Campaign designed to encourage marriage, reduce divorce rates

Posted 2/4/17

Marriage Week USA ( announces an initiative in Cleveland and the Ocoee Region for the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, and is planning for marriage building …

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Campaign designed to encourage marriage, reduce divorce rates


Marriage Week USA ( announces an initiative in Cleveland and the Ocoee Region for the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, and is planning for marriage building activities over the next several months.

The goal is to elevate attention on the need to strengthen marriage and ways to do it, and initiate new efforts to reduce the divorce rate and build stronger marriages, which in turn helps curtail poverty and benefits children.

In Cleveland, Family Matters Bradley is launching a series of community marriage and family seminars, according to Drs. John and Su Vining, directors of Family Matters Bradley.

“We want to positively impact as many the homes in our community as possible so our seminars will be offered at no charge with childcare being provided,” Dr. Su Vining reported.

National Marriage Week has long been an organized celebration in the United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland, Australia, the Czech Republic, and elsewhere internationally ( with large rallies, resolutions and celebrations in Parliaments, concerted efforts for marriage education, and more.

National Marriage Week USA provides a “Tool Kit” for local outreach, a clearinghouse of trusted curricula, and a national calendar of events at

Chuck Stetson, chairman of National Marriage Week USA says “The alarming drop in marriage rates in America combined with high divorce rates are costly to the nation—financially costly to taxpayers and individuals, and emotionally costly to children. We all need to work together to turn the tide.”

Dr. John Vining citing a study he conducted using data from The Taxpayer Costs of Divorce and Unwed Childbearing, in 2006, showed that family fragmentation cost the state of Tennessee $757,000,000. That shows a cost per case in Tennessee of $12,027 (62,942 cases). This assumes each divorce and non-married birth is of the same value. The cost to Bradley County was $10,066,599.

“Marriage works,” said NMWUSA executive director Sheila Weber. “Research shows that marriage makes people happier, live longer, and build more economic security. Children with married parents perform better in school. There are proven ways to repair and restore marriages — but most folks don’t know where to go to get the help they need.”

Recent statistics are alarming. A Marriage Index, released jointly by the National Center on African American Marriages and Parenting and the Institute for American Values in October 2009, reveals a huge decline in national marriage indicators. One indicator shows 78 percent of adults were married in 1970, while only 57 percent of adults were married in 2008. Another indicator shows 40 percent of all children in America are now born out of wedlock in 2008; and 72 percent of African American children are now born without married parents.

“Our work in strengthening families is very important to us personally and professionally,” Dr. John Vining said.

Through the nonprofit agencies he oversees, Family Matters Bradley, Youth Counseling service, and briLIFE, the Vinings are committed to helping increase the wellness of the Ocoee Region though enrichment, education/ training, and intervention.

The upcoming seminars will be co-led by Dr. Hubert and Katheryn Seals, Dr. Randall and Rhonda Parris, Kevin and Denise Mendel, and Johnathon and Meredith Parker.

Register online at or call 423-476-1933.

Seminars included are: Marriage Matters March 4 and June 3; Smart Start (premarital preparation) March 18; and Becoming Childwise (parenting) May 20. Each seminar will be conducted at the Cleveland YMCA, 8:30 – 12:30. Space and childcare are limited so early registration is encouraged.


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