Events /

Virtual Statewide Fatherhood Symposium


Saturday, June 12, 2021    
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Event Type


Free event for professionals and the public from the Illinois Council on Responsible Fatherhood

The Illinois Council on Responsible Fatherhood (ICRF) will present its 2021 annual symposium on June 12 from 2 to 4 p.m. via Zoom.

The council is a state board established in 2004 to promote paternal involvement, particularly by single and divorced fathers, in the upbringing of their children.

The lineup of speakers includes leading figures in sports, law, advocacy, law enforcement, religion, health and politics.

“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,” says ICRF Chairman Jeffery M. Leving.

The lineup of speakers is:

  •  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 dad with disabilities 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 event is free and available to the public. The intended audience includes:

  • 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
  • Interested members of the general public.

To register for the symposium, please email your name, address and phone number to Jennifer Whiteside at