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Why I Forgave $38,750 in Child Support: Revaluing Fathers This Father’s Day.

As we celebrate the fathers and father figures who have impacted our lives, let’s also think about championing fatherhood. Not just as a holiday to buy ties and tools, but also as an opportunity to redefine and revalue fathering as important work. Last year, I made the apparently very controversial decision to forgive $38,750 amount of my ex husband’s child support arrears. Read why below in my piece on NYTimes.com, and let me know what you think..

But too often, fathers are seen as accessory parents or bumbling second rate caretakers. On the other side, our society only defines fathers as deadbeat or not, solely by financial contribution. And we lump the unwilling to pay and the unable to pay in the same prison-bound barrel, regardless of what other meaningful contributions that father may make to the child’s welfare.

Here’s my story:

Earlier this year, I spent three hours sitting on a hard, wooden bench in the Queens County Family Court, waiting for a judge to approve my petition to forgive $38,750 in child support arrears from my ex-husband.

The judge said, “Well this is a rare one,” then asked me several times if I was aware of what I was doing and if I had received legal counsel. When I told my single mom friends, they looked at me as if I had committed an act of treason. “Child support is all we have!” one friend exclaimed.

Is it?

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Dear Elena Medo: You Can’t Claim to Support Black Breastfeeding and Attack Black Breastfeeding Advocates; Now Detroit Moms Have Spoken

I have been quiet long enough. Dear Ms. Medo, Nobody likes a bully. Or a hypocrite. Or someone prone to bending the truth into a version that suits their own agenda. But sadly, you are repeatedly showing yourself to be definitely a bully and clearly a hypocrite with revisionist tendencies. Let me explain. As a [...]

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Campaign Aimed to Improve Breastfeeding rates in kansas

In 2011, Kansas ranked 42nd nationally when surveyed by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on their hospitals’ (statewide) efforts to encourage mothers to breastfeed. Dr. Robert Moser, Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary stated “We have a lot of room for improvement,” on Thursday at the Kansas Health Summit on Breastfeeding. [...]

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Dear Sear and Walmart: About your Breastfeeding Faus Pas, A new Pilot Project Could Save you (and other companies) millions

We all watched with shaking heads this week as a Sears security employee posted screen shots of breastfeeding mothers that he captured from Sears security cameras.  The twitterverse unleashed its fury, citing the obvious concern about violating the privacy of these unsuspecting mothers and the obvious stupidity of an employee who should know better. The [...]

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SYSTEMIC RACISM IS KILLING BLACK BABIES IN AMERICA — BUT THERE IS SOMETHING BLACK WOMEN CAN DO ABOUT IT

By Shafia M. Monroe   The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says the U.S. infant mortality rate is the highest among selected states in the South and Midwest regions. In 2010, 13 states and the District of Columbia had infant mortality rates of 7.00–7.99, and two additional states (Mississippi and Alabama) had infant mortality rates [...]

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Forget the WHO Code. It’s The Street Code That Undermines Mothers in Detroit

It’s the 33rd anniversary of the international effort to curb unethical infant formula marketing practices. But you wouldn’t know it from the streets of Detroit. By: Kimberly Seals Allers If you thought we were past the days of blatantly egregious infant formula marketing and that hospitals, doctor’s offices and subtle messaging and innuendo were the [...]

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We mourn the loss of Terry Jo Curtis, a Breastfeeding Champion

Words can’t express how sad I am to learn of the passing of the phenomenal Terry Jo Curtis, who was a fearless champion for mothers, fathers and babies and the founder of the Indiana Black Breastfeeding Coalition. We have lost a giant among us. As the creator of the first Fathers Supporting Breastfeeding Group in [...]

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THE CHANGING FACE OF SUMMER CAMP: IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT SWIMMING AND ARTS & CRAFTS ANYMORE

Léman Manhattan’s Director of Camp Offers Insights on Program Trends and Tips for Finding the Right Summer Camp for Your Child   When it comes to choosing a summer camp in New York City, parents will find they have as many options available as they do in their search for a private school.  Steve Levin, Director [...]

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“Real-World” Advice for Generation Text: 13 Workplace Communication Tips Today’s Young People Need to Know

Texting- and social media-obsessed Millennials aren’t always prepared to navigate the business world, which primarily “runs” on email and face-to-face communication. Here, author Ben Carpenter shares 13 dos and don’ts to help them communicate productively in the big leagues.           Hoboken, NJ (April 2014)—If you’re a recent college graduate or young professional, the first thing you [...]

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What’s Missing From Earth Day Celebrations? More Talk of Breastfeeding

Today, as over one billion people in over 192 countries celebrate Earth Day and everyone is thinking about ways to be more environmentally conscious. But few things are more “green” than breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is often framed as a personal decision, but it is most definitely also a planetary one. Breastmilk is one of very few [...]

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