About the Amplifying Fatherhood Conference

The inaugural Tennessee Fatherhood Conference took place in Nashville from September 25th to 27th, 2023, marking a historic event in the state's efforts to address fatherhood-related issues. Hosted by Commissioner Clarence H. Carter and TDHS, this statewide conference aimed to raise awareness of the challenges surrounding fatherhood, including family relationships, paternity establishment, child support, healthy co-parenting, and self-sufficiency. With a focus on promoting ongoing initiatives in social services and other programs serving fathers, the event brought together practitioners, researchers, policymakers, and leaders to explore the current state of fatherhood in Tennessee and develop solutions to support families and fathers across the state. Check out the Fatherhood Conference Program Booklet to learn more!

Interested in staying in the know about fatherhood? Please join the TDHS listserv by clicking here.

Conference Archives

Featured Speakers

Featured Keynotes:

Carter, Clarence_ Official Bluebook Portrait

Clarence H. Carter
Commissioner for the
Tennessee Department of Human Services

Cherrell Campbell-Street

Cherrell Campbell-Street
Deputy Commissioner for the 
Tennessee Department of Human Services


Kay Coles James
Former Secretary, Commonwealth of Virginia


Troy M. Smith
Founder & Owner of Mostmoto365

Dr. Warren Farrell Headshot

Dr. Warren Farrell
Author of The Boy Crisis

Dr. Linda Nielsen Headshot

Dr. Linda Nielsen
Professor of Psychology at
Wake Forest University and Author

Dr. Brad Wilcox Headshot

Dr. Bradford Wilcox
Professor of Sociology and Director of
the National Marriage Project at The University of Virginia

Marcus Meneese Headshot

Marcus Meneese
Founder and Executive Director
of Stronger Than My Father

Featured Moderators:

Johnny Shaw Headshot

Rep. Johnny Shaw
Representative of Tennessee (District 80)

Rep. Mark White Headshot

Rep. Mark White
Representative of Tennessee (District 83)

Geneva Ware-Rice Headshot

Geneva Ware-Rice
Executive Director of
His Sparrow Family Center

Dr. Jerry Askew Headshot

Dr. Jerry Askew
Archdeacon of the Episcopal Diocese
of East Tennessee & Former President of Alliance for Better Nonprofits

Featured Panelists:

Seth Chamberlain headshot

Seth Chamberlain
Branch Chief for Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood at Administration for Children and Families

Sharmain Harris Headshot

Sharmain Harris
National Speaker and Trainer on
Father Engagement and Justice Reform

Marcus Meneese Headshot

Marcus Meneese
Founder and Executive Director
of Stronger Than My Father

John DeBerry Headshot

John DeBerry
Senior Advisor to Governor Bill Lee and
Former Representative of Tennessee (District 90)

Chris Sprowls Headshot

Rep. Chris Sprowls
Former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives

Dr. Rufus Sylvester Lynch Headshot

Dr. Rufus Sylvester Lynch
Chair of the Strong Families Commission of Pennsylvania

Avis Files Headshot

Avis Files
Program Director of Pathway, Inc.

Cheri Tillis Headshot

Cheri Tillis
CEO of the Fathers and
Families Support Center

Dr. Pat Littlejohn Headshot

Pat Littlejohn
Former Executive Director of South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families

Commissioner Tanguler Gray Headshot

Commissioner Tanguler Gray
Commissioner of the Office of Child Support Enforcement

Joe Jones Headshot

Joe Jones
Founder, President, and CEO
of Center for Urban Families

Dr. Cynthia Osborne Headshot

Dr. Cynthia Osborne
Professor of Early Childhood Education and Policy and Executive Director of the Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center at Vanderbilt


Troy M. Smith
Founder & Owner of Mostmoto365

Concert seen from the crowds with a young boy and his father watching the performance