FREDERICK, Md (WDVM) – Various organizations gathered at Baker Park in downtown Frederick on Saturday to participate in the Jericho Silent Men’s March, an event devoted to fighting fatherlessness.
Frederick counselor David Brooks said he wanted to create a societal movement that raises awareness and breaks the cycle of fatherlessness within communities.
“I see all the problems with substance abuse and mental health, and I do a lot of work in criminal behavior,” Brooks said. “What I’ve noticed is that a lot of the root problems are due to kids not having their father.”
Brooks partnered with organizations like Water Boyz for Jesus and I Believe In Me Inc. for the event which featured financial resources, job training, free haircuts, a car show, a food drive and more.
“We’re offering classes for men who have sons to be fathers, we have classes for men who have daughters to be better fathers to daughters,” Water Boyz founder Paul Foss said.
Foss said their event compares the biblical story of the walls of Jericho to the walls of fatherlessness, leading them to march around Baker Park as a figurative way to tear the walls down.
Aje Hill founded I Believe In Me Inc. and said he identified with Brooks’ vision for the event.
“I see so many kids on a daily basis that are still waiting on that porch for their father that said ‘I’ll be back,'” He said. “… We have to step up, we have to do better, we have to come back, we have to do more for these children.”
Brooks said the event has no political motivation and societal change isn’t the sole responsibility of the government.
We have to truly put action in to solve this problem,” Brooks said. “That is what this is all about. This isn’t protesting against anything, this is really advocating for.”
Brooks says this event is only the beginning of the journey to fight fatherlessness, and wherever it takes him, he’ll follow.