The Marin City community celebrated fathers at the Third Annual Father’s Day Breakfast and Awards event, “Fatherhood: A Protected Species,” on Saturday, June 20 at the Hannah Gallery.
Nearly one hundred men attended the breakfast, which featured several performances including, Citrina Niles singing “Wind Beneath My Wings,” a musical interlude by Huff N Stuff, and poetry from Clarence “Ronnie” Striplin.
Octavian Green, Khari Haynes, and LeShawn Holcome, who recently lost his father due to illness, performed an excerpt from “Fatherless Room,” a play that displays what life is like for a boy without a father. The play will be performed later this summer.
The keynote speaker was Professor Walter B. Turner, a history professor at College of Marin in Kentfield. Turner grew up in Marin City and said he remembers a sense of community from people such as Rev Bolluck, Manny Chandler, Octavos Harris, Gabe Jackson, and Boon Green.
These people served in various churches in the community. The Black Panther Party was also active in Marin City and helped create a sense of community.
The Honorable Judge William H. Stephens, retired, was honored at the Father’s Day event for his service to the community. He was awarded a proclamation from the Marin City Fatherhood Council acknowledging his “commitment of service to support young men of color to develop healthy self-image and academic excellence in the Marin City community.”
“Judge Stephens continues to play a significant role in the advocacy of human rights and social equity in Marin County,” the proclamation stated. “His outstanding career as a lawyer and judge provides an example of strong leadership.”
Men can become more than just fathers, serving as the elders of the community, identifying and addressing what is not working. They don’t just give praise, but they work as mentors to bring out the best in people, especially the youth.
The event remembered those men who offered their care, leadership and mentorship to better their community.