Mayor Barrett Announces Vin Baker to Keynote Fatherhood Summit
October 13, 2015
Mayor Tom Barrett announced today that Vin Baker, a former member of the NBA and Milwaukee Bucks, will deliver the keynote address at the 10th Annual Milwaukee Fatherhood Summit. The theme of this year’s Summit is “Celebrating 10 Years of Building Better Fathers and Families.” The Summit will be held on Friday, October 16, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (kick-off starts at 8:00 a.m. and luncheon begins at 11:30 a.m.) and Saturday, October 17, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Destiny Youth Plaza (7210 N. 76th St.) in Milwaukee.
The summit brings the Milwaukee community together each year to generate support for fathers and empower men by connecting them to resources needed to become better parents, cope with and overcome the challenges they face and improve their education, work and family outcomes.
“I’m excited to announce that Vin Baker will give back to our community by motivating fathers to take responsibility of their lives and the well-being of their children and families,” Mayor Barrett said. “Vin has a powerful message to share and his comeback story will benefit anyone who wants helpful advice on how to overcome life’s problems through self-empowerment and hope.”
Baker was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1993 NBA Draft. He attended high school in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, and played collegiate basketball at Hartford from 1989-93, where he averaged 28.3 points per game in his senior season, 4th best in college basketball. He was a three-time NBA All Star with the Bucks and a member of the NBA All Rookie team in 1994. He played for the gold medal-winning Olympic Team USA in 2000.
Late in his career, Vin acknowledged his battle with alcoholism and life struggles. Now at age 43, he has rebuilt his life and is married with four children. He is training to manage a Starbucks franchise and is a successful semester away from his Divinity degree. He has worked with youth and served as a volunteer high school coach in past years. He has visited the Bucks training center several times recently and worked with Head Coach Jason Kidd and Bucks players during the 2015 Las Vegas Summer League and the Bucks October 2015 training camp.
“This could have ended most likely in jail or death. That’s how these stories usually end. For me to summon the strength to walk out and get excited about retail management at Starbucks and try to provide for my family, I feel that’s more heroic than being 6’11” with a fade-away jump shot,” Baker recently told writer Kevin McNamara of the Providence (R.I.) Journal. “I get energy from waking up in the morning, and first of all, not depending on alcohol, and not being embarrassed or ashamed to know I have a family to take care of. The show’s got to go on.”
In 2005, Mayor Barrett launched the Milwaukee Fatherhood Initiative to increase the number of children with involved, committed and responsible fathers. The Mayor’s Fatherhood Summit is the largest annual gathering of men in the state, drawing an average of 1,000 men each year. Thanks to the Milwaukee Fatherhood Initiative’s many donors and collaborative partners, more than 10,000 men in our community have been connected to services in the areas of education, employment, job training, child support, driver’s license recovery, and men’s health services.
The Summit is free and open to the public. It is organized and hosted by the Milwaukee Fatherhood Initiative, City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee County Child Support Services, Center for Driver’s License Recovery, and Social Development Commission.
Pre-registration is encouraged at the Milwaukee Fatherhood Initiative and Social Development Commission websites at www.MilwaukeeFatherhood.com and www.cr-sd.org