This is part of WTOP’s continuing coverage of people making a difference from our community authored by Stephanie Gaines-Bryant. Read more of that coverage.
This Father’s Day, D.C. native Franklyn Malone marked roughly a decade spent helping dads become better fathers.
“We said our fathers were named Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini,” Malone said, adding that “old school fathers” like his were tough.
“But they kept us from going to jail,” he continued. “They were giving us the supervision we needed to be somebody.”
Malone says his father’s tough love paid off. Malone has since mentored hundreds of men over the last decade on how to be a good father as the founder and CEO of 100 Fathers Inc., a nonprofit organization based in the District.
As a Certified Licensed Fatherhood and Rites of Passage Master Trainer, he teaches Black and Latino-identifying men how to be role models for their children.
He says this is, “so they can see how we act … So they can know how to act and that means coming in with your pants up, with your mind open and with your heart open to new things.”
Malone added that, after being married for 20 years with four children and five grandchildren, he also knows what it’s like for some men to raise children when there are custody issues.
He says as a young man, his first wife left with their baby in what he said was, “one of the most highly emotionally charged times” in his life.
He’s hoping to build a place called “My Father’s House” to help families navigate custody issues and help children get what he says is a necessary balance of both parents’ love.
“Not only do they need a mother, they need a father that will care for them, that will nurture them and that will love them in his own way,” Malone said.
You can learn more about the organization at 100fathers.org or by calling 202-361-0761.