Collaborating to Institutionalize

collaboratingAt Men Can Stop Rape, we like to use the phrase, “sustained saturation.” By this we mean that if we are to have a lasting impact, we have to get into schools or cities or states and sustain the work, as well as saturate the environment. This way, the messages and ideas are pervasive and present over a lengthy amount of time. This cannot be done without collaboration.

Our first goal when we started the Men of Strength Club was to sustain meetings with groups of high school age men throughout the entire school year. We then realized we could also work with them throughout the entirety of their high school career. Now our goal is to work with a young man starting in middle school all the way through college. By sustaining MOST Club, it becomes an institutionalized part of a school and a young man’s life. We have collaborated with organizations and agencies to establish and sustain Clubs across the country. Some MOST Clubs have been in existence for more than a decade.

We also came to realize that we could not place the burden of saturating a school environment with prevention messages solely on the shoulders of MOST Club members. Instead, MOST Club members and community and school members could collaborate to develop a school culture of prevention, creating consistency of messaging from multiple sources. Examples of this collaboration include:

      • Creating an ongoing parent program that complements the messages of
           the MOST Club
        Training teachers and administrators to support the goals and ideas of the
           MOST Club
        Organizing and training a group of veteran MOST Club members to conduct
           workshops and discussions with younger students
        Working with local faith-based leaders to implement a Sunday school curriculum 
           based on the MOST Club curriculum
        Forming a school Prevention Task Force consisting of MOST Club members,
           other students, parents, teachers, and representatives from organizations working
           on the issue
        Training local police and security staff about prevention and the MOST Club

Through sustained collaboration, everyone can saturate their communities and schools with messages of prevention.