Illinois: Fatherhood symposium set for June 12

SPRINGFIELD, IL (STL.NewsThe Illinois Council on Responsible Fatherhood, a state board established in 2004 to promote parental involvement – particularly by single and divorced fathers – in the upbringing of their children, will present its 18th annual symposium at 2-4 p.m. Saturday, June 12.

The symposium will be conducted via Zoom, and available to everyone in the state.

Note to reporters, talk show hosts and producers: ICRF Chairman Jeffery M. Leving is available for media interviews in the days leading up to the symposium.

The lineup of speakers:

  • Opening remarks by Chairman Leving
  • Desmond Clark, former Chicago Bears tight end, talking about his experience as a divorced dad.
  • State Rep. LaShawn K. Ford, speaking about what’s happening on the fatherhood front in Springfield.
  • Adam Ballard, a disabled dad who will speak on the challenges confronting fathers with disabilities.
  • Attorney Arthur S. Kallow, a board member for the Fatherhood Educational Institute
  • Matthew Stanton, division chief for the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office, speaking on his journey as a father, and fatherhood and
  • conviction integrity.
  • Erin Smitley, registered dietitian at Sara Bush Lincoln Health System in Mattoon, with suggestions for fathers who have to prepare
  • meals for their kids.
  • Rev. David Philemon, a dynamic pastor in Cicero who feels strongly about the need for fathers in raising children.

The intended audience is social workers, child welfare workers, family counselors, lawyers involved in matrimonial and family law, educators, politicians and policy makers, clergy, academics, child development experts, juvenile justice workers and interested members of the general public.  The event is free and available to the public.

“This symposium each year puts the focus on the important work we do to support and promote fathers, whose value in raising children cannot be overestimated,” Chairman Leving says.

For the Zoom link, please contact Jennifer Whiteside at