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Father of one Alexis Ohanian is partnering with Dove after he saw "firsthand the importance of taking paternity leave and being there for my family"

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February 22, 2019 12:30 PM

Calling all working new dads and dads-to-be without paid paternity leave: Dove Men+Care has a message for you.

The personal-care brand has teamed up with Reddit co-founder (and husband of Serena Williams) Alexis Ohanian to promote a grant program that will award $5,000 to expectant fathers who do not have employer-paid leave to take care of their newborn children.

In a press release distributed Tuesday, Ohanian — dad to daughter Alexis Olympia, 17 months — said of his inspiration to partner with Dove on The Pledge for Paternity Leave initiative that he “saw firsthand the importance of taking paternity leave and being there for my family during a critical time in our lives.”

“No dad should have to sacrifice taking leave, and I’ve been very public about taking mine in an effort to show other men that you can still be an ambitious businessperson while also taking time for your family,” said Ohanian, 35.

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“And it’s not just fathers who reap the benefits — it’s in the best interest of families, workplaces and communities to support dads in taking leave,” he added.

“Working with Dove Men+Care, I will continue to try to tackle some of the societal stigmas that exist around paternity leave, and advocate for paid leave to be a right for dads everywhere,” Ohanian said.

According to the press release, Dove Men+Care will pay a total of “a $1 million commitment through 2020 to fund real dads who are currently unable to take meaningful time off during this important life moment.”

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Vice President of Skin Cleansing & Baby Care for Unilever (the company that manufactures the Dove Men+Care line), Nick Soukas, said in the release that the company has been working since its 2010 inception to “[communicate] that modern masculinity is defined by the way men care.”

“By supporting this important initiative, our goal is to increase utilization rates of paid paternity leave for those men who have access to it and encourage other companies to come together and offer men paid paternity leave so they can take the time to care for their families,” Soukas explained.

To be considered for the grant, new and expectant fathers should fill out the online application at dmcpaternityleave.dja.com, as well as sign the Pledge for Paternity Leave at dovemencare.com/pledge, which is required as part of the application process. Submissions will be accepted through 2020.

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