I attended my second Dad 2.0 Summit last week. The summit is "an open conversation about the commercial power of dads online, and an opportunity to learn the tools and tactics used by influential bloggers to create high-quality content, build personal brands, and develop business ideas."
Here are a few of my highlights from this year's event.
1) Brad Meltzer
My family are big fans of the Ordinary People Change the World children's books of author Brad Meltzer. He delivered a potent keynote address that focused on legacy. What is your legacy? Who will remember your name? He discussed four types of legacy: family, people you worked with/peer groups/teachers, your community, and impact on strangers. That same day, I had two former students speak very kindly about me on Facebook. Here's one of those posts.
Yeah, that brought tears to my eyes. Seeing this reminds me that I am so blessed to have a legacy that not only includes being a father and husband, but also includes positively impacting the lives of two decades of students. I can live with that legacy.
2) Interview on Dad 2.0 Summit/Esquire Live Lounge
I had a chance to chat with Jason Kravits in a live interview at the summit. Check it out! http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/83397494
3) Michael Strahan
I recently had the opportunity to meet and interview my favorite all time New York Football Giant, Michael Strahan for City Dads Group. Just three days later, he was at the Summit as part of a Q&A. Here's something that he said that resonated with me.
4) Parenting and the Modern African-American Man
Last year, I was invited to read in public a post from my blog for the first time. This year, I was a part of a panel discussion on Parenting and the Modern African-American Man. The panel description is as follows: Being a father of color challenges men in ways that the rest of American culture is only just starting to appreciate. Often maligned and marginalized by stereotypes that are statistically disprovable, African-American men cope with social roadblocks and disturbing headlines that perpetuate a cycle of disconnected fathers and rudderless sons. Our panelists are working to break that cycle, both through the simple act of active parenthood, and by the activism that wants 2016 to bear as little resemblance as possible to 1966.
Although we didn't have the largest turnout, the panel was well-received by the people in attendance. Race and its impact continues to be a challenging discussion for some folks. Here's hoping future similar discussions will lead to not only increased attendance, but also to a broader dialogue.
One of the more beautiful things to emerge from this panel and the summit was a new sense of camaraderie amongst the Black fathers attending. This led to a moment that Kia was quite kind in helping make happen. I'll let the picture speak for itself.
5) Creed Anthony
I was quite interested in hearing from this year's Spotlight bloggers. Although all were fantastic, Creed Anthony moved me to tears. His piece focused on slavery, family, and resilience. You can read it here.
6) Dove Men+Care fatherhood history
Dove Men+Care has been amazingly supportive of Dad 2.0, City Dads Group, and the National At Home Dad Network. At this year's summit, they had a room dedicated to fatherhood: past, present, and future. Such a thoughtful idea!