The Dovetail Project graduates new class of students
With Father’s Day right around the corner, the Chicago-based Dovetail Project has graduated a new class of students. The goal is to teach Black and Brown men about the importance and responsibilities of fatherhood.
Will Davidson, one of the recent graduates, owes his new life to the Dovetail Project. Three days shy of his 25th birthday, Davidson is Dad to Will Jr., who will turn two this summer.
"Every decision I make is to better my life for my son and to try to bring other people around me into it," said Davidson.
The Dovetail Project taught Davidson and his 21 classmates the roles, rights, and responsibilities of fatherhood, and how to maintain an active presence in their children’s lives. While some young men think being a father is the end of their lives, Dovetail teaches it’s just the beginning.
"It gives you a fighting chance. It makes you feel like you can make it, like you got it," said Davidson.
Now graduating over 600 men i almost 13 years, Dovetail was founded by Sheldon Smith.
"I know the legacy these men are going to leave with their families and communities are going to be amazing," said Smith.
It’ a legacy easy to see every day, even when the days themselves are difficult. Experiencing homelessness has taught Angel Juarez to care for his family in new ways. With Dovetail’s support, he’s ready for what’s next — a new graduate with a new look on life.
"We stayed in our car for a few weeks, we couch surfed for a little, we slept in a storage room for a few weeks," said Juarez. "Everything that I’m getting I’m earning through me and independence and respect is one of the highest things I really believe in."
In their first class twelve weeks ago, all 22 men brought different backgrounds and different stories to Dovetail, but this week they emerged united to be better men and better fathers.
To learn more about the Dovetail Project, click here.