My 5 Favorite Parts of the White House Summit on Working Families

On June 23rd, the White House held the main event of its Summit on Working Families (see here and here on my reports from two other Summit events I participated in). I was honored to be in attendance at this event in which the President, First Lady, VP, several CEOs (including Johnson & Johnson, Goldman Sachs, EY, Deloitte, and PwC), entrepreneurs, researchers, advocates and celebrities all joined their voices in support of working families.

Here's my report on the White House Summit on Working Families
Here’s my report on the White House Summit on Working Families

Despite some frustration that the event did not move things forward enough for my tastes, the Summit gave me A LOT to be encouraged about. Here are five highlights:

The Highlights! (part 1)

1. Biden and Obama Speak From the Heart as Involved Working Dads

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School’s Out For Summer! (on the mixed blessing of school vacation for working parents)

School summer vacation can be a great time for downtime. But this extra time can also be too much of a good thing, leading to too much screen time for both dads and kids. I need your help!

This summer, I want to spend time doing this...
This summer, I want to spend more time doing this…

I’m technically not employed by FDU for the summer (although I always have class prep and, of course, writing to do). So, I am so incredibly lucky to be home to share the summer with Nick. Nick just ended third grade (where does the time go!), and Amy’s both rehearsing a show and directing a youth theater program. Nick will be going to a local camp from 9-3 on Tuesdays through Thursdays and has gymnastics on Monday and Friday afternoons. This means lots more me-and-Nick time, which is 95% awesome, with a small downside.

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The Smartest Things I Heard at the White House Summit on Working Fathers

Programming note. Today, I am at the main event of the White House Summit on Working Families in DC. Obama, Biden and a host of bigwigs in government and business are here. I will report out to you soon.

Dads are the greatest untapped resources in the lives of American kids- Kyle Pruitt

We live in a “Modern Family” society, but our policies are stuck in “Leave It To Beaver” mentality- Thomas Perez

On June 9th, I was honored to participate in the first ever White House Summit on Working Fathers. It was an amazing event, with so much great information and so many inspiring speakers. Here’s a short compilation of the most memorable quotes and ideas I heard during the event.

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White House Working Fathers Summit: A Photo Essay

On Monday, June 9th, I was a panelist at the 1st ever White House Summit on Working Fathers– an event in which high-level administration officials, business leaders, experts and advocates came together to discuss the challenges faced by working dads and work towards public and private sector solutions. I’ll write more about the discussions and … Read more

A Very Happy (and Busy) Father’s Day

Dads always get more media attention on the build-up to Father’s Day. However, this year seems different to me in that there is so much attention, not just on “yay, dads!” but specifically on fathers facing the challenge of balancing work and family. As such, I’ve been very busy lately spreading the word about working dads. Here’s a quick round-up of my recent Father’s Day media:

National interviews:

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Welcome Bloomberg Radio Listeners and HBR Readers!

If you’re a dad who works, this is a good time to celebrate. Not only because it’s Fathers’ Day, but because caring about fathers and their needs is no longer a touchy-feely, Phil Donahue kind of thing. Businesses, researchers, the media, and all manner of celebrities have been throwing the spotlight on men who enjoy … Read more

Paternity Leave for All Dads! Join Me and Support the FAMILY Act

This Father’s Day, let’s call upon Congress to give dads and their families a truly meaningful present- paid parental leave. Please join me in signing a petition asking our elected representatives to pass the FAMILY Act.

We all deserve paternity leave- time to bond and develop as parents. Please support the FAMILY Act
We all deserve paternity leave- time to bond and develop as parents. Please support the FAMILY Act

I didn’t exactly take a paternity leave. I’m a college professor and my son, Nick, was born three days after my Spring semester ended. Perfect timing (although we didn’t actually plan it that way). I was able to spend the summer on a “de-facto paternity leave” with my wife, Amy, and Nick as we all got to learn how this whole “baby makes three” thing would shake out.

I was able to forge an immediate bond with my son, gain confidence as a new parent, strengthen my relationship with my wife, and emerge from the experience as a fully involved co-parent to Nick and equal parenting partner with Amy. In short, my paternity leave fundamentally shaped me as a person, parent, and spouse, and I believe it contributed to the strength and resiliency of my family.

That’s why I support the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act, which would enable new parents – including dads – to take 12 weeks of partially paid time away from work after the birth or adoption of a child. That’s why I’m working with CLASP and other advocacy and fatherhood organizations to help bring about this change. Today, I’m inviting you to join me in supporting this important bill by signing a petition.

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