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WATCH: How Incarcerated Fathers Play the Hand They’ve Been Dealt

Father’s Day is right around the corner, so we posed the question: How does fatherhood relate to poverty? Joining us on BoldTV to provide insight and answer questions were Reverend Darryl K. Webster and John Burnett, a businessman, author and professor.

Reverend Webster is a pastor at the Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. He has helped thousands of incarcerated men in the last 12 years by conducting bootcamps that provide a place where they can be transparent and build relationships.

“My passion is adding value to fathers, boys and men from all walks of life,” Reverend Webster said. “Most men want to do better, but we don’t set the template or give them that opportunity, so what we try to do is love them first and let them know they’re valuable.”

As a pastor, Reverend Webster uses both biblical and life principles to help these men. He said many of them can’t help the hand they’ve been dealt, but they can play it.

“We kind of challenge them to understand that planning their life is more important than planning their careers and being a father is the best thing that they can ever be,” Reverend Webster said. “Even though they’ve had dysfunctions in their lives and other things going on, they can turn things around.”

In Reverend Webster’s book, “Small Change: Great Impact!” he stated that 40 percent of kids in America go to bed without fathers at home. Before coming to the bootcamp, many of the men have strained relationships with their fathers or children, but seeing them reconnect after the bootcamp is rewarding for Reverend Webster.

“There’s a hole in the soul of America, by the way, because of fatherlessness,” Reverend Webster said.

So how do we help transform communities in poverty? Reverend Webster said in order to see results on the outside, problems from the inside need to be addressed.

John agreed and reflected on the relationship with his own dad who told him, “When you get out into the world, the world is tough. If you can take me, then you can take the world, because I love you, and the world doesn’t.”

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