news & perspectives

news & perspectives

mass general honors fatherhood initiative director


Haji Shearer, LSW, Director of the Fatherhood Initiative at the Children’s Trust, was recognized for his work in the field of mental health and the care of minority communities by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Department of Psychiatry’s Center for Diversity.

Last month, the Center presented Mr. Shearer with the 2014 Frances J. Bonner, MD Award. The award promotes diversity and inclusion in the psychiatric community. It recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to the field of mental health and the care of minority communities.

The award is named for the late Dr. Bonner, who worked for 50 years in the MGH Psychiatry Department and was the first African-American woman physician to train, in 1949, on an MGH service.

In a statement, the Center for Diversity cited Mr. Shearer’s work with minority fathers, including the development of the Nurturing Fathers Program, a 13-week parenting support group supported by the Children’s Trust. It also noted Mr. Shearer’s work with the Fathers and Family Network, another Children’s Trust program, which collaborates with family support organizations across the state to include a focus on fathers in their services.

“I am honored to receive the Bonner Award,” Mr. Shearer said. “The award represents a commitment to diversity and social justice in caring for disenfranchised members of our society. I’m proud to have played a role in bringing wellness services to fathers of color and other men who have traditionally been left out of family support practice.”