1 Month Later, Since I Became A Father Again


On this day, 4 weeks ago, I became a father for the second time. Today, September 14, 2018 marks 1 month since my son was born. Derek Kingston-Carter Bernard was born August 14, 2018 11:18pm, 6 lbs 9 oz.

During my wife’s pregnancy, I had to really wrap my head around having a second child. I wasn’t over excited, because in my mind, I was a father already. I’ve already been through this. So, to me it wasn’t a big deal.

Growing up I never considered making my son a Jr. I didn’t want my children to have even my last name because of its origin. My father’s last name is Livingston and my mother’s last name is Wilson. So you’re probably wondering how I ended up with the last name “Bernard”? It’s actually an interesting story:

When my mother was pregnant with me in prison, she carried the alias surname Bernard. So naturally when she gave birth to me during this time the name Bernard was given to me instead of Wilson or Livingston.

I’ve always felt like a bit of an outsider with a different last name. The Livingston and the Wilson name had strong ties to my childhood and my community. Growing up in Brownsville, if you were a Livingtson, then you were automatically somebody.

So naturally, the Bernard name felt like a curse to me. Especially under the circumstances that of how I became one. However, once my son was born everything changed for me.

I felt more excited about becoming a father again. I took pride in my name. I took pride in God blessing me with a beautiful wife, and an amazing daughter who carried the name so well. And now a little man who would continue our family’s legacy all through what I chose to create through the Bernard name.

The Bernard name is now a blessing and a new life line. God has blessed me with a second child. He is my Jr. and my namesake. He is Derek Bernard aka DJ. He is Kingston meaning from the estate of a king!

If there is one thing that the Bible has taught me, it is the importance of names and bloodline. Whenever God created a new character in someone like Abram or Peter or Saul etc. He chose to change their name. I am grateful that God saw fit to create in me a man born from such trauma a new name.

The name Bernard will represent overcoming the odds, rising above poverty and being an inspiration to others!!!!!

Click the link below to read more about the founder, Derek Bernard

Who Is Derek Bernard?



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Remember, it takes a village!

– Derek Bernard

What Was Your Father Like Pt. 2


“What Was Your Father Like” Part II

Over the years I’ve observed a lot of parents try to fill voids in their childhood by recreating with their children what they wish their parent’s had created with themselves.

A lot of times parents attempt to help their children by giving them lots of material things, because they felt they missed out, by not having it themselves. This can create a reverse effect of what parents are actually hoping to achieve.

For instance, My father didn’t buy me the sneakers I wanted growing up. Therefore I will buy my children all the latest sneakers to hit market.

There are many ways to evaluate and reflect on this circumstance that leads to a healthy impact on your parenting skills.

Everyone has a different experience with their father. Here is a few things we can reflect on:

  • A. What your father did or didn’t do.
  • B. How your father made you feel.
  • C. How can you recreate that experience in your parenting relationships with your children?
  • D. How you can reverse a negative effect, so your children have a positive and healthy relationship with you.


Feel free to like and comment below. We would like to hear your thoughts and views on “How was your father”

Click the link to read “How was your father” pt.1

4 Reasons and Other Factors Why Dads Are Important (Too)!!!!!

Moms are nurtures and create the foundation, with love and care. They are also the backbone of the family. However, DADS are important too, and here is a few fun facts

1 – New fathers involvement and caring for their child in the first days of child’s life can have a positive long-term benefits

2 – Higher quality father-daughter relationships is a positive factor against engagement in risky sexual behaviors.

3 – Fathers are critical to the emotional welfare of their children; they are caretakers and disciplinarians.


4 – An active father provides an important foundation for his children and their ongoing security, stability and development


Here are more factors about fatherhood: 

Source: https://www.fatherhood.org/fatherhood-data-statistics

Mothers are no more important than fathers in a child’s life. There are numerous of reasons for men to be absent in their children lives, however, a father’s presence can have a major positive impact on his children. We are taking road to encourage men to be involved more in their children lives.

We would like to hear more reasons from why fathers are important too. Feel free to hit the like button and comment below….


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Remember, it takes a village!

– Derek Bernard


What Was Your Father Like? (part 1 of 2)

Everyone can attest to their own experiences with their father. No two relationships are alike.

How great of an impact would you say your father-son relationship has made on your views of fatherhood?

If I had to describe my father, I would say that he is a pretty cool guy. Many like his style, he’s sharp, articulate, well dressed, and smooth and very likable.

He is definitely the type of guy women marvel, and love to bring home to meet their parents. I could even go as far to say that in the eyes of a log of women, he’d make the perfect guy to marry, have children with and live happily ever after.

Unfortunately the potential that I just described above never fully meet my father. He became lost in the street life of drugs and crime. My father’s struggle has robbed him of living his fullest life that I know and believe he is well capable of.

I can recall my father in and out of prison for most of my life. All the prison stints have robbed me and my father of many father/son moments. I emphasize with my dad, I know that he has a desire to be a better parent, however, the bad decisions he’s made has continually forced us apart.

I can recall countless times being asked growing “when is your father coming home from jail”. Still to this day I am often asked if my father is home yet. It has become the normal conversation revolving around my dad.

We all have different experiences that shake our relationships with our fathers.
I think that as children we have these innocent perceptions of our fathers as supermen, until that innocence encounters some sort of disappointment.

We can’t blame children for this, after all fathers are the first men children encounter. Fathers set the example of what a man is supposed to be.

I honestly believe this has a huge effect on how we look at parenting in life as well.

We choose to see the best qualities in our fathers and we choose to discard the not so good ones. Feel free to leave a comment below and share your relationship with your father and how great of an impact would you say your father-son relationship has made on your views of fatherhood?

Click the link to read  “How was your father” pt. 2


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Remember, it takes a village!

– Derek Bernard


As A Father, What Are Your Immediate Needs?

Children are born into this world, they do not request to be here!

We as parents make decisions that allow for children to enter into this world. It is our responsibility to constantly express love and acceptance to our children as their caretakers and guardians.

It’s important that we show our children through our words, and actions that they are wanted. It’s the little things such as hugs and kisses that make a huge difference. Affection is vital for the development of a child, and so is discipline that comes with understanding.

“My immediate need as a father is to constantly be present in the lives of my children. Being involved physically, financially, spiritually, and of course emotionally.”

-Derek Bernard

We asked our brothers from all over, what they believed their immediate needs were as fathers. 

Here is what they said:

You can check out more on our Instagram page @a.villiage.of.fathers

We would like you to comment and tell us  “what are your immediate needs as a father”

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Remember, it takes a village!

– Derek Bernard


Who Is Derek Bernard?

I’m a 35 year man of god, married and father of an eight year old girl, and a son that’s due August 12, 2018. However, he can enter the world any day.

When I was in my mother’s womb, she was in Rikers Island prison facility and my father was in another facility for the crimes they committed. My mother was removed from the prison and transferred to  Elmhurst Hospital to give birth to me on February 21, 1983 and with neither parent to take care me, my father told his parents and they came to the rescue and picked me up from the hospital.

Growing up in Brownsville, one of Brooklyn’s most oppressed neighborhoods filled with drugs, alcohol, addictions, poverty, violence and oppression, I could have easily followed in the foot steps of most of the men that raised me.

God had other plans…

Given a front role seat to all of the hurt and oppression, I made it a goal to stray clear of all of the things I saw bring my family down. I saw first hand the effects of alcohol, drug addiction, absent love ones in and out of the prison system, and violence right in my own home. I saw how these things tore a large tight-knit family apart….

I began to realize that Brownsville was oppressed, because the families within the Ville were oppressed. Then it dawned on me that the community didn’t begin in the streets, but rather in the home….

As long as the home was defiled then the community was defiled.

To create cohesiveness you must create unity, and unity demands a leader. It would take a leader to rise up in the home to create leaders to rise up in the village. Thus as God has created the Man to lead his Family, he has also created the Fathers to lead the Village.

Welcome to AVOF!

A Village Of Fathers!

#avof  #avillageoffathers #avofnation #fatherhood #fathersarealive

Calling all fathers to join our village and share your experiences. Want to share your story comment below. looking forward to hearing from you


Please subscribe to our Email List, comment below, like, and share!

Remember, it takes a village!

– Derek Bernard

The Journey Begins






A Village of Fathers “AVOF” is an organization/network focused on bringing together minority fathers in poverty-stricken communities. It is also a movement to celebrate and cultivate value in raising strong families and generating legacies through education and wealth. Our ultimate goal is to pull our communities together again.


-Derek Bernard, Founder