Family Restoration at Hampton University in Virginia

Hampton University opened a "marriage summit" Tuesday, September 29, and Wednesday, September 30, bringing together religious leaders, psychologists, public health workers and other experts at the historically black college to discuss the state of marriage and talk about how to reverse trends such as high divorce rates and out-of-wedlock births.

The conference also marks the launch of the school's National Center on African-American Marriages and Parenting, which will conduct research and collect data about issues that affect black marriages and families, and provide resources to help parents.

Former NFL coach Tony Dungy and Chick-Fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy and his son, Donald, were honorary co-chairs of the two-day event. Organizers say they gathered a diverse group of more than 100 religious leaders, psychologists and other counseling professionals, public-health workers and others affiliated with groups that range from the conservative Focus on the Family to the Omega Psi Phi black fraternity.

U.S. Census data show that 61 percent of first marriages remained intact in 2008, compared with 77 percent in 1970. Nearly 79 percent of adults reported being married in 1970, a figure that fell to 57 percent in 2008. And according to a May report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics, nearly 40 percent of children born in 2007 had unmarried mothers, up 21 percent from 2002 and 80 percent higher than in 1980. Birth rates for unmarried women rose for all races between 2002-2006, with Hispanic and black women showing the highest out-of-wedlock birth rates in 2006. These figures are of great concern because children born to single mothers generally are at higher risk of health, social and economic difficulties.

Bravo to Hampton University’s marriage summit and similar efforts to work toward family restoration through marital stability for the sake of children. To read the entire article, click here.

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