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Father's Day Pledge asks male figures in the community to commit to ending violence

Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

Councilmember Adam McFadden and other local leaders hosted the 4th annual Father’s Day Pledge to end violence outside Rochester City Hall Saturday afternoon.

The pledge calls on fathers and men in the community to commit to changing the culture of violence in their relationships, homes and communities.

Councilmember McFadden led the ceremony, saying it’s important for men in the community to be conscious of how they act, especially in their homes.

"Violence in my mind is something that’s learned at home first, before it spills out into the community. So if we could teach the proper lessons in the home first, and make sure that we're using appropriate language, appropriate attitudes, and appropriate actions; we should be able to stem the violence that’s happening in our community."

Quentin Walcott is the founder of the Father’s Day Pledge. He said it was inspired by his work with domestic violence and wants to help a generation of younger men.

"To really help transform the way they think about women and girls, and how they think about men actually too. In terms of looking at different types of masculinities and moving away from the toxic and the hyper masculinity to looking at all the other forms that can be much healthier."

Walcott started the pledge in New York City 8 years ago which has now spread to cities nationwide. He said while it is recognized on the weekend of Father's Day, it’s not just about biological fathers.

"Everyone doesn’t have a biological father for many different reasons. Someone passed away, the father is not active in a young person’s life, so we draw on male figures and we want to make sure that we have positive male figures to draw on."

In addition to the pledge, the event honored the life of Andrew Langston, an active member of the Rochester community and founder of WDKX.