- Faith & Family
What is a healthy Black family?
According to Dr. R.B. Holmes, Jr., it is “a family that stays positive in the midst of challenges and crisis and a family that never gives up regardless of struggles and setbacks.”
And to Holmes, the founder and president of the National Save the Family Now Movement, Inc., such families are in short supply.
To help increase their numbers and strengthen already healthy families, the national movement is hosting a “Celebration of Marriage/Family conference” in Eatonville, Nov. 17th-19th. The conference will be held in conjunction with the NNPA Region Two Conference.
Since the Save the Family Now Movement, Inc. was founded, the organization has held a several rallies and marches across the country.
“The whole idea is that we will go around the country and have a celebration of family and marriages,” Holmes said.
Eatonville seemed an ideal place for the organization’s next event. With approximately 2,800 residents, the 124-year-old town is the oldest incorporated Black municipality in the country.
“Our forefathers built this community with family in mind, so I thought that [the Celebration of Marriage/Family conference] was a great fit for the community,” said Eatonville’s Mayor Bruce Mount.
Holmes has reached out to several local ministers, politicians and to the students and faculty of Florida’s Historical Black Colleges and University and invited them to attend. The conference will include seminars on family education, HIV/AIDS awareness, networking and strategies on increasing the revenue for Black press outlets. But beyond such educational sessions, the conference also will feature special family and empowerment luncheons and dinners honoring long-time married couples and community leaders. The National Save the Family Now Movement, Inc. will also honor presidents of Florida’s HCBUs and providing scholarships for students at Bethune-Cookman University, Florida A&M University, Florida Memorial University and Edward Waters College.
Finally, the three-day conference will culminate in a parade through the 1.5-mile municipality on Saturday, Nov. 19th, where local faith leaders are invited to speak.
The inclusion and recognition of members of the press, HBCUs and churches are no accident.
“These institutions have been instrumental in the survival of Black families and we just believe that you cannot strengthen the family if we do not aid [them],” he explained.
According to Holmes, HBCUs provide education and empowerment, churches have been the cornerstone of Blacks’ morality and spirituality and the Black press has been able to show the positive side of Black life.
For more information, visit www.savethefamilynow.com.
By Kaila Heard