Malik Jones – Show Notes
Malik Jones is a freelance artist, art instructor and devoted father of two wonderful children, ages 9 and 6. He currently resides in Philadelphia, Pa.
Malik has a degree in social work and has been employed in the mental health field for over 13 years. Art has always been a passion of his, and he has dove deeper into it as it allows him to be more in tune as a father and spend more time with his kids. He’s currently working on creating an after school program and summer camp, and his ultimate goal is to open an arts school.
He says that the public school system in his city is going through a lot of turmoil, with art being subject to program cuts.
“One of the common components of a good school is a balance of education and arts”
Malik feels so strongly about this that he holds a workshop at the local recreation center every Tuesday and Thursday.
“Art gave me an incentive to go to school”
Malik loves being a father and says it’s the best thing that he has experienced in his life. He’s always looking for better ways to be a dad, and improve his kids life (by teaching them poems, about culture, etc.) which he says makes him a Diversity Dad.
He grew up on welfare with his siblings and single mother. His peers were selling drugs and committing robberies. He realized it wasn’t for him and he had art and football to keep him out of trouble.
“I was able to break away from all that and see a broader frame of life”
Malik became a social worker because it was the only thing in college that he connected with. As a child, he knew what it was like for social workers to come into the home, and he was familiar with counselling, as he had attended anger management sessions.
Malik became a father figure for his younger brothers, by teaching his younger brothers football skills and other life lessons. This paid off when two of them received full scholarships to play the sport. One of his brother’s currently plays professionally in the NFL, with the Cleveland Browns.
He has his kids at least once a month, as they live with their mother (Malik’s ex) in Pittsburgh. He also has them on alternate holidays, as well as for two months during the summer.
When with his children, Malik is very hands on and instils values in them.
“Our relationship is awesome. It came out of fear of losing them.”
“I just made sure that in the time I had them, I did the best job as a parent that I could possibly do”
As much as he hated it at the time, it was the best move for them to live with their mother as he said it as a better environment.
His proudest moment of being a dad is the one that he realized he was really a father. He’s proud when he sees his kids following the rules they agreed upon and self-disciplining themselves. When this happens, he says he knows he did something right in raising them, and he’s constantly working to be an even better father.
Malik embraces the challenges that come he way, and he says the biggest obstacle he faced came during the court battle with this ex.
“It was very daunting and difficult, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It made me a better man and a better person.”
His one piece of advice for parents is to “just be there”, because if you do, your kids will never forget.