ED GORDON MAKES A FATHERS DAY PROMISE: TV journalist launches father-daughter initiative.
*Award-winning journalist and syndicated TV host Ed Gordon is making promises.
He’s launched a nationwide initiative called “Daddy’s Promise: A Lifetime of Love” that celebrates the relationship and bond between African American fathers and daughters.
The campaign, which encourages and salutes fathers of daughters, kicks off this weekend – Fathers Day. The initiative will start with the launch of the website and a national movement to create dialog, plus a book from Gordon to follow.
The inspiration for “Daddy’s Promise” came from a place very close to home for Gordon. Forever changed by the love of his daughter, Gordon wanted to shout it to the world, so he did.
“About a year and a half ago I did an article with Essence magazine that talked about my relationship with my daughter, Taylor. The response I received was overwhelming – so much so that I wanted to do even more as I talked to men and women across the country about what is such a special relationship,” he said.
In particular, Gordon wanted to do more about the image of fathers in Black America.
“You don’t see many positive images when it relates to men and their young girls and we have to be honest about what’s going on in our community and there are a lot of men that have not involved themselves, not only with their daughters, but with their children in general,” Gordon assessed. “But I also knew that there were a whole lot of fathers out there doing the right thing that were not being saluted and I wanted to do that.”
Ed Gordon and his daughter Taylor
Gordon admits that he’s no parental expert. However, he does own up to being a very caring and concerned father with a great group of friends to help spread an important message.
The year-long campaign starts with the website launch on Fathers’ Day, June 15. The site (www.daddyspromise.com) will include Gordon’s blog on his thoughts and plans in regard to the initiative, as well as interviews with celebrities such as Ludacris, Gabrielle Union, Steve Harvey and Terence Howard, to name a few. The interactive site will feature a downloadable pledge that fathers can give to their daughters as a symbolic gesture and a photo album of fathers and daughters across the country and through the ages.
“We’re encouraging people to upload their favorite father-daughter picture,” Gordon said. “We have vintage pictures up from 1969. It’s fun to go on and see fathers and daughters from across the country.”
The picture gallery will include some familiar faces, too. Gordon told EUR’s Lee Bailey that Matthew Knowles (Beyonce and Solange’s dad), Will Downing, and Gerald Albright have already submitted photos.
“Our logo was painted by the renowned artist John Holyfield who created a beautiful image that you’ll be able to buy on our website. It’s called Daddy’s Promise and I can’t wait for people to see it. And Will Downing has come on board with us,” he added. “On his ‘Emotions’ CD, he produced a song called ‘Beautiful to Me’ that he dedicated to his daughter and he’s allowing us to use that as our official theme song.”
The site will also feature on-going contests, too.
“We’re really excited about what’s going on and as the year goes, we’re going to grow events through our partner, 100 Black Men,” he said.
But the thing Gordon hopes to put in the forefront most is the image of black fathers.
“Most of all we’re going to put up the image of black men and their daughters and tell the world that we’re here to give our daughters a lifetime of love and be front and center with it,” he said. “As brothers, we want to assemble and tell those that have not been holding up their end – without finger-pointing, without pushing, without casting aspersions and say, ‘Brother, come on and join our club. We’re going to do the right thing and we’re going to make it strong.”
Gordon, who doesn’t have any sons, assured that little guys haven’t been forgotten by any means, but that “Daddy’s Promise” is born from a relationship between a father and a daughter, so that is the campaign’s focus.
“I always envisioned having boys when I thought about myself having kids,” Gordon admitted. “When I found out I was having a girl and I told my brother, ‘Man, I always wanted a boy.’ He said, ‘This girl will love you like no other woman in the world.’ Thank God. She is – as most often is with daddies and girls – my heart.”
Look for the launch of “Daddy’s Promise: A Lifetime of Love” come Father’s Day on Sunday and stay connected to the site, www.daddyspromise.com, for upcoming events and information on the related book by Gordon coming next Father’s Day in hopes of helping dads create stronger and more positive relationships with their girls, and ultimately the community.
“While it’s Daddy’s Promise to his daughter, this strengthens our entire family.”