Million Father March this Saturday

Participants in the Million Man March await the speakers in the Million Man March, Monday Oct. 16, 1995 on the Mall in Washington. Tens of thousands of black men from across America gathered on the Mall and the base of the Capitol in a rally of unity, self-affirmation and protest. (AP Photo/Doug Mills)

By// Mariah Craddick

The 2012 Inland Empire Million Father March takes place this Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012, in Riverside, California. Street Positive CEO and Million Father March Organizer Terry Boykins will coordinate the event and Bishop Lacy Sykes Jr. will host.

This year’s theme “I Am My Child’s Superhero” plans to pay tribute to active duty and veteran military fathers. The campaign’s goal is to get a million fathers nationwide to be involved in their children’s education, including taking their child to school on the first day.

“Those participating will truly be part of the kind of history their children’s children will speak about one day. On-lookers will truly see the power of fathers moving as one, in support of their children’s education,” Boykins says in a press release.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, children in father-absent homes are five times more likely to be poor. During the event, a petition to secure key resources from state and federal agencies to support fatherhood engagement in early childhood education will be distributed.

Topics to be covered include mental health, incarceration, student violence, graduation rates and academic achievement. Guest speakers, panel discussions and entertainment will also be featured.

A similar march will be held in Los Angeles on Sept. 29. Single mothers are encouraged to join.

The procession will begin at 8 a.m. at Cross Word Christian Church (14950 Riverside Dr. next to the March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, Calif.). The proposed march route is approximately 2.2 miles long. For more information visit