Healthy Masculinity Campus Conversations

The Healthy Masculinity Campus Conversation provides campuses with the space and opportunity for critical, constructive, and contemplative dialogue around our individual and shared understandings of healthy and unhealthy masculinity.

Based on an innovative format using storytelling to spark conversations, the Healthy Masculinity Campus Conversation creates an opportunity to raise the visibility of healthy masculinity across a college and is a natural evolution of Men Can Stop Rape's work as a leader in the area of mobilizing men against gender-based violence. Participants will hear powerful personal narratives from a set of storytellers before coming together to engage in a guided discussion of how unhealthy and healthy masculinity affects men and women’s lives.

Students, staff, faculty, and administrators have the opportunity to participate in shared conversation that not only helps to advance prosocial campus norms related to masculinity but also develops a shared understanding of what healthy masculinity means for the campus. The event can be held for men only, or can include every gender.

Send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to learn about organizing a conversation on your campus or in your community.

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 FAQ FOR THE HEALTHY MASCULINITY CAMPUS CONVERSATION OR TOWN HALL
 

1. Why “Healthy Masculinity?”

"Healthy Masculinity" shapes Men Can Stop Rape's positive approach to addressing and mobilizing men and boys against gender-based violence. The Healthy Masculinity Campus Conversation or Town Hall can support efforts to replace unhealthy masculine social norms and behaviors with healthier, nonviolent masculine prosocial norms in order to create a safer campus or community culture.

 

2. How is a Healthy Masculinity Campus Conversation or Town Hall structured?

The event begins ideally with a welcome and then the introduction of three to four storytellers, who share their personal stories related to masculinity. After they have finished, the room is opened up to conversation by two facilitators who might ask what the stories bring up for participants in relation to unhealthy and healthy masculinity. Participants offer their insights and experiences, and facilitators might suggest deeper investigation of a particular theme or idea raised by the participants. At the end, facilitators and participants focus on takeaways.

 

3. Why are the storytellers important?

Men Can Stop Rape believes that stories build our capacity to empathize with and see the humanity in others. When the storytellers tell their personal stories, they share their honest, authentic selves, and participants respond positively to that authenticity. Storytellers are key to opening up the space for sincere and empathetic dialogue and conversation. They give others permission to be authentic.

 

4. What skills do the facilitators need? 

It is helpful if facilitators have some expertise in masculinity, although not necessary. It is most important that facilitators be skilled at asking compelling questions, making insightful connections, and sharing their authentic selves. Facilitators have to be willing and able to think on their feet and to let the conversation develop organically. A good Healthy Masculinity Campus Conversation or Town Hall facilitator should be deeply curious about what the participants have to say.

 

5. How long is a Healthy Masculinity Campus Conversation or Town Hall?

Depending on the size of the group and the number of storytellers, the event can take anywhere from an hour-and-a-half to two hours.

 

6. How many people attend a Healthy Masculinity Campus Conversation or Town Hall?

50 to 100 has been the most common number of participants, though we have facilitated some great Campus Conversations and Town Halls with 25 to 30 people. More than 100 people decreases the intimacy of the conversation.

 

7. Who attends?

The makeup of the participants is up to the people coordinating the event. It can be mixed gendered groups or exclusively men who attend. You can organize a conversation for a specific group on your campus or in your community (Greek life, sports clubs, athletes, a specific dorm, law enforcement, city council, etc.), or you can open it up to anyone. The decision is yours.

 

8. How can Men Can Stop Rape help you organize a Healthy Masculinity Campus Conversation or Town Hall?

The Healthy Masculinity Campus Conversation or Town Hall is part of Men Can Stop Rape’s Training and Technical Services. We can provide you with a guide, a task and timeline, and a sample agenda. We can conduct a webinar to prepare the storytellers and facilitators. We can also play a role in facilitating the conversation. We can help you every step of the way.

 
Howard University Healthy Masculinity Campus Conversation

“Show no emotion.” How men are taught to smother a rich and complicated emotional life was one of the topics of conversation at the Howard University Campus Conversation the evening of October 29, 2013. In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Howard University Interpersonal Violence Prevention Program, the Men of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, the Men of Drew Hall, and Men Can Stop Rape hosted the event, attended by more than 50 people, the overwhelming majority of them men.

Four outstanding male storytellers – a dean, a student, and two university alumni – kicked off the conversation with personal stories that took place in the Marines, on the basketball court, in a dorm, and in a close relationship. Hands shot up across the room in response, and for the next 50 minutes, students used their heads and hearts to speak about unhealthy and healthy masculinity.

The Howard men showed their emotions at the Campus Conversation.

This event would not have happened without the support and commitment of the following people: Dr. Barbara Griffin, Dr. Tricia Bent-Goodley, Akosoa Latrice, Mr. Tyrone Barksdale, Dr. Marc Lee, Lavar Youmans, Lamar White, Dr. Christopher St. Vil, the Men of Omega Psi Phi, the Men of Drew Hall, Roselena Martinez, Melanie Ortel, and Sherri Cunningham.

Men Can Stop Rape thanks the Verizon Foundation and Verizon Wireless for sponsoring this event.

Check out The Hilltop piece about the Campus Conversation here.