Terron Edwards became a father at the age of 16. Within that time, Edwards thought he reached true manhood at least 20 times, but it wasn’t until recently that he knew he was the man he wanted to be.
Edwards said everyone’s definition of a man is different, but he defines it as tapping into your spirituality, learning who you are, and making sure you stay authentic to your values.
“I’ve made a real chance to not be personally affected [and] live within my code,” said Edwards. “I’ve decided I’m going be the same person no matter who’s around and who’s listening.”
Now in 2023, he’s honoring fathers that are making a difference in their children’s lives and their own. Edwards’s three-year-old nonprofit Fathers Making Progress (FMP) is hosting its inaugural gala in Milwaukee on June 16, 2023, at the Institute for the Preservation of African American Music & Arts (IPAMA) located at 3200 W. Hampton Avenue.
FMP will celebrate 13 fathers but only five will win awards.
“To me, they’re all winners. We’re basically going to celebrate everybody,” he said.
The 5 Presenting Awards
Community Father of the Year: A father that stands for children that aren’t biologically theirs.
Rookie Father of the Year: A new father setting the groundwork for excellence.
Comeback Father of the Year: A father that’s been through adversity and persevered through.
Girl Dad of the Year: A father that loves and sets the groundwork for his daughter(s) through a special relationship.
Trailblazer Father of the Year: A father that stands in the gap not only for his family but for other fathers.
The FMP Movement
Edwards and a group of Milwaukee fathers came together over 10 years ago to encourage, support, and teach fathers how to be the best fathers they can be. It started as an independently funded movement, founded on the Northside of Milwaukee.
According to FMP’s site, the founders wanted to address the needs of fathers in the city of Milwaukee, so they shared knowledge and resources. In 2020, to better serve the fathers of Milwaukee, FMP became an official nonprofit.
The Gala and Raising Funds
With this being an annual event, Edwards has coined the term ‘Fatherhood Friday’ as a staple for the celebration of fathers while giving them their flowers.
The event will now serve as the organization’s annual fundraiser. The funds raised will support the FMP movement by furthering the infrastructure development, providing seed money for a future headquarters, and creating jobs through social enterprises.
“This is our first but it’s only to get better,” said Edwards.
To learn more about Fathers Making Progress click here.
Nyesha Stone founded Carvd N Stone in 2017 to cover positive news while attending the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Stone has a B.A. in Journalism. She has raised over $30,000 to award grants and scholarships. She has also been featured in ESSENCE and worked with the American Black Film Festival.