About the Foundation
In 2008, Matt Prestbury looked around at the media landscape that surrounded him and saw very few positive images of Black men within it. Furthermore, he looked at how society, on a grand scale, viewed black men, especially Black men who were responsible for creating lives. With a sense of both frustration and determination, he decided to start a Facebook group—Black Fathers—designed to be a platform where Black men could post pictures and videos, along with typed posts, to showcase what it is that they do and go through as fathers.
This was his way of getting the world that largely ignored this segment of society to not only see the members therein, but to also see them as they presented themselves versus how others chose to represent them. The group presented Black men with an opportunity to tell their own stories of fatherhood as well as to seek advice and encouragement from others. As the years went on the group grew, in large part due to Matt’s continual efforts to shine a light on the group in media outlets and any other way he could to let the world know what was going on within this group. Also, as the years went on, the call to start a nonprofit organization based around the group’s premise persisted.
In 2018, while in the Facebook Community Leadership Program
and The Practitioner’s Leadership Institute, Matt, and his wife,
Kelly, created The Black Fathers Foundation, which
would serve to create a physical entity that would carry on much
of the work that took place within the online group,
Black Fathers. In May of 2019, The Black Fathers Foundation
Matt Prestbury is a husband and father who has worked tirelessly over the past two decades to not only provide what his family needs, but also to provide spaces and places for other black men to get the resources and know-how needed to do the same in Baltimore and far beyond. Whether in physical spaces such as the schools he’s worked in and the venues in which he’s held events, or in virtual spaces such as the Black Fathers Facebook group, Matt continuously works to help black men get access to the organizations, information and funding that they need to support and sustain their families to the best of their abilities.
He’s always been passionate about raising his children and helping other fathers do the same. Much of his work is centered around showing the world the truths about fathers and fatherhood in order to combat widely held stereotypes and myths through social media, apparel, music, books and speaking engagements. Matt’s mission is to show the world how involved fathers truly are while continuing to spread the message to fathers about the importance of being present in the lives of their children.
Kelly Prestbury is committed to two things: building family and building community.
She has worked not only to raise her own family and be there to support and guide
them, but also to go out into the community of Baltimore and beyond in order to im-
prove the lives of others, and to help them raise their families as best they can. In 2019,
Kelly graduated from Walden University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business
Administration. Since then, Kelly has gone on to become a certified doula and start her
own company, Jua Birthing Services. With her commitment to fathers and their families, she brings a wealth of knowledge and compassion to The Black Fathers Foundation and to the lives of mothers and fathers bringing babies into this world. Education, equity and access to opportunities are components that Kelly believes are key to elevating individuals, families and their surrounding communities. That belief is at the heart of everything she does.