Meet: Troy Hughey, AVOF’s Editor & Law/Political Correspondent

Troy Hughey Photo

Troy K. Hughey is employed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and is currently the Editor for A Village of Fathers Blog and will eventually turn into a not for profit organization seeking to encourage fatherhood in urban communities. Mr. Hughey has worked in several fields over a fifteen year span. Mr. Hughey has worked in such areas as Animal Care, Veterinary, Sales and Marketing, Security, and more recently Customer Service. Being in several different areas has given Troy an enormous amount of experience working with different people with many views on life. Mr. Hughey feels that his employment experience will contribute to his live long dream of being a criminal defense lawyer representing people who cannot speak or represent themselves.

Troy Hughey earned his High School from Bayside High School. Mr. Hughey attended LaGuardia Community College where completed an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts and Science in December of 2011. Mr. Hughey then attended John Jay College of Criminal Justice where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice in August of 2013. A couple of years later, Mr. Hughey studied the functionality of state and federal court systems and investigation of corruption, fraud, and abuse in New York State system which earned him a Masters of Public Administration at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in August of 2017. Currently, Troy is an undergraduate student at New York City College of Technology seeking to earn a Bachelors of Science in Legal Studies. Mr. Hughey is a part of several student member organizations such as the New York City Bar Association, New York City Paralegal Association, the American Society for Public Administration, and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice Alumni Association.

Currently, Troy Hughey is working towards going to law school in the next couple of years. Mr. Hughey is also looking to become a Notary Public and begin a side career as a Marriage Officiate. Troy Hughey currently resides in Inwood, New York.  

 

 

Advertisements

The State of Abortion Laws In Today’s America (2019)

In recent weeks the topic of abortion has made headlines around the nation. The Roe V. Wade doctrine states the following, the Supreme Court ruled that women had a constitutional right to abortion, and that this right was based on an implied right to personal privacy emanating from the Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments. Specifically, several states are seeking to create and uphold anti-abortion laws while challenging the Roe decision. These states are Alabama, Arkansas, North Dakota, Georgia, Mississippi and Ohio just to name a few.

I looked at Alabama’s recently signed anti-abortion law and was absolutely shocked that Alabama’s law makers would agree to such an egregious doctrine. Here is some of the language from Alabama’s Anti-Abortion law; First, Alabama has makes abortion illegal giving this law felony status. Secondly, Alabama justifies its law with the statement from the bill itself; “Abortion advocates speak to women’s rights, but they ignore the unborn child, while medical science has increasingly recognized the humanity of the unborn child” (Gore, 2019). Medical science also refutes this statement. This portion of the law only recognizes one side of the argument. The argument is overruled because of the Roe V. Wade doctrine.

Third, “As early as six weeks after fertilization, fetal photography shows the clear development of a human being. The Alabama Department of Public Health publication “Did You Know”, demonstrates through actual pictures at two-week intervals throughout the entire pregnancy the clear images of a developing human being” (Gore, 2019) . Again, this claim is one sided. I could understand if Alabama cited several resources outside of the state, but the Alabama Department of Public Health publication cannot be a standalone reason to criminalize abortion. Most Planned Parenthood facilities are in urban neighborhoods; this bill targets minorities and seeks to criminalize them harshly. Lastly and frankly this comparison argument is a bit absurd.

Alabama’s law makers compare abortions to the Holocaust and states that abortions are the equal to the Nazi’s attempted to exterminate 6 million Jewish people (Gore, 2019). I believe this law cannot stand and must be challenge on its merits. Several states across the nation are trying to follow the same suit. This cannot be allowed. Both men and women have a huge stake in this matter. No one has the right to tell a woman what to do with her body!

Alabama law makers claim that their bill “protects” women and unborn children, but this is not true. This bill criminalizes innocent women for make decisions they are entitled to make. This bill fails to take into consideration how an abortion has an effect on the woman getting the abortion, that woman’s family and friends. The decision to get an abortion is not an easy one. Many factors go into it. This bill fails to understand the human element of abortion. As advocates against anti-abortion laws, we must continue to voice our displeasure to ensure that innocent are not place in prison for making sounded life choices.

I feel that in order to reduce the number of abortions in our communities, men must step up and take care of their children. We must also some understanding and empathy. Understanding when it concerns the possibility of being a parent whether in the household or not. Empathy when it comes to the decision of abortion and how a woman feels when making the decision and acting on it. I can image the situation being difficult emotionally, physically, and mentally.

As men, we must be there for our women during times like these. As men, we must ask ourselves how it feels to know that your unborn child will not get the chance experience life and ask ourselves if we contribute to that fact by our unwillingness to be men and parents. I believe that the best anti-abortion remedy is men willing to be dads, not just fathers. Any boy can be a father but it takes a man to be a dad.

 

Written by Troy K. Hughey- Political, Legal correspondent/Editor for AVOF

Thank you for your attention to this very important matter in our community and as always, it takes a Village!! Personally want to thank our founder Derek Bernard for granting me the opportunity to write this article.

 

References

Gore, L. (2019, May 15). Alabama abortion law passes: Read the bill. Retrieved from al.com:

https://www.al.com/news/2019/05/alabama-abortion-ban-passes-read-the-bill.html

Guardian, T. (2019, March 14). Revealed: nine more US states considering hardline anti-

abortion bills. Retrieved from The Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/14/six-week-abortion-bans-faith2action

The State of Dad’s Mental Health

The State of Dad’s Mental Health

Historically, when we hear the term “Post-Natal Depression”, our children’s mothers will come to mind. On the contrary, “Postnatal depression is a type of depression that many parents experience after having a baby. It’s a common problem, affecting more than 1 in every 10 women within a year of giving birth. It can also affect fathers in the same matter” (NHS, 2018). When a woman gives birth to a child, her mind and body goes through many changes such as, physical, mental and psychological changes which are mostly associated with postpartum depression. Postpartum Depression is defined as follows; “postpartum depression is moderate to severe depression in a woman after she has given birth. It may occur soon after delivery or up to a year later. Most of the time, it occurs within the first 3 months after delivery” (Ryan James Kimmel, 2018). Treatment for both parents are a major priority. Both mother and father need a support system to help them through these trying obstacles during the beginning stages of parenthood.

When a child enters the world, it can be challenging for both parents to maintain their sanity.  Fathers are susceptible to the same depressions and challenges that mothers face. However, the father’s struggles because our society historically has frown upon a man being too sensitive or a man assimilated nature to hide his feelings and emotions. In Society, a man is taught to be strong, to be the protectors; and showing emotions can be considered a sign of weakness. On the other hand, women are more likely to express her feelings and emotions. These trivial ideas need to change because the practice of unproven idealism can be devastating to our community particularly in our homes.

                                     How Depression Affects Fathers

According to a 2010 data from 1993 to 2007, approximately 4% of fathers experience depression in the first year after their child’s birth. By a child’s 12th birthday, about 1 out of 5 (21%) fathers will have experienced one or more episodes of depression. Younger fathers, those with a history of depression, and those experiencing difficulties affording items such as a home or car were most likely to experience depression (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20819960).

       What are the signs that mom or dad is dealing postpartum or post-natal depression?

  • Feeling Helpless or Discouraged
  • Feeling Anxious or Distressed
  • Feeling Tired or Burned Out
  • Having Sleep Problems
  • Lack of Interest In Sleep
  • Lack of Confidence
  • Feeling Irritable or Annoyed/Easily Offended
  • Feeling detached or unconnected to others

 

Dear Fathers,

There are many dads that feel the same way as you are feeling right now – You are not alone! Be open and honest about your feelings and do not hide behind the famous sayings “I’m fine” or “I’m okay”. It is important that you as a man do not let your pride make you feel ashamed about you feelings – We are all human! Talk to someone you trust and avoid holding in feelings.

It is safe to say that our children are the most important human beings in our world. Keep in mind, your children need you in their lives; taking care of our children is a necessity, quality time is most important factor. The way to be the best father you can be is taking care of yourself, eat healthy and exercising daily. If we take care of ourselves, the mother and children will follow suit.

As A Village (Community), What Can We Do To Help

  • Raise awareness:

Let fathers know that they are not alone. Remember, it takes a village.

  • Make sure to ask the dads, are they doing OK (Dads be Honest!):

Let’s not assume dad is doing well because he is saying otherwise.

If a close friend or family member has children, ensure that they are aware that dad may need help!

  • Join a community group for Fathers and children:

At www.AVILLAGEOFFATHERS.com , we strive to create conversation for fathers by fathers to help invoke better men and families.

 

What A.V.O.F. has to offer:

  • BLOG
  • Weekly Father 2 Father Instagram Live Chat)
  • Events & workshops

 

Thank you and as always: It takes a Village!

Article was written by Derek Bernard (founder, AVOF) and Troy Hughey (AVOF Editor and Law & Political

Edited by Troy Hughey (AVOF Editor and Law and Law & Political Correspondent)

 

The Delicacies of The Blended Family

The Delicacies of the Blended Family

Our feature article this week will focus on the Blended Family. A Blended Family, according to dictionary.com is “a family composed of a couple and their children from previous marriages” (Dictionary.com, 2019). In situations like this, the father is no longer with the mother and the children are forced to move on with your wife. For the first time as a father, you’re living apart from your children and must learn to deal with the challenges of co-parenting.

As previously mentioned, the Blended Family (also called a step family) is a family unit where one or both parents have children from a previous relationship, but they combined to a family. For example, the most popular blended family is from the 1970’s hit T.V. show “The Brady Bunch”, where the series revolves around a family that combined six children:

blended family pew research center

According to the Pew Research Center “Many, but not all, remarriages involve blended families. According to data from the National Center for Health Statistics, six in ten (63%) women in remarriages are in blended families, and about half of these remarriages involve stepchildren who live with the remarried couple” (Kim Parker, 2015). Furthermore, “Hispanic, black and white children are equally likely to live in a blended family. About 17% of Hispanic and black kids are living with a stepparent, stepsibling or a half sibling, as are 15% of white kids. Among Asian children, however, 7% a far smaller share are living in blended families. This low share is consistent with the finding that Asian children are more likely than others to be living with two married parents, both of whom are in their first marriage” (Kim Parker, 2015).

 

The Delicacies of Structuring a Blended Family

Stepfamily Success:

Every family is unique and so is its success rate. However, studies suggest about 60 to 70 percent of marriages involving children from a previous marriage fail. This is about twice the percentage of overall marriages ending in divorce, which sits around 30 or 35 percent (Meleen, 2018). Another key to stepfamily success is part of what helps some stepfamilies be more successful rests on the children’s perceived bonds with both parents inside the home. Adolescents who believe they have strong bonds with both their own mother and their stepfather in this type of family feel a greater sense of family belonging than kids who don’t view both of these household relationships in a positive light (Meleen, 2018).

  • The role of the Step-parent: Should he or she be a disciplinarian or supporter of biological parent).
    • Tip: The two parents must acknowledge the challenge!
    • Note: the older the child gets, the harder for a step-parent to play disciplinarian (they may saying the deadly sin that no step-parent wants to hear “You are not Mother” or “You are not Father”
  • Conflict of discipline between parent & step parent. The parents should not hash out problems in front of the children. This can lead the children using that as an opportunity to divide and conquer.
    • Tip: Always speak to the other parent with respect
    • Tip: The parents must have a united front
  • Supporting children during their transition. Living between two household can tough. The transition days can tough. The children may feel resentment towards the step-parent. They feel lost in the new family structure.
    • Tip: Allow the children time to adjust to new setting

 

  • Building individual relationships are important. The step-parent should set aside with the step children. This is a chance to find common interest and create a bond with each other. This can lead to a strong foundation for a strong and loving relationship a step parent and stepchild.
    • Tip: Find activities that unify the step parent and step children can enjoy together with the rest of the family

 

A final thought from Derek Bernard:

There are many challenges that blended families face in today’s world. It takes times to blend everything together to make all the ingredients work. I can speak from my experience being part of a blended family. I have two children, one of which is from a previous relationship. In the beginning of our new family, we had our ups and downs, things were not all smooth in the beginning but with time our family is getting better. Every day is new day and new challenges await for our blended family. We will meet these challenges with great success and I wish all blended families success!

Please Note:

Since this topic is very important to many families, we will cover more articles on this very topic.

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

Remember, it takes a village!

– Derek Bernard

 

Article was written by Derek Bernard (founder, AVOF) and Troy Hughey (AVOF Editor and Law & Political

Edited by Troy Hughey (AVOF Editor and Law and Law & Political Correspondent)

 

References

Dictionary.com. (2019). Blended Family. Retrieved from Dictionary.com: https://www.dictionary.com/browse/blended-family

Kim Parker, M. R. (2015, December 17). http://www.pewresearch.org. Retrieved from Parenting in America: Outlook, worries, aspirations are strongly linked to financial situation: http://www.pewresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2015/12/2015-12-17_parenting-in-america_FINAL.pdf

Meleen, M. (2018). Blended Family Statistics. Retrieved from family.lovetoknow.com: https://family.lovetoknow.com/co-parenting/blended-family-statistics

 

 

 

Incarceration Impacts Multiple Generations: Families Affected By Prison

Today, urban communities across the nation continue to deal with the epidemic of children of color raised in fatherless homes. Many factors contribute to single-parent households but one factor, in particular, has had a damaging effect on families of color, Mass Incarceration, and parenting from prison! The focus of this article will explain why and how urban communities arrived at this period in time and seek to find solutions to this longstanding problem.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, “An estimated 809,800 prisoners of the 1,518,535 held in the nation’s prisons at mid-year 2007 were parents of minor children or children under age 18. Parents held in the nation’s prisons—52% of state inmates and 63% of federal inmates—reported having an estimated 1,706,600 minor children, accounting for 2.3% of the U.S. resident population under age 18” (Lauren E. Glaze, 2008). Additionally, “Of the estimated 74 million children in the U.S. resident population who were under age 18 on July 1, 2007, 2.3% had a parent in prison (table 2). Black children (6.7%) were seven and a half times more likely than white children (0.9%) to have a parent in prison. Hispanic children (2.4%) were more than two and a half times more likely than white children to have a parent in prison” (Lauren E. Glaze, 2008).  Additional information from the Bureau of Justice Statistics can be found in the article: “Parents in Prison and Their minor children

The following statistics were taken from The Sentencing Project: Number of Parents in Prison, 1991-2007 (Project, 2007).

  • The number of children with parents in prison increased by 80% between 1991 and 2007.
  • 1 in 15 black children, 1 in 42 Latino children, and 1 in 111 white children had a parent in prison in 2007.
  • Black children are 7.5 times more likely and Hispanic children are 2.6 times more likely than are white children to have a parent in prison.

Here is a listing of some of the opportunities missed as a direct result of Mass Incarceration (Project, 2007).

  • Compared with the general population, parents in prison are more likely to have problems that may place children at risk for social and emotional problems
  • 9% of parents in prison were homeless in the year before the arrest leading to their current imprisonment.
  • 20% were physically or sexually abused prior to their imprisonment.
  • 38% do not have a high school diploma or GED.
  • 41% have infectious medical problems (including tuberculosis, hepatitis, HIV, and sexually transmitted diseases).2 o 57% have current mental health problems.

How we got to this point

In 1971, former U.S. President Richard Nixon declared a war on drugs. The connection between crime, drugs, and race are very significant. In the 1970s, African-American was arrested 2x times as much as Caucasian Americans. Since the inception of the War of Drugs, African-Americans have been arrested 5x more than their Caucasian counterparts. Ironically, on average, Caucasian people commit more crimes than their African American counterpart. This revelation comes from the unfair drug sentencing laws target African Americans.  In 1986, the Anti-Drug Abuse Act was signed into law by U.S. President Ronald Reagan. “This act mandated a minimum sentence of 5 years without parole for possession of 5 grams of crack cocaine while it mandated the same for possession of 500 grams of powder cocaine. This 100:1 disparity was reduced to 18:1, when crack was increased to 28 grams” (Wikipedia, 2017).

In 1994, former U.S. President Bill Clinton signed the 1994 Crime Bill in the law which, expanded the death penalty, encouraged states to lengthen prison sentences, and eliminated federal funding for inmate education. The Crime Bill also created longer mandatory sentences for nonviolent drug crimes, unjustly targeted to Blacks and Hispanics offenders. African-Americans and Hispanics were more likely than white people to be stopped by police.  In addition, the 1996 Welfare to Work Program, forcing mothers to work for their government benefits. Due to the increase of more fathers in prison and mothers having being forced to work, children were left with no alternative to parenting other than to raise themselves which them to be more susceptible gang activity and street violence. Conclusively, the anti-drug and crime laws created a revolving door between poverty and prison.

I am convinced the “War on Drugs” in 1971, “Anti-Drug Abuse Act” in 1986 and the “1994 Crime Act” all played a symbolic role in the mass incarceration of American citizens; particularly in the African-American and Hispanic communities. Our homes are broken and in desperate need of repair due to the absence of the male figure in our homes. Our mothers are forced to play both roles but every boy and girl needs to be in a two-parent household. I encourage fathers to play a bigger role in their children’s lives in the community surrounding them. The better our fathers become, the better the communities will be.

Article was written by Derek Bernard (founder, AVOF) and Troy Hughey (AVOF Editor and  Law & Political Correspondent)

 

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

Remember, it takes a village!

– Derek Bernard

 

 

References

Lauren E. Glaze, L. M. (2008). Parents in Prison and Their Minor Children. U.S. Department of Justice: Office of Justice Programs.

The project, T. S. (2007). Parents in Prison. Washington D.C.: The Sentencing Project.

Wikipedia. (2017). Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986. Retrieved from wikipedia.org: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Drug_Abuse_Act_of_1986

Listen The AVOF Father 2 Father Conference Calls via YouTube

The topics discussed during this call by the fathers were:

Note: 2 mothers joined our conference call

  • What was you father like? (how did the relationship you have with your father, influence how you view parenthood)
  • Investing in your children’s future (life insurance, banking/investments, college plan and more)
  • Time vs Money (Whats more important to you….more time with children and less money OR more money and less time with you??????????????

Continue reading “Listen The AVOF Father 2 Father Conference Calls via YouTube”

A Father Looking To Become A police officer….Killed by One

By Lindsey Bever and Alex Horton (via WashiongtonPost.com) November 14 at 3:07 PM

Jemel Roberson had dreams of becoming a police officer. He was killed by one.

security-gaurd-shot-and-killed

The 26-year-old was working as an armed security guard Sunday when he tried to intervene during a shooting outside a Chicago-area bar. Officers arrived, and — officials later said — saw a man with a gun. A Midlothian police officer opened fire after ordering the man to drop the weapon.

That man was Roberson. He was trying to subdue one of the suspects, investigators later said, when the officer shot him. Roberson later died at a hospital.

Now — amid an uproar and questions about police training and operations — the city’s police chief said he is mourning the loss of Roberson.

Police chief ‘saddened’ after officer killed armed guard — ‘a brave man who was doing his best’

“What we have learned is Jemel Roberson was a brave man who was doing his best to end an active shooter situation at Manny’s Blue Room,” Midlothian Police Chief Daniel Delaney wrote Tuesday on Facebook. “The Midlothian Police Department is completely saddened by this tragic incident and we give our heartfelt condolences to Jemel, his family and his friends. There are no words that can be expressed as to the sorrow his family is dealing with.”

The department has not released the name of the officer, who has been put on administrative leave.

[‘They basically saw a black man with a gun’: Police kill armed guard while responding to call]

According to a federal lawsuit filed by Beatrice Roberson, her son was working security early Sunday at Manny’s Blue Room Bar in Robbins, Ill., when “some patrons shot the bartender and others were shot.”

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Illinois, says Roberson’s civil rights were violated.

Family attorney Gregory Kulis said Roberson’s mother just wants to know “what happened and why it happened,” adding: “If somebody took your son, you’d want answers, too.”

Investigators said the police response began after reports of gunfire in a dispute at the bar after 4 a.m. on Sunday. Officers from two departments, including Midlothian’s, arrived to find Roberson armed and trying to subdue a suspect in a parking lot.
The officer who killed Roberson “gave the armed subject multiple verbal commands to drop the gun and get on the ground” before he fired, according to a preliminary report by the Illinois State Police that cited witnesses. Officers provided medical aid to multiple victims, including Roberson, the report found.

But the report did not say how long the officer waited before he fired or whether he identified himself as a police officer. Investigators also appear to distance officers from accountability to determine who is a threat, and who is not.

Roberson wore “no markings readily identifying him as a security guard,” the report found.

Witnesses have also said they tried to warn officers that Roberson was trying to help.

“Everybody was screaming out, ‘He was a security guard,’ and they basically saw a black man with a gun and killed him,” Adam Harris told WGN.
Jemel Roberson and his son, Tristan. (Avontea Boose via AP)
Kulis, the family attorney, said Roberson was doing what he was supposed to when he was shot and killed.

“He was a hero. He probably saved lives,” Kulis said.
People close to Roberson said he had hoped to become a police officer. “And lo and behold, a police officer comes in and kills him,” Kulis said. “That’s a tragedy.”

The incident closely tracks with theoretical situations that advocates have suggested would curtail violence — a weapon is drawn, shots are fired, and then a “good guy with a gun” steps in to help before the police can respond.

That ideal doesn’t account for the chaotic unknowns when police arrive and can’t tell a “good guy” with a gun from a “bad guy” with a gun.

The incident may become a touchstone in a persistent debate about how places such as schools, nightclubs and houses of worship should steel themselves against gunmen.

[Two Oklahoma citizens killed an active shooter, and it’s not as simple as it sounds]

That debate has gained urgency during the past year, as President Trump and others have repeatedly said security guards — specifically armed ones — could have prevented the nation’s mass shootings; this year, Trump tweeted his support for the controversial idea of arming teachers.
The Sunday incident has already provoked concerns that black men — even when legally carrying firearms or employed in positions that allows their use — can still become targets for police fire.

jeremal rob

Roberson’s friends said he had talked all his life of becoming a police officer.

“Now you have to question the police and what they’re actually doing,” said Christian Torres, 21. “This is someone who was on their side.”

Roberson had a valid gun owner’s license but did not have a concealed-carry permit, WGN reported. In Minnesota in 2016, Philando Castile was killed by an officer during a traffic stop seconds after he told an officer there was a weapon in the car.

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office and the Robbins Police Department, neither of which responded to requests for comment, are investigating the shooting that first drew the police to the scene, Delaney said.
Illinois State Police will investigate Roberson’s killing by the Midlothian officer.

Roberson is one of at least 840 people who have been shot and killed by police so far in 2018 and one of at least 19 in Illinois, according to a Washington Post database.

At least 181 of those shot and killed by police this year — 22 percent — were black. The U.S. population is about 13 percent black.

[‘We are armed now’: In Kentucky, shootings leave a black church and the white community around it shaken]

More than half of those killed — 459 people, including Roberson — were said to be armed when police killed them.

The oldest of four children, Roberson grew up in Wicker Park, a neighborhood in the North Side of Chicago about 27 miles from Robbins. His family said he was in law school and was a role model for his peers, inspiring young men to become involved with the church.
“He was dedicated to the Wicker community in a real positive way.” said Malik Harris, 20, a cousin of Roberson’s.

The Rev. Marvin Hunter told the Associated Press that Roberson played organ at his church and others in the area. He called him an “upstanding” young man who was working to regain custody of his son and earn money for a new apartment.

Hunter is the great-uncle of Laquan McDonald, a black teenager who was shot and killed by a white Chicago police officer in 2014.

Michael Brice-Saddler, Mark Guarino, Justin Jouvenal and Wesley Lowery contributed to this report.

Click The Link below to read full article on WashingtonPost.Com

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2018/11/14/police-chief-saddened-after-officer-killed-armed-guard-brave-man-who-was-doing-his-best/?utm_term=.ab95042aae57