Derek Phillips is the CEO and Founder of Real Dads Network, an organization that is committed to strengthening the institution of the family by promoting the positive aspects of fatherhood in all media. It is our belief that children do better, both developmentally and in the attainment of life opportunities, when both parents are actively involved in their parenting, regardless of the marital or living circumstances.
In September 2000, he co-produced and co-directed the award-winning documentary “Real Dads–Black Men on Fatherhood,” which featured commentary by the late Ossie Davis. This was the first ever documentary that focused entirely on positive black fathers.
In 2005, The Real Dads Network hosted its inaugural Black Fatherhood Summit, moderated by the legendary James Mtume, and included a panel that consisted of Kurtis Blow–one of the first rappers to have a hit record (“The Breaks”) in 1980; Barry Mayo, Senior Vice President, and station manager of Kiss FM; Bill Stephney, co-founder of Def Jam Records and the group Public Enemy; Nation of Islam’s Min. Kevin Muhammad; Fatyn Muhammad, producer of Kiss FM’s Open Line talk show; and Fatherhood Activists Thabiti Boone and Peter Holoman. This event received a full-length commentary in the Wall Street Journal.
Derek is also the founder and President of Jorma Productions, an independent production company (affectionately named after his two daughters) that is committed to creating projects and programs that are educational, inspiring, and empowering.
Derek retired in 2019 as an Assistant Principal from New York City Department of Education.
Derek is an active member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. and through his works, words, and actions, he is committed to educating, uplifting, and empowering our youth and the community. His motto is “If everyone does a part, then no one is left doing the whole thing”.
He has been married to Maria, his college sweetheart, for 29 years and they have two beautiful daughters, Jordyn (26) and Maya (22).