I'm all in when it comes to promoting the importance of paid parental leave in the United States. It's incredibly important to share the perspective of a father when it comes to this issue. Over the last two years, I've written about it, been on a panel for the City Council about it, signed on to help the Center for Parental Leave Leadership, and discussed the topic with dozens of parents. I wholeheartedly believe that all new parents should be afforded every possible opportunity to bond with a newborn child while not worrying about whether or not they might lose their jobs for doing so.
A few months ago, I was contacted by the United Nations to gauge my interest in participating in a parental leave project. Although I had no idea what it was, I said yes. I'm not one to say no to this cause or the United Nations. I was also excited that they wanted to include the voice of fathers. I eventually learned that the project was a video and would involve working with one of the newest UN Goodwill Ambassadors, Oscar winner Anne Hathaway. The idea of working on a parental leave project with someone with a high profile was so encouraging. It should bring some much needed attention to the cause. It also meant having Ms. Hathaway and guests visit the Persley apartment for an interview, which did cause some anxiety on my part. So, after spending a full day doing some serious cleaning, Ms. Hathaway, Elizabeth Nyamayaro, and a film crew arrived at my apartment. Ms. Hathaway took her shoes off and almost immediately made me feel at home in my own apartment with her candor and wit. We chatted about our children, and I shared that my daughter, Camilla, left a video explaining the rules of the apartment. Ms. Hathaway kindly left a note thanking Camilla. And after those pleasantries, we got to work discussing parental leave, being active fathers, and parenting in general. It was a wonderful, thought-provoking dialogue. I thank two fellow fathers, Scott Behson and Erik Resurreccion, for joining me and providing some wonderful insight.
During an event at the United Nations celebrating International Women's Day 2017, this video was shared.
Then, Anne Hathaway delivered a fantastic keynote address which you can view by clicking the picture.
UN Women also launched a new website that focuses on paid parental leave! Please head there to sign up to promote and support this important cause.
I am so honored to have my voice and my family included in this project and to work with Anne Hathaway, a talented artist and involved citizen of the world. I hope that this is the next step toward establishing more helpful and thoughtful paid parental leave policies across the United States.