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On February 25, the College of Social Work and the I. Dequincy Newman Institute for Peace and Social Justice welcomed the community to a night of listening, laughter and even tears. The Spigner House was full of interested attendees, colleagues, and family and friends of Patrick Patterson, President of Global Partners for Fathers and Family Consulting, LLC and South Carolina native.

Patterson, who has his dual Masters in Social Work and Public Health from the University of South Carolina, delivered a heartfelt presentation called “5 Habits of Good Fathers that Build Strong Families.”

He unapologetically revealed the most influential moments and people in his life while providing the audience with stories, tips and motivation to build a strong foundation for their families, children, and futures.

As a man who understands the influence of having a father present in his life and not having a father present in his life, Patterson has made it his mission for the past 20 years to work with fathers to strengthen their families.

“I work with fathers not to help them, but in hopes to help their children,” Patterson said. “I hope my work is a reflection of the people who influenced me in my life.”

Not only does he aim to help fathers create a better life for their sons and daughters, he has also recently taken local initiatives to help boys become respectful men who may one day become role-model fathers for their children.

Last year, Patterson, his brother and about 10 other people including Dean Scheyett, hosted a Conference for Black Men and Boys in South Carolina. With a goal of just 200 attendees, they exceeded that goal by achieving 600 attendees.

“This year, by popular demand, we are doing it again,” Patterson said. “The legacy lives on.”

They will be hosting their second annual Conference for Black Men and Boys on September 10 at the Double Tree Hotel in Columbia, SC.

Before the conference on April 30, there will be a Fatherhood Awards Breakfast where they hope to raise $10,000 to award as scholarships to boys at the conference.

They will honor five men at the breakfast: Tom Keith, President of Sisters of Charity of South Carolina; Archie Lattimore, Marcus Lattimore’s father; Dr. David Swinton, 13th President of Benedict College; James Patterson Jr., Patterson’s brother; and Frank Martin, USC men’s basketball coach.

The I. DeQuincey Newman Institute for Peace and Social Justice seeks to continue the mission of Reverend I. DeQuincey Newman by promoting social justice through interdisciplinary education, consultation, and research at the community, state, national, and international levels. To that end, the Newman Institute serves as a resource and advocates for underserved populations in South Carolina.  For 10 years, the Newman Lecture has brought together social work practitioners, researchers, academics and community members for a grassroots dialogue.  

Dean Anna Scheyett closed the discussion by honoring Patterson’s strength and ability to use his life experience to help others better their lives.

“The word that kept coming to mind was ‘miracle’,” Dean Scheyett said. “The miracle of laughter, the miracle of forgiving, family, and love. Thank you for sharing the miracle of calling.”


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