The Office of Cong. Danny Davis and father’s right’s attorney Jeffery Leving co-hosted the Illinois Council on Responsible Fatherhood Symposium Saturday at Malcolm X College.

The one-day event included forums, workshops and a resource fair with topics related to such issues as education, employment services, health and legal rights for fathers.

Jeffery Leving, chair of Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s Council on Responsible Fatherhood, said the turnout, estimated in the hundreds, was exceptional.

Leving said some people, however, misunderstand the purpose of the event.

“I did an interview this morning, and the first statement was, ‘I’m glad you’re doing something about these deadbeat dads’ and I said that’s not the purpose of this symposium. Most dads are not deadbeat; most are dead-broke, and we need to empower them and not just focus on putting them in jail for non-payment of support that they can’t afford,” said Leving.

Participants Saturday included Cong. Davis, state Sen. Kimberly Lightford (4th District) and Black Star Project Executive Director Phillip Jackson.

For more information about the Illinois Council on Responsible Fatherhood, visit