( ENSPIRE Community Spotlight ) The Dad Gang Returns for the 4th Annual March of Dads Takeover in Brooklyn In Honor of Father’s Day and Juneteenth Holiday Weekend
ENSPIRE Contributor: Wesley Tran
On Father’s Day, Sunday, June 18th, Sean Williams, the founder of The Dad Gang, called all dads to flood the streets of Brooklyn for the 4th year in a row, honoring his commitment to change the narrative through a public gathering meant to celebrate, empower and unite active Black and Brown fathers, while also debunking the negative stereotypes that Black fathers are absent. The march began at the entrance of Prospect Park and ended at the Juneteenth stage at Nethermead Field where an estimated 300+ dads with their children gathered.
Last year Father’s Day was declared “The Dad Gang Celebration Day” with an official proclamation presented to Sean Williams by Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. This year’s Father’s Day March of Dads, sponsored by Walmart, rang more significant as it also fell within Juneteenth weekend and The Dad Gang joins in partnership with Juneteenth NYC.
“To watch The Dad Gang grow from an ambitious mission to change the way the world views Black fatherhood, to Father’s Day Sunday being proclaimed The Dad Gang Day in New York and for the March of Dads to be supported by corporations like Walmart and Dove, and also recognized people like Oprah Winfrey, Steve Harvey, Fat Joe, Councilman Kevin Riley, Mayor Eric Adams, and Robert Cornegy is an incredible feeling!” said Sean Williams.
With his mission, Sean has fostered partnerships with corporations that stand with The Dad Gang’s initiative to celebrate and support Black fathers such as Walmart, which has helped The Dad Gang since 2021. This year, Walmart joined The Dad Gang on their nationwide tour, expanding the ‘March of Dads’ to Atlanta, D.C., and New Orleans following the New York and Los Angeles marches.
The Dad Gang was founded in 2017 after Sean Williams received a stranger’s faint praise for being an active black dad while walking through a grocery with his then 1-year-old daughter, the comment sparked a movement that helped build a community of over 50,000 Black fathers with a shared passion for fatherhood and commitment to raising the standard of how Black fathers are perceived. Though marred by a racially driven and media-amplified stigma that has led the world to view Black fathers as widely missing in action, Black dads have continued to thrive. They’ve created a safe space for Black fathers to find camaraderie, share tips and experiences and turn up with their kids and each other a few times a year.
The Dad Gang recognizes and values the strength, resilience, and love that black fathers bring to our families and communities. They aim to tackle the misconception that most Black dads are absent by celebrating our positive impact on our children and highlighting our contributions to society by also creating content, launching community initiatives, hosting events, workshops, and panel discussions that uplift Black fathers and tell our story authentically to build greater awareness and understanding around the unique challenges that Black fathers face. This is the driving force behind The Dad Gang.