates the opportunity to earn funds solely for the purpose to communicate with their children, by completing a We Still Exist provided curriculum.
Furthermore we want to provide resources for those fathers whom formerly have been incarcerated and now bare the weight of having a felony on their record. We Still Exist would provide tools and resources such as skillful trades, education, and job opportunities to give them a fair opportunity to truly remain rehabilitated and be able to provide for their families without the temptation to reoffend due to lack of financial resources.
Malachi 4:6 states, “And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” We Still Exist believe it’s imperative that we support, encourage, and empower black men if we want to enrich our families, save our children, and restore our communities.