HOLBROOK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Turning a moment into a life’s mission is exactly what one father did to change the perception of Black fatherhood in America.
CBS2s Vanessa Murdock reports on “The Dad Gang.”READ MORE: NYPD Officer Jason Rivera Fatally Shot, Officer Wilbert Mora Critically Injured Responding To Harlem Domestic Dispute
As his shoes and shirt say, Sean Williams is one dope dad. He’s the father of three children: Davin, Cameron and Ethan, and founder of The Dad Gang.
“It’s better to show and prove than to just say so,” Williams said.
As Murdock reports, about 7 years ago, Williams moved from Brooklyn to a predominantly white neighborhood in Farmingville, Long Island. He went grocery shopping with his youngest daughter and recalls an encounter that would cement his purpose in life.
“The woman approached me and said it was so good to see that I stuck around,” he said. “It was not a compliment … That whole stereotype about Black dads being missing in action and MIA, it’s not the normal.”
Williams shared from that moment, he channeled his energy into flooding social media with pics and video from “The Dad Gang” – giving Black dads all over a platform to showcase just how awesome they are, how good they are at living up to the mantra “Dadgoals.”
From social media to the sidewalks and streets of Brooklyn, The Dad Gang started hosting in-person events, like Strolling with the Homies.
Turnouts so significant at home and around the nation sparked a realization.
“You realize dads need each other,” said Williams.READ MORE: 'The Loss Of A Hero': New York Mourns Death Of 22-Year-Old NYPD Officer Jason Rivera
In early 2020, The Dad Gang started a nonprofit, “Random Acts of Dadness.” Antoine Nichols, dad of Ephraim and Noemie, shares the organization’s generosity changed his family’s world during the pandemic.
“They were able to get workstations. Prior, they were at the kitchen table and kind of fighting it out for space,” Nichols said.
Thanks to the substantial financial gift, his kids had a wonderful Christmas too.
“An amazing end to a year that wasn’t necessarily so great,” Nichols said.
This Saturday, Random Acts of Dadness will continue to uplift with a stroller giveaway. At least 200 will be handed out across the boroughs.
On Sunday, the second annual March of Dads will kick off at Prospect Park West.
Williams says it’s an amazing way to celebrate Father’s Day.
“To have an organization that really highlights the truth of our world, it’s amazing,” Nichols said.
Life-changing for the dads who joined The Dad Gang.MORE NEWS: With Tragic Shooting Of 2 Police Officers In Harlem, 5 NYPD Officers Have Been Shot In January
The first March of Dads took place last year in Washington, D.C. on Father’s Day. Williams says The Dad Gang wanted to celebrate, but also remember dads that were missing, like George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks.