Initiative aims to bail black father's out of jail for Father's Day

By Irisha Jones - Reporter

ROANOKE, Va. - Reuniting families is important to Ryan Bell. His program Black Father Family is helping fathers get out of jail in time for Father's Day. 

"Obviously, you need to be a black father, you have to commit a nonviolent offense and you're a total bill amount can't exceed $500," said Bell. founder and chief dad officer. 

What Bell is doing is also happening across the country. Fathers in Georgia were reunited with their families for Easter thanks to an Atlanta megachurch and rapper T.I. 

"I saw Jay-Z when he bailed out dads in New York last year. And I was really inspired by a local group here, bail mothers out for Mother's Day last year," Bell said. 

Steven Sparrow is the father of two boys. He said it's important for men to be in their children lives. 

"Some my own experiences of not having a father and knowing that I would have loved for an initiative like this to be able to help bail my father out or bail another father out that may even potentially help me to be better than I was the day before," said Sparrow. 

Bell wants to change the negative stereotypes of black fatherhood and mass incarceration.

"We have black families and black children who are disproportionately affected by mass incarceration. So that's why we are targeting black fathers to return them home to their family and hopefully begin to build resiliency amongst our children," said Sparrow. 

He said everyone deserves a second chance, which is what the Father's Day bail-out is all about.

"Full disclosure, I was incarcerated at one point and find myself in a situation as a father where I did something that I wasn't necessarily the most proud of," Bell said. 

Bell is partnering EX-OUT for this effort and hopes the bail-out can continue in the future. Contact them at THEBLACKFATHERFAMILY@GMAIL.COM

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