MAD DADS Beyond the Block

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On June 25, Greater Pittsburgh Area MAD DADS (Men Against Destruction— Defending Against Drugs and Social Disorder) hosted their fifth anniversary celebration and benefit concert at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture. While grown men were outside dressed in their favorite “furry” costume, the MAD DADS were inside the AWC recognizing services rendered to the community and paying tribute to Bishop Robert Tyler, a Founding Father of MADS DADS Inc.

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LOCAL AND NATIONAL MAD DADS—John Thompson (Mayor of Wilkinsburg), Al Merritt, Bishop Robert Tyler, Theron Cook, Michael Frazier, Ernie Bey and the Honorable Joseph Preston. (Photos by Debbie Norrell)

Bishop Tyler is a native of Pittsburgh and left Pittsburgh in 1966 for Omaha, Neb. He was called into the ministry in 1974 and ordained in 1977. He was highly instrumental in the formation of the MAD DADS organization, a group of men that empowers men to become guardians of their own communities. The internationally recognized group has been awarded by two presidents and received the prestigious Essence Award. Bishop Tyler is presently Chairman Emeritus of the National Board of Directors of MAD DADS headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla.

Locally, George Spencer Sr. is the chapter president of MAD DADS and was recently inducted in the Center for Urban Biblical Ministry’s first class of Urban Heroes. The Pittsburgh chapter has provided thousands of community volunteer hours and provided a tangible example of drug free men who are community outreach specialists, showing their collective concern for the youth and young adults of the Greater Pittsburgh Area.

On this evening MAD DADS recognized some of their heroes, a few of the MAD DAD supporters: State Representative Joseph Preston, Wilkinsburg Police Chief Ophelia Coleman, Rashad Byrdsong (CEO of the Community Empowerment Association), Nancy Chavez (Weed & Seed), Covenant Church of Pittsburgh and urban farmer Mindy Swartz. Sam Nelson and Friends performed toe tapping gospel music for this benefit concert.

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