Community Partners

The Better Dads Festival welcomes the participation and encourages the support of community organizations that share our common vision of supporting and mentoring men, women and children in our community. These organizations have a great positive impact in our community – visit their booths at the festival, support their work and consider becoming personally involved! Click on the partner’s logo or title to visit their web site.

ManKind Project USA – Hey, this is where this whole festival originated so they have their own page!

Woman Within – Thousands of women from around the world have experienced the power of the signature Woman Within Weekend and of sitting in a Woman Within Circle, alongside other women who want to keep growing and connecting. They are a strong community of women. Woman Within exists to help you empower yourself as a woman. They welcome you to join them.

Journeymen Asheville – Journeymen mentors at-risk adolescent males (ages 12-17) during their transformation to becoming men of integrity. Their mentors model authentic masculinity and nurture self-awareness and emotional growth, while challenging and assisting boys to discover their unique gifts. Journeymen runs Rites of Passage Adventure Weekends and ongoing mentoring meetings and outings.

My Daddy Taught Me That – Inspired by his father, Bennie Lake, Keynon Lake founded this program to support and teach young men how to transition from adolescents into responsible young men; focusing on good decision making, accepting responsibility, and being accountable for their actions. My Daddy Taught Me That directs its work at the challenges that minority male youth confront in underserved communities in Asheville.

Triple P – the Positive Parenting Program – offers support and tools for parents and people caring for children and teenagers in Madison and Buncombe Counties based on decades of research. Some parents are just seeking brief advice to handle minor disobedience or survive toilet training, while others may need more support as they learn positive ways to deal their children’s severe or aggressive behaviors. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a Triple P provider OR a parent interested in meeting with a Triple P Provider, please contact one of the Triple P Coordinators at MAHEC: Molly Coffey at 828-707-4245 or Kimberly Siefert at 828-707-5688.

Planned Parenthood South Atlantic – is a private, nonprofit family planning agency that respects and protects the rights of each woman and man to make informed reproductive decisions. Their mission is to provide accessible, high-quality health care and information to clients and to serve as advocate and educator to the community on responsible human sexuality. Planned Parenthood’s programs include compassionate, caring and confidential medical services, balanced sexuality education for adolescents, and advocacy for public policies that support each citizen’s right to make informed decisions regarding their health.

SPARC Foundation – collaborates closely with local agencies, Departments of Health and Human Services, schools, and mental health and substance abuse providers in order to create a safer community and healthier families. Through evidence-based models and proven strategies, their programs fill gaps in the community where the underserved often fall through. They are passionate about meeting the needs of the community using innovative ideas to overcome traditional problems. SPARC’s programs include Strong Fathers, Domestic violence prevention and intervention, Social services liaison, Family Centered Treatment, Supervised visitation skills training, Neutral facilitation and Manna food bank deliveries. SPARC is also available to create innovative solutions for human service organizations.

Alateen – is part of Al-Anon Family Groups. Alateen is a fellowship of young Al-Anon members, usually teenagers, whose lives have been affected by someone else’s drinking. Alateen groups are sponsored by Al-Anon members who help the group to stay on track. Alateens come together to share experiences, discuss difficulties, learn effective ways to cope and encourage one another. Alateen is brand new in the Asheville area – for information contact Julia Gibson at 828-712-1370 or

Earth Path Education – offers inspiring nature-based education to people of all ages and nature-based rites of passage and empowerment programs to girls and young women. With various programs, camps, celebrations and gatherings for ages 6 to adult, Earth Path Education nourishes connection to our natural selves and the natural world, thus strengthening our communities.

Homegrown Babies – Although primarily providing comprehensive pregnancy, childbirth and parenting services, this business also provides many free resources, classes, and support groups to the community, including their free, monthly Father with Courage peer-support group for new dads!

Big Brothers Big Sisters of WNC – Works to transform children’s lives with mentoring and supportive services. Striving to ensure that every child in WNC has a long-term relationship with a caring adult who believes in them and sees their potential, BBBS of WNC matches mentors with children from diverse home environments and provides training and support services for both children and families. With over 334 programs in the United States, BBBS locally has served over 13,000 children. Current BBBS of WNC seeks more mentors (“Bigs”) for boys and has room for more girls (“Littles”) to be matched with women Bigs.

<a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Our VOICE – Strives toward a community free of sexual violence and serves all individuals in Buncombe County affected by sexual assault and abuse, through counseling, advocacy and education. Our VOICE brings programming that addresses the root causes of sexual violence, advocates for positive social change and empowers individuals. Our Voice recently hosted the WNC Sexual Violence Prevention Summit at UNCA, featuring Men Can Stop Rape and the North Carolina Council Against Sexual Assault.

Helpmate – Provides services to victims of domestic violence in Buncombe County through emergency shelter, individual and group counseling, court advocacy, training of professionals and community leaders as well as preventative education for at-risk groups. Although women make up the majority of domestic violence victims, men are targeted at significant rates and certainly children suffer from direct and indirect exposure. Helpmate works to assist all these populations and all of us (especially men!) can help.

Children & Family Resource Center – Improves children’s lives through parent education, quality child care resources and leadership on children’s issues throughout the community. Their parenting programs work to create positive, nurturing relationships between parents and children. CFRC provides training and technical assistance for child care providers, parent education, educational library and scholarship programs. Open Circles for fathers will be starting soon!

Head Start – Under the umbrella of Community Action Opportunities, the Head Start program promotes school readiness of children under 5 from low-income families through education, health, social and other services. Children are supported in many aspects of their social and emotional development as well as through health screenings, nutritious meals and mental health support. Parents and families are supported in achieving their own goals, such as housing stability, continued education, and financial security. Programs support and strengthen parent-child relationships and engage families around children’s learning and development.

Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians – Cherokee is a sovereign nation, meaning it has its own laws, elections, government, and institutions. The Cherokees are self-governed and autonomous. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians were once part of a much larger Cherokee Nation population. However, when the Trail of Tears was mandated, and forced removal and relocation were directed by the US government and then President Andrew Jackson, the Cherokee Tribe became divided into what is known today as the Cherokee Nation and United Kituwah Band, located in Oklahoma, and the Eastern Band, made up of those who remained and rebuilt within North Carolina’s Qualla Boundary (sometimes called the Cherokee Indian Reservation). The Cherokee community have shared and unique challenges and gifts around fatherhood, mentoring and community. We welcome Cherokee partnership in the Better Dads Festival!

Safelight – provides support for victims of interpersonal violence, sexual assault and child abuse, making it possible for families who want to be free of violent relationships to succeed. They provide not only immediate short-term help but long term solutions to women, men and children in crisis. Safelight gives individuals who have experienced interpersonal violence, sexual abuse and child abuse a real second chance, an opportunity to redesign and better their lives. With Safelight’s broad community support and partners, they are addressing needs in mental health, substance abuse, employment and housing.

United Way – builds caring community, where each person has the opportunity to achieve the aspirations we all share: a good education for our kids, a roof over our heads, food on the table and the security that comes with financial stability. Our primary goal is to reduce the impact of poverty in Asheville and Buncombe County. They bring partners from the business, government and nonprofit sectors together to do what no single organization can do alone: create solutions that transform individual lives and drive systemic change that impacts entire communities.

Youth Transformed for Life – YTL creates and sustains a multi-disciplinary program for teens that promotes the knowledge and skills necessary for growth and success, built on intellectual ability, social awareness​ and personal skills. Their programs seek to impact a broader understanding of ethics, culture, mental stability, self-erected obstacles, and all aspects of the addictions, recovery and prevention.

Buncombe County Health & Human Services – (BCHHS) knows that strong families are vital to the success of our community. As parents and professionals themselves, they partner with our community to support the safety, health, and self-sufficiency of Buncombe County. BCHHS is known for providing a range of essential services such as social work services, public health services, and economic services/work first programs. BCHHS also supports community driven efforts, such as the Better Dads Festival, that improve parenting capacity that help to make Buncombe County a better place for children and families to live, learn, work, pray, and play.

Pisgah Legal Services – seeks to pursue justice by providing legal assistance and advocacy to help low-income people in Western North Carolina meet their basic needs and improve their lives. Pisgah Legal Services is an innovative nonprofit law firm founded in 1978 that provides free civil legal aid to people who live in poverty, helps more than 15,000 of the most vulnerable people in our communities annually to meet urgent needs such as: housing, safety from abuse, health care and income, and partners with dozens of other agencies to make sustainable change for people in crisis.

Mountain Child Advocacy Center – works to identify and respond to child abuse and neglect in Buncombe County; by educating, advocating and empowering the public to protect children and reduce trauma through a coordinated community effort. They partner with family, community partners, professionals and supporters to provides services at no charge to the families. The Mountain Child Advocacy Center was recently accredited by the National Children’s Alliance.

Xplore USA – is a local youth organization focusing on providing cultural opportunities for our Asheville community. Discover the wonderful ways your family can learn about another part of the world by hosting an international student, building a forever cross-cultural bond. Xplore USA also has their well-known and loved Intercultural Day Camp, focusing on bringing young people from different cultures together in a fun and meaningful way.

Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs of Buncombe County – serves to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens. Core programs areas include character & leadership, education & career, health & life skills, the arts, sports, fitness & recreation and programs to meet those with specific needs. Specific programs include Afterschool Enrichment, Summer Day Camp, Teen Program and Athletic Programs.

Youth Outright – is a welcoming, safe place for LGBTQ youth to hang out, support one another and have fun! They are dedicated to empowering lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and allied youth, ages 14-23, to be confident, proud and compassionate. Regular activities include weekly meetings, Proms, Drag shows, talent shows, dances, educational activities and other fun and games! Come over and say “hi” at the festival!

Social Justice League – A great, new program, the Social Justice League is a seven month training program for kids hosted by Dancing Bear Toys and Spellbound Books. Each month will focus on a different social justice theme. They host monthly workshops with local nonprofits and assign kids Superhero Homework to complete by the end of the month. When they turn in their Superhero Homework, they’ll get a prize from a different local business. The program is designed to empower kids to recognize and stand up to injustice in their own communities. How awesome is that!

HumanKind Circle – Asheville’s home-grown mixed-gender circles, these groups combine elements of men’s work with processes from women’s groups, resulting in a beautiful balance of the sacred masculine and feminine energies in each of us. These cutting-edge groups explore gender issues in our culture, our relationships and our families. New groups are forming. For more information, contact Nancy Kay at or 707-477-6683.

For information on the event and sponsorship opportunities:

Tim Chumley - Festival Director
804-519-2810 • Email