Keynote Presentation: Our People, Connecting Anti-Rape and Anti-Racism Work

Neil Irvin, Executive Director
Patrick McGann, Ph.D., Director of Strategy & Planning 

Oppressions often divide us. The United States, for instance, has a history of racist and sexually violent practices that separated whites and blacks. Africans were enslaved and forced from their homelands by the millions; black women were routinely sexually assaulted by white slave owners; and black men were lynched for allegedly raping white women.

Understanding and linking oppressions, though, can help us to see one another as more fully human and better establish relationships as allies. That is the goal of this compelling keynote. Presented by an African American man and a white man who have worked closely together for more than a decade, Neil Irvin, Executive Director of MCSR, and Patrick McGann, Director of Strategy & Planning, discuss the racist history of rape, the challenges to connecting anti-rape and anti-racism work, and the promise of creating a collective commitment to preventing racism and gender-based violence through non-violent communication.

Participants will learn:

1.            How rape and racism are linked historically

2.            What the racism of rape looks like in our present day

3.            How competing oppressions hinder and divide us

4.            How non-violent communication can join us

5.            The constructive concept of “steering into the slide”


Neil Irvin is Men Can Stop Rape's (MCSR) Executive Director. Irvin recently served as MCSR’s Senior Director of Programs, a position he held since 2008, following five years as Director of Community Education. Well known throughout the country in the field of gender-based violence prevention, Irvin has served as a consultant to the White House Commission on Violence Against Women and Girls, the Department of Justice Office of Violence Against Women, and the Liz Claiborne Foundation.

Patrick McGann, Ph.D. has been involved with Men Can Stop Rape since the organization’s inception in 1997. As Director of Strategy and Planning, Dr. McGann co-authored a sexual assault prevention strategy for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) in 2008 and oversaw the development of the HURTS ONE. AFFECTS ALL. public education campaign for DoD in 2010-2011. He regularly gives presentations across the country on engaging men in the prevention of gender-based violence.