ST. LOUIS ˗˗ Jesse Alex and Lamar Johnson both born and raised in St. Louis grew up with absent fathers. They often joked about not knowing how to grill or change a tire, until they noticed as adults the pain associated with not having real father experiences growing up which turned into shifting that pain into purpose.
That’s when Dear Fathers was founded – to provide resources and educate Black fathers on how to be better parents through storytelling, and ultimately change the narrative around what it means to be a Black father. While many Black men continue to combat the negative stereotype, Jesse, Lamar and now Brad Edwards are working to create safe spaces to show that so many have stepped up to reclaim what it means to be a Black father in this country.
Join us Father’s Day Weekend in STL
We’re pulling up to STL where it all started for our Founders to celebrate the importance of Fatherhood during Father’s Day Weekend. Join us for an impactful event where we will network, fellowship, build, and have conversation about what Fatherhood means to our spotlighted guests, mental health, and more.. Come out for a great time, rooftop views, drinks, resources, and good vibes as well highlight some amazing men impacting the community.
Dear Fathers is shifting the narrative of Black fatherhood in St. Louis and around the world. Through their collective resources, Dear Fathers’ overall mission is to inspire, heal, and strengthen the Black man by providing various outlets for Black fathers to share their stories and shape their own narratives. See below for a few storytelling campaigns/resources spearheaded by the organization:
Dear Fathers Podcast – Our podcast dedicated to telling stories of celebrity fathers and their journey through fame and fatherhood.
Dear Fathers Night – We’ve partnered with multiple NBA teams for STR8 Mental – Our monthly private group therapy session led by two black male therapists providing a safe space for Black men to unpack, fellowship, learn, grow, and heal amongst one another. Since its launch in May of 2020, they have reached over 2,500 Black men.
Top 25 Dad Influencers – Our written storytelling series where every day dads talk about what being a father means to them, their relationship with their dad, struggles they’ve faced, and more.
Books and Bourbon – Our monthly book club for Black men, where guys come together to converse over the book of the month while sipping on the bourbon of the month, or a drink of their choice (bourbon not required).
Jesse Alex, Lamar Johnson Jr. and Brad Edwards.
Quotes from the Founders:
With over 20+ years of friendship, myself and our other Co-Founder Lamar Johnson Jr. turned our pain of not having real father experiences growing up into “Dear Fathers”, The Premiere Media Platform for Black Fatherhood. Heading into our late 20’s, conversations about who we were/wanted to be as black men led to the passion of storytelling for black men/fathers that would ultimately shift the culture and provide men with a safe space to control their own narratives. While I do not yet have children, Lamar is a father of two beautiful girls. We blend a mix of fatherhood and culture to show people what black fatherhood is all about.
● Jesse Alex, Co-Founder
“My most memorable experience after launching Dear Fathers would have to be me reaching out to my father and starting to build some sort of relationship. Before, I never thought about getting to know my dad and I didn’t care to know him honestly. I figured “well I’m grown now so what could I learn or take from him at this age? “. Well things have changed and me and him aren’t best friends or anything, actually pretty far from that but while doing this work I have realized how important it is to have a relationship with your father and get to know the person who is literally responsible for half of who you are.”
● Lamar Johnson Jr., Co-Founder
“I don’t think as Black men we want to be the way that we are perceived as hard and rugged all the time…I think we just have to be in the right space for guys to feel safe and I think that’s what we’ve created here.”
● Brad Edwards., Community Organizer
● Join our Community at https://dearfathers.com/join/
● Donate at https://dearfathers.com/donate/
● Following us on Instagram: IG – @Dear.fathers