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The Parenting Center and Elementary PTAs hosted a screening of the film “From Fatherless to Fatherhood: Because Families Matter”

Kobie Brown and Kevin Mason The Parenting Center and Elementary PTAs hosted a screening of the film “From Fatherless to Fatherhood: Because Families Matter” featuring Tuscan School Assistant Principal Kevin Mason, on Thursday January 23 at Tuscan School.

Alan Stephenson,
Tuscan PTA President, introduced the film:

Thank you all for coming out this cold evening to this special screening about a very important topic – one near and dear to my heart - fathers. This film is personal and moving – and will touch each one of you in a different way. For me, this film is coming right as my 87-year-old father is preparing to go into hospice. He grew up fatherless, and I know how deeply that affected him, and how his deep wound created difficulties in how he fathered his own three children.

Tonight’s program is brought to you by the PTA and The Parenting Center. A huge thank you to Karen Weiland of the Parenting Center for working with us on this. We appreciate this and all the other wonderful things you and the Parenting Center do for us. If you’ve not checked out The Parenting Center, you owe it to yourself as a parent to do so.

Filmmaker Kobie Brown is on a mission to improve the fatherlessness problem within the African-American community. From Fatherless to Fatherhood, has opened up a dialogue that explores the causes, effects and possible solutions to father absence in that community.

As you’ll see, the film provides examples of African American men who are fostering quality relationships with their children, families and therefore, their communities.

“This film is a gift to those men who provide living examples of leadership to their children and families, as well as a challenge to those men who are absent from the lives of their children,” says Kobie Brown. “It will hopefully encourage the latter to get past the shame and ego impediments and to make the choice to start mending those broken bonds today. Because whenever they start it matters.”

From Fatherless to Fatherhood, which has been featured by the Huffington Post, CNN, and more, is rooted in the real lives of men, women and children and buttressed by the perspectives of such men as Multi Grammy-Award winning Gospel Recording Artist Kirk Franklin, Dr. Steve Perry, Jeff Robinson and our own Kevin Mason.Kobie Brown

If you want to know what kind of father Kevin Mason is, you’ve only to ask him how his girls are. His face lights up as he recounts little Kennedy’s latest escapade or McKenzie’s most recent achievement. This is a man who loves his family. And he’s become a major part of our Tuscan family as well. With Mr. Mason tonight is a special guest, his mother, Juanita Gibson.

Thank you again for coming. Please stay for the panel discussion/Q&A afterward with Mr. Mason and filmmaker Kobie Brown. Enjoy this film, and know that the film, and the men in it, are changing the communities around them.

The film was followed by a rich and thought-provoking discussion with Mr. Mason and the film’s director, Kobie Brown, and the audience.

Raised in East Orange, Kobie Brown was instilled with a strong sense of community and purpose. Raised by a mother who was an educator and artist, and his father, a financial analyst who spent his younger years as a Civil Rights activist, Kobie learned early on that the talents and gifts that he was given should be used to impact and change the world.

Brown formed bonds with local New Jersey hip-hop stars including Queen Latifah, Naughty By Nature and The Fugees. While studying English at Morehouse College, he parlayed his relationships into a job working at Flavor Unit Records and Management with Queen Latifah where he was involved in everything from marketing to producer management and A&R. After leaving Flavor Unit, Kobie went on to work with the legendary musical duo, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis before returning to school to complete his studies and eventually continuing his career as a music executive at Jive Records.

Fatherless to Fatherhood, is his first – and we hope not last – documentary.