Franklyn M. Malone, a founder of the "A Man Is Fatherhood Coalition of Northern Virginia," was honored during a farewell luncheon Aug. 2 at the Northern Virginia Urban League offices, 1315 Duke St., Alexandria, following his appointment as a member of the District of Columbia's Management Supervisory Services.
In officially turning over the reins of the coalition to Thomas Collins, who will now serve as its president, Malone told the assembled Board members, "This is not a program, it is a movement. You have to keep this together."
Acknowledging his new role in helping to build stronger families, Malone said, "While I'll be leaving to take a position with the Fenty administration working with the city's youth, I will remain on this Board as an advisor and supporter. My successor is a true fisher of men," Malone said.
"I truly believe in working together. I am not here alone. We are all in this together," said Collins, a realtor with Weichert Realtors, in accepting the leadership role from Malone.
"We need to take a lesson from the women. They don't mind getting together to solve problems. If we follow that example we can do something in this community that needs to be done," Collins said.
"There needs to be a father present in all households. If fathers become true heads of households, children will do better in both school and socially," he said.
"We need to meet with fathers and make sure they bond with their children, their community, and their families. We must take a step forward," Collins said.
In addition to being active in the "A Man Is" coalition, Malone most recently has served as Alexandria Redevelopment & Housing Authority's Ombudsman for Community Safety and Family Outreach. Prior to that he took the lead in establishing and operating ARHA's Family Learning Resource Center encouraging youth to concentrate on educational values.
Several years ago, Malone was named chairman of the Northern Virginia Regional Fatherhood Coalition (NVRFC), a broad-based organization whose mission is to reestablish family values in a assisted housing environments. In Alexandria that fatherhood movement was given the name "A Man Is."
"Our goal is to help fathers at all levels become responsible
members of their families," Malone said at the time of the organization's founding. "One of the most important aspects of a child's life is a positive interaction with a father figure. Dads often hold the key to their children's success."
His dedication to and work on these goals will continue with his new position in D.C. government. He was also honored at a luncheon attended by more than 30 friends and ARHA staff a week earlier, where acting ARHA Executive Director Roy Priest recognized and praised Malone's leadership in his various roles over the years.