Former Def Jam Exec Hosts Fatherhood Conference

Bill

Stephney, a former president of Def Jam Records and member of Public Enemy’s Bomb

Squad, will play host to a day-long conference on Fatherhood to be held at The

Apollo Theatre in Harlem on February 3. Stephney,

who now heads up Joseph Media, said that he has seen the need to cultivate fatherhood

through the mind state of many rappers that he’s worked with over the years. "Having

worked closely with many young rappers during the last 20 years, I can’t overstate

the amount of emotional and psychological damage that is done to young people

who grow up in what are, in essence, fatherless neighborhoods," said Stephney,

one of the conference’s organizers. Presenters

and panelists include basketball star Allan Houston, filmmaker Tyler Perry, Assistant

Secretary for Health and Human Services Dr. Wade F. Horn, Dr. Ronald Mincy, and

Alicia Crowe, author of "Real Dads Stand Up." The

conference, scheduled to coincide with Black History Month, hopes to highlight

the plight of young fathers. "Young

men seem to have no faith in their own potential so they adopt a ‘get rich or

die trying’ way of life," Stephney said. "Young women have an idea of

adult male parenting that is abstract at best, often resulting in unhealthy relationships

and a distorted view of the relevance of males to their families and communities."

The

conference will feature a screening of The Pursuit of Happyness, an award-winning

film, and a preview of Tyler Perry’s Daddy’s Little Girls. Both

movies feature rappers. Will Smith stars in Happyness and Idris Elba, an

aspiring UK emcee, is the centerpiece of Daddy’s Little Girls. Stephney

has been in the entertainment arena for decades. He’s worked closely with Public

Enemy and helped to produce for the legendary rap group. He

also served as an executive at Def Jam into the 90’s. Additionally, he’s overseen

the musical direction of films like Boomerang, Clockers, CB4

and Shaft. These

days, in addition to his duties with Joseph Media, he works closely with comics

Paul Mooney and Chris Rock. With

Rock, he established the Chris Rock internship Project with Comedy Central to

create writers for TV shows. For

additional information, log on to www.realdadsnetwork.com

or call (212) 875-7725.

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