Congratulations to Coach Tony Jones who was selected as the 2014 Houston Forward Times (HFT) "Front-Line Father Award" winner. The award was announced on Father’s Day at the ‘Day of Encouragement’ event held by Project FORWARD at MacGregor Park this past Sunday.
The Houston Forward Times (HFT) joined forces with Project FORWARD to promote the event and to honour our 2014 "Front-Line Father" award winner during the program.
The HFT "Front-Line Father" award recognizes men who have made family a priority while balancing their jobs and community involvement, with the hopes of saluting and bringing more awareness to the importance of fatherhood.
Coach Jones was joined by hundreds of Black fathers, along with an equal number of Black women and children, to help celebrate Black fathers and their quest to become better fathers.
The HFT "Front-Line Father" award gift package included a GM sponsored Chevy vehicle (to drive for a week); $100 Gas Card; $50 AutoZone Gift Card; $100 McQueen’s Custom Tailor Shoes & Accessories Gift Card; and a commemorative trophy.
In order to select our HFT "Front-Line Father" award recipient, we asked the community to submit a letter, in one and a half pages or less and with a photo included, and tell us what makes the Father they nominated so special.
Jones, who is the track coach for a Houston-based youth track team called the Northside Striders, was nominated by several individuals who felt that Jones’ impact on the community needed to be acknowledged and appreciated.
In one submission, Desiree Barnett said, "Coach Tony Jones is the epitome of what a great dad and community leader should be. He mentors each child positively and fairly and I have observed him with my own kids, correct bad habits as well as acknowledged good ones. If you are looking for the ideal "Front-Line Father", then Coach Tony Jones is a tough act to follow!"
In another submission, Alma Navarro stated, "I have three kids that run with Tony Jones team, the Northside Striders. He has given great leadership skills to help not only my three, but 80 more kids. I believe Coach Tony has helped our kids not just in the track but also has time to ask them about their personal life and school. He is a wonderful example to our kids of today and our future and I am glad we have found someone to help guide my kids."
Rosalind Kimbrough wrote, "I choose to nominate Mr. Jones because since meeting him, he has always been a great role model for not only his children but also other children in his life as well. For him to be a fireman it exemplifies courage and bravery and I myself admire him a lot for that. I can recall numerous occasions when Mr. Jones has finished up a long hot day with his youth track team at a scheduled track meet and has went straight to work following the meet so that he can make sure he is still providing for his family, while giving back to the children of our community. It is my wish and dream for more men to become fathers like Mr. Tony Jones."
When you have so many outstanding men doing such great work in their personal lives and in the community, it makes the decision a difficult one, but Coach Jones was chosen after the committee reviewed the nominations received that exemplified the purpose of the award.
It was equally as special being able to award Coach Jones the award at the historic ‘Day of Encouragement’ event, where hundreds of Black fathers were empowered.
The impact and importance of fatherhood was celebrated by all in attendance, especially when attendees heard about the "4 E’s" of Child Support. The day concluded with all Black fathers locking arms and making the unified "10 Commandments" of Fatherhood pledge, which was led by community activist Deric Muhammad; Pastor E.A. Deckard, Green House International Church, which challenged all Black men present with their children to become better fathers.
Additional speakers and performers included: Minister Nuri Muhammad of Indianapolis, Indiana; former gang member Arthur "Silky Slim" Reed of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Minister Robert Muhammad; HFT Associate Editor Jeffrey L. Boney; Minister Anthony Valary of The Yolanda Adams Morning Show; hip-hop artist K-Rino; former Houston City Councilman Jarvis Johnson; and many others.
"We organized a ‘Day of Encouragement’ for Black fathers because we believe that Black men who cares for their children should be honoured and those who need to do better should be encouraged to do so," said Deric Muhammad. "This day was organized by Black men for Black men and nobody can encourage Black men like other Black men can."
The ‘Day of Encouragement’ for Black fathers is a component of the Project FORWARD initiative that Muhammad launched, that is focused on empowering the Black community with principles of brotherhood, family, youth mentorship, respect for life, recycling the Black dollar with Black businesses, proper education, solution-oriented activism and fighting for justice.
The HFT staff congratulates Project FORWARD on the success of the ‘Day of Encouragement’ event and concurs with the unanimous selection of Coach Tony Jones by the 2014 "Front-Line Father" award committee.
Happy Father’s Day to our winner Coach Tony Jones and on behalf of the HFT, we wish to see all fathers be acknowledged for the magnificent contributions they make in this world.