17 Jun Celebrating Fathers and Changing Lives at Cure Violence’s Fatherhood Sessions
For Johnny Brown, Fatherhood Session Coordinator at CHRIS 180’s Cure Violence Atlanta program, helping fathers is a calling.
“All of us are on this journey of being fathers,” Johnny shared. “We work with participants to learn the life skills to be able to work, stay out of trouble and start talking about what it takes to be a good parent. When we help them show up in their child’s life, we are breaking the cycle of generational violence.”
Every Monday from 11:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M. at the Cure Violence Atlanta office, Johnny leads Fatherhood Sessions empowering fathers, uncles, brothers and other men to make a difference in the lives of children. Sessions cover topics including child support, parenting, co-parenting, fathers’ rights and life and relationship skills.
“During our Fatherhood Sessions, we talk about where we all struggle. It’s about openness,” said Johnny. “By sharing honestly about our experiences, we’re helping participants heal relationships, set goals and show up as parents.”
Working alongside attendees and the Cure Violence Atlanta Outreach team, Johnny builds relationships with participants that recognize their strengths and identify positive paths forward, away from violence. Participants work with the team to earn their GEDs, complete training and certification programs and receive emotional support as they parent their children and change the direction of their lives.
Johnny’s commitment to helping young men realize their potential stretches back decades. Orrin Warner, Cure Violence Outreach Worker, fondly remembered first meeting Johnny as a participant in one of his fatherhood classes 21 years ago.
“He was different from other teachers because he could relate to our experiences. He introduced me to a mentor who got me my first job doing this work. Thanks to him, I was able to see my purpose. Seeing him teach today reignites my passion. He has the same love from 21 years ago. And I get to pay it forward in my work.”
Today, Johnny and Orrin work closely together to support Fatherhood Session participants both during and outside of class, connecting them with resources and checking on them individually every week to build lasting relationships.
“We give them everything we’ve got,” said Orrin. “And that’s when you see big change taking place.”
One thing that Johnny wishes people knew about Fatherhood Sessions? “You don’t have to be a father to participate. Every man is a father in his community because he’s influencing the next generation. If you’re not, you should be looking for how you can be a positive influence. That’s the opportunity we’re offering.”
Would you or someone you know like to participate in Cure Violence Atlanta’s Fatherhood Sessions? For more information, contact Janikqua.Cutno@CHRIS180.org.