All Things Melanin
Stay Dadicated #GoGetter Spotlight
Updated: Dec 8, 2019
The influence that both of our fathers have had on us growing up and to this day, have influenced and shaped us into who we are today. However, fathers, particularly black fathers, aren't always given the credit they should be given. Not all fathers are missing in action, not active, or dead beats - as they are often depicted. There are amazing fathers out there who are active, present, nurturing, and loving every step of the way. However, there really is no way of seeing this type of positivity, until now.
Zach and Justin are both amazing fathers raising their beautiful daughters. As they navigate fatherhood, they didn't feel like their was an outlet for young fathers to go to for support. So instead of waiting or complaining, they created their podcast Stay Dadicated where they discuss the ups and downs of fatherhood from minor events to deep and heavy things.
To see two young men of color create a platform for young fathers to support, give knowledge, ask questions and have honest, candid conversations from someone who gets it, is the epitome of a #gogetter. We chatted with Justin and Zach about their journey to creating Stay Dadicated, how it all started, and what's to come.
What’s your definition of a Go-Getter?
ZACH: Without a doubt, we are the epitome of a Go-Getter; someone who is adaptable to change and intrinsically motivated to see the overall outcome of their vision. They invest their time and efforts to make their visionary dreams come true regardless of their hardship.
KENT JUSTIN: I am the definition of a Go-Getter. Which is someone who is determined to be successful no matter the adversity they come across.
Describe Stay Dadicated and what it has meant to establish a platform that is from a father’s point of view?
ZACH: Stay Dadicated is a social platform to explore our hardship of fatherhood while developing ourselves as fathers.
KENT JUSTIN: Stay Dadicated came from a simple conversation about the different
experiences that we (Zach and Myself) go through as singles fathers. Realizing that there currently wasn’t a medium that openly discussed the stories that connected with us, we decided to become the change we wanted to see.
What is your ultimate goal for Stay Dadicated?
ZACH: To bring awareness of the true reality of our fatherhood and openly discuss social issues related to fatherhood within a judge-free environment for everybody.
KENT JUSTIN: The ultimate goal for Stay Dadicated is to become an open platform for all to be able to get an insight into the reality of single black fathers, all while dispelling the ideal that black fathers are always missing or not involved.
What type of topics can people expect from your platform Stay Dadicated?
ZACH: Real life experiences as fathers. Everything from New Father Anxiety to planning birthdays to How to survive the fatherhood. We want to be honest and relatable to our audience with any topic we discuss.
KENT JUSTIN: I think our topics are limitless. We are a platform that wants to serve its
audience, so our topics can be anything from heavy hitters like Child Support or Child Custody to off the whim topics such as Father’s Day. We try to incorporate the daily adventures that we face into our topics to always keep them relative.
You both are successful men of color who are thriving in your respective careers. What inspired y’all to establish your podcast?
ZACH: We wanted to establish a platform for all fathers who are having difficulty where we can talk about certain things openly. I was facing adversity as a new father, and felt the need to express my insecurities openly. There was no other platform that was doing that for me. In my own experience it was therapeutic to me to talk about it.
KENT JUSTIN: For me it was a leap of faith. I was naturally hesitant at first because I had not felt a need that someone wanted to inquire about the life of a single black father. It was always something to celebrate from afar, but never get too close too. That was an insecurity that I had to deal with, so after lots of prayer, I agreed to embark on this journey.
What was your “aha” moment that one or both of you had that led to the launch of Stay Dadicated? How did that conversation go?
ZACH: To be honest, it was our anxiety, doubts and insecurities about being a father that led us to launch Stay Dadicated. As a teacher, I have noticed a large number of fathers rarely involved in their child’s education, especially people of color. They would rarely attend their extracurricular activities, award ceremonies, or their graduation; which resulted in kids continuing the generational cycle of being absent parents in the future. This is how fathers of color were portrayed and I was fed up of seeing us being stereotyped as neglectful fathers. I asked Justin to help me change the perspective of fatherhood by starting a talk show. When I asked, he was skeptical at first, but eventually agreed to it. The rest is history.
KENT JUSTIN: I think I didn’t hit an “aha” moment till we truly came up with the name
and vision. That’s when it became real that we were creating a platform in this moment in time that could possibly go beyond our own legacies and personal brands. It became fulfilling toward my purpose to serve and to help the discouraged. After that moment, there was no turning back. Do everything in excellence or not at all.
What has been one of the most rewarding moments y’all have encountered so far in launching your brand?
ZACH: Meeting other parents who face the same issues as us and openly speaking about our parental experiences while challenging our ideas. I honestly love feedback and suggested topics for future episodes from our audience especially if it’s beneficial for anybody experiencing the same thing. Furthermore, we love having volunteers to help on and off set.
KENT JUSTIN: The support while promoting has been surreal and rewarding. Just
getting things off the ground and having conversations with our peers and communities really brought a lot of rewarding dialogues about how important it was for us to create a resource like Stay Dadicated. Also the gifts. Ha. The gifts and true support that have come from the belief that people want us to succeed is always humbling and rewarding.
What has been a challenge that you’ve had to overcome?
ZACH: Our number 1 challenge that we will overcome is communication. There were
multiple occasions of miscommunication, however, we are working on it. Finding a place to record with good acoustics and no outside interference. Touch and Go flow as a team during recording, such as, understanding social cues/runner shows outlines and rebuttal against each other.
KENT JUSTIN: With any joint entity or collaboration, communication and personalities
are always a challenge. Finding your right mix can be a struggle at times, but having a friendship as a base and vision that you both believe in helps keep everything in line. We may disagree on things or have bad days, but I believe that just enhances the value of the brand. Every Father is different and goes through different experiences daily, so let's talk about it.
How has fatherhood impacted you/and or changed you?
ZACH: It has challenged me to think fast and make better life decisions. It certainly has been an eye opening experience; changing my way of thinking and being cognizant of my surroundings. From this, it has encouraged me to ask ‘How do you depict a “perfect ”father? How does he carry himself at home or in public?’ Whatever that answer is, how do we get there? We understand that we are not perfect fathers and don’t have all the answers to everything, but it’s good to know where we want to be as fathers.
KENT JUSTIN: Fatherhood has made me almost entirely into who I am today. I’ve been a Father longer than I feel like I’ve been an adult, and I don’t take that lightly. Fatherhood on top of my family upbringing have made me overall more responsible and aware of the level of influence we bare as African American men in today’s society. It’s a tough road, but it's always worth it.
What’s your favorite thing about being a dad?
ZACH: Having somebody who loves you back unconditionally all while being challenged to be a better person by exercising patience. Furthermore, witnessing our children overcome life obstacles and seeing them overwhelmed with joy. With that, celebrating the small things in life and worrying less about unnecessary drama.
KENT JUSTIN: Legacy. It might seem vain to some, but I truly do favor that reality that
there is a little human who carries my genes and wants nothing else but to know more about me and follow my steps. As a man at the end of the day you have your Name and your Word, and I’m passing down both as a Dad.
What would you all like for people to take away from listening to your podcast Stay Dadicated?
ZACH: A better understanding of what single fathers go through everyday from two
different perspectives, from two educated multicultural middle class fathers. It’s not easy, but you don’t have to do it alone. We hope our listeners will take our experience and use it to their advantage. Ultimately, we want to build leaders within our community; openly socializing and advocating fatherhood amongst our brethren without being judged, criticized, or ridiculed in our society.
KENT JUSTIN: As Pharrell would say, “You Can Do It Too Young Love”. That’s the
overarching theme for me. We created a free space to talk about our successes and failures for our journeys to encourage every Father young, old or new. Specifically for our Black community, to understand that you have to be the change you want to see. We know how we’re depicted or discussed around the world, but it doesn’t mean it’s true or that it has to be accepted. Everyday I wake up and defy people’s expectations and destroy their misconceptions. Stay Dadicated is my paternal bravado with unlimited reach.
You both work full time jobs, have other obligations, and now, a podcast, what does balance look like for you?
ZACH: We set up a convenient time to meet up for both Justin and I, which is Thursday and Sundays. In the meantime, we come up with Run of Shows, Intro Topics, and Plan out during meetings and disperse duties amongst each other throughout the week. Communication is key.
KENT JUSTIN: Balance..What is that? I rely on the Lord to order my steps and my youth
to push me through. I’m known to do way too much, but I still get it all done. Wouldn’t
consider it balanced, but if something is important to you - you make sure it gets done.
How can people get in touch with you?
www.StayDadicated.com is our official website. We’re also on all social networks:
Instagram, Twitter, Facebook @StayDadicated.
Anything else you want us to include in our article or be aware of?
We would like to thank our Heavenly Father for giving us this opportunity and blessing us with beautiful children. Without Him, nothing is possible. We would like to thank everybody who supports us including our own Fathers. Without y’all, this would have not been possible.
Be sure to check out the Stay Dadicated Podcast, click here to listen.