Real Men Cook® – Urban America’s premiere Father’s Day charity event — will be held virtually on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 21 from 3-6 PM CST. The event has become a highly anticipated celebration because it uplifts fathers and celebrates families in a spirit of unity, love, service, and joy. This year marks the event’s fourth decade of spreading a positive message. Because of this milestone, this year’s fest will be driven by the theme: “Our love as fathers has no borders.”
With COVID-19 preventing the hosting of events where social distancing is compromised, Real Men Cook 2020 will be held on a variety of platforms. While the celebration will be presented in a new format, it will continue the mission of the presenting nonprofit, Real Men Charities: to emphasize family wellness and creative engagement for fathers and positive male influencers.
The Board of Directors of Real Men Charities was initially concerned that the pandemic and its boundaries would force its cancellation for the first time in its 31-year history. But, the critical need for expanding family values, positive engagement and healthy messaging motivated the organization to consider the pandemic to be a healing and entertaining opportunity.
Members decided to bring the fun and festivities to the public through Facebook Live, Zoom, Satellite Radio, and through partnerships with a variety of print and social media outlets. Broadcast partner, radio station 95.1 FM Chicago, The Heartbeat of Soul, will partner with the event and bring a global reach to the celebration as the station is enjoyed in countries all over the world, including in international markets like Europe and South America. Popular On-Air- Personality and Morning Show Host from 95.1 FM Chicago, Ramonski Luv will serve as host, and engage conversation on the subjects of fathers, the importance of father-figures, parenting and mentoring while sheltering.
The virtual format will feature three hours profiling ways that urban markets will celebrate Father’s Day, all over the world. An intrepid reporter will visit U.S. cities like Atlanta, Philadelphia, Savannah and Harlem, as well as the home city, Chicago. At each stop, fathers will share their traditions and introduce their families.
The event will also span the globe visiting Father’s Day celebrations in Paris and Brazil. The format will also include talking to chefs from Haiti, the Bahamas, Ghana, and Jamaica. Many of these destinations have events inspired by the Real Men Cook model. The festivities will also feature fathers cooking their favorite healthy dishes while touting their culinary skills.
There will also be celebrity co-hosts from various walks of life who will extend Father’s Day greetings. Among the past hosts are actor Idris Elba and award-winning writer Ta-Nehisi Coates and his father, Paul. As an added feature, students who attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) will be introduced to the app HBCUGo. This tool promotes black college life and HBCUs.
Yvette Moyo, co-founder, said that this pivot allows Real Men Cook to adapt to the confinement that COVID-19 created while providing a format where those who log on can experience the thrill of the day.
Log in information will be broadcast through various informational mediums.
Moyo believes the newly-revamped event represents a novel way to keep the tradition alive while satisfying the public that craves the Real Men Cook spirit. “By going virtual,” declared Moyo, “Real Men Cook aligns with the latest formats and platforms. This allows us to extend its message, its reach and its brand to millions of people. It also allows us to showcase delicious recipes that are healthy and help to fortify the body to fight disease as well. This is valuable information in the midst of a pandemic.”
She added that the one of the highest compliments Real Men Cook received over the decades was from former President Barack Obama while he was a U.S. Senator. He penned a tribute stating, “Thanks to Yvette and Kofi Moyo, Father’s Day in the Black communities throughout this country has not been the same since the first annual Real Men Cook celebration launched in 1990. My wife, Michelle and I have enjoyed many of the events… in Chicago.” He once volunteered and served wearing official Real Men Cook gear.
The University of Chicago Medicine, a long-time sponsor, continues its sponsorship support this year. They will help lead the conversation about COVID-19, healthy practices, and sheltering to flatten the curve. Fathers, Families and Healthy Communities, HBCU GO and Safe and Peaceful Chicago are also sponsors.
For more information, visit www.realmencharitiesinc.org for virtual event updates, and to log on to Real Men Cook online on Father’s Day, Sunday June 21.
ABOUT REAL MEN COOK
Real Men Cook is the largest, longest-running, and most-anticipated Father’s Day celebration of its kind. It was conceived and launched in Chicago in 1990 by entrepreneurs Yvette Moyo and Kofi Moyo as a local Father’s Day family celebration. Fathers and father-figures donned a chef’s hat and cooked for the community. The original concept grew to being celebrated in as many as 13 cities and evolved into a national Father’s Day tradition. Proceeds from the event go to Real Men Charities, which provides programs that benefit and uplift the community. Throughout its 31-year history, celebrities, media personalities, ministers, politicians, entertainers, athletes, local community leaders, chefs, and everyday hard-working fathers have participated as part of their resolve to uplift the family and defy the negative images of black men often depicted in the media Some of the high-profile men who have participated as cooks and supporters include U.S. Senator Barack Obama who became President of the United States, Congressmen Danny Davis and John Lewis and the late Rep. John Conyers. Fathers and sons who joined past celebrations were Senate President Emil Jones and his son, now Illinois State Senator Emil Jones III and Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. and his sons, former Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr., and Professor Jonathan Jackson.