Estelle For Humanity founder Denise Estelle holds press conference on annual event.
On June 8, Denise Estelle, founder of the organization, Estelle For Humanity (EOH), held a press conference for the 16th Annual Honor Thy Father (HTF) Awards Dinner. Together, with guest speakers and supporters, Estelle spoke with press in front of Copy City on Crenshaw Blvd. about the annual event.
“We’re here to set a new narrative for men in our African American community,” said Estelle. “So often [our] men are depicted as lazy, no good, [having] no interests in their families, communities—so we want to set a new standard.”
Going on its 16th year, the HTF Awards continues to honor men that are making a difference in the lives of their family and their community. On Father’ Day, June 18, EOH will be presenting recognition to 5 worthy recipients.
Coming from a single parent household, Estelle knows what it is like to grow up without a male presence in her life. She has channeled that experience into a powerful day of recognition in acknowledging, empowering, and uplifting black fathers.
“Our goal is to make a big deal out of Father’s Day,” said Estelle. “We want men to rise to the occasion.”
Guest speakers, Masonga ‘Mbele Andre Parvenu and Charles Opong, also attended the press conference to speak about the importance of HTF and being a part of the event. Parvenu is a geographer, urban planner, community outreach specialist, and a former Zoning Analyst with the Los Angeles Department of City Planning. Opong is a youth advocate and youth pastor, who is currently a graduate student at Pepperdine University West Los Angeles.
“I’ve been a part of this organization since its inception,” said Parvenu. “We want to counter some of the negative implications of what the Black man is about in our community.”
Parvenu continued, “Black males are as responsible as anyone else in this country despite the circumstances that we have to bear and Honor Thy Father addresses that—it shines a light on those of us that are doing good.”
“Looking at the initiative of fathers and sons is very important and pertinent to this generation today,” said Opong. “You don’t see a lot of fathers in the household, that is one of the preceding epidemics that is ongoing and so I’ve been called as an advocate and an agent of change.”
The Father’s Day event will be held at the newly-renovated Proud Bird Restaurant, 11022 Aviation Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90045. The Red Carpet starts at 2:30 p.m., and the Dinner program starts at 3:00 p.m.
“It’s a celebration of fathers, husbands and mentors, it’s a celebration of family and it’s a celebration of life,” said Estelle.
Estelle For Humanity is an organization which aims to empower the community by providing events that stimulate the mind, empower the soul and feed the spirit.
Brian W. Carter contributed to this article.