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Pittsburgh Conference Aims to Help Dads Reach Their Full Potential

More than one-third of all U.S. children grow up without their fathers, according to the U.S. Department of Census.

That’s a statistic that Urban Impact, a faith-based community organization in Pittsburgh, wants to change.

On June 7, close to 1,000 men are expected to attend the group’s second annual ManUp Pittsburgh conference, an event designed to raise awareness of the effects of fatherlessness and generate ideas on how to reverse it.

Urban Impact founder Pastor Ed Glover said the event works to redefine what it means to be a man.

“We at this conference are not going to beat men up,” he said. “We’re going to build them up and we’re going to encourage them to be everything that they are entitled to be or have a desire to be.”

The conference isn’t just for current fathers, according to Glover. He said grandfathers, future fathers and mentors to those without fathers are invited to attend the event, which will feature local sports figures.

The day includes three main information sessions, as well as 10 breakout classes led by Pittsburgh pastors, where attendees can learn about topics such as “Being a Breakthrough Dad,” “Being a Dad to a Daughter,” and “Facing Challenges in a Divorced or Blended Family.”

Speakers include evangelist preacher Tony Evans, Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, and former Steelers offensive tackle Tunch Ilkin who will host the event.

Glover said it didn’t take much convincing to get Tomlin onboard.

“Of course he quickly said yes,” he said. “I tried to talk him out of it, but he said, ‘No, this is where I’m at,’ and he wanted to help men in our city become better men.”

Registration is $47 and includes breakfast and lunch. Advance registration is available online until June 2 and on-site registration begins at 7:30 a.m. on the day of the conference at Orchard Hill Church in Wexford.

The Erie, PA native has been a fellow in the WESA news department since May 2013. Having earned a bachelor's degree in print journalism from Duquesne University, he is now pursuing an M.A. in multi-media management. Michael describes his career aspiration as "I want to do it all in journalism."
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