Healthy Masculinity Summit Report Press Release

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Report Suggests Healthy Masculinity as Positive Solution to Men’s Violence and Unhealthy Life Choices

New report documents results of the Healthy Masculinity Summit, the launch of a two-year project to build a new generation of male leaders who model healthier life choice and strength without violence

WASHINGTON, DC – February 5 – Helping men to develop a healthy masculinity can be a key factor in ending violence against women, according to a new report that is part of a nationwide, two-year initiative to find solutions to one of society’s most critical problems.

The Healthy Masculinity Summit Report was released today as part of the antiviolence initiative, the Healthy Masculinity Action Project, which was organized by six national nonprofit organizations: Men Can Stop Rape, National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, Men Stopping Violence, Coach for America, Women of Color Network and A CALL TO MEN.

“We need to eradicate the outdated view, expectation and stereotypes of what it means to be a man,” said Neil Irvin, executive director of Men Can Stop Rape, the lead organization on the Healthy Masculinity Action Project, also known as HMAP. “A man can be caring, respectful and embrace a nonviolent masculinity. Together we – men and women – can end violence.”

The report documents the results of the Healthy Masculinity Summit, which was sponsored by the Verizon Foundation and held in Washington, DC, last October to launch HMAP. Hundreds of men and women from across the country participated in conversations about the potentially positive impact of healthy masculinity. The promotion of men’s nonviolence and healthier life choices was considered across a wide spectrum of societal areas: athletics, the workplace, faith, technology, business, youth development, education, communities of color, fatherhood, mental health, gender-based violence, LGBTQ communities, media, and trafficking.

The conversations sparked dialogue, crystalized conclusions, developed descriptions, and created strategies to engage specific male audiences through healthy masculinity. Examples include:

  • Fatherhood: Healthy Masculinity looks like a father unapologetically asking other men for support as he navigates his way through fatherhood.
  • Gender-Based Violence: Many people are unable to make the connection between preventing domestic and sexual violence and healthy masculinity, which makes it necessary to educate both men and women.
  • Communities of Color: It is critical to engage communities about the importance of healthy masculinity in the context of the school-to-prison pipeline, as this is where young men – particularly those of color – are categorized and unreasonably punished for displays of unhealthy masculinity taught to them by the same society that incarcerates them.
  • Athletics: In order to persuade male athletes and coaches that healthy masculinity is of value, we can ask them how they would characterize healthy masculinity and discuss the role they believe it plays in sports.

Together, the collection of insights and observations derived from the more than 20 summit conversations serve as a compendium of critical knowledge that will shape the work of HMAP.

Throughout this year, with the support of the Verizon Foundation, HMAP will host regional summits, community town hall meetings in select cities and university campuses across the country as well as a Youth Leadership Summit to continue the discussion on how men can stop the violence. For more information, visit www.mencanstoprape.org/Healthy-Masculinity-Action-Project/.

For more free resources on speaking up to end domestic violence, visit www.verizonfoundation.org/yourvoicecounts/.

At the Healthy Masculinity Summit, more than 30 subject-matter experts lead conversations on the different topics. The experts included:

  • Rosalind Wiseman, author of the groundbreaking, bestselling “Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and the New Realities of Girl World.”
  • Joe Ehrmann, honored as the Baltimore Colts Man of the Year and called “the Most Important Coach in America” by Parade Magazine for his work transforming the culture of sports.
  • Ruchira Gupta, founder and president of Apne Aap Women Worldwide, a grassroots organization in India working to end sex trafficking, and winner of the 2009 Clinton Global Citizen Award.
  • Michael Kimmel, one of the world’s leading researchers and writers on men and masculinity, author of “Guyland, Misframing Men,” and “A Guy’s Guide to Feminism.

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About the Healthy Masculinity Action Project (HMAP)

The Healthy Masculinity Action Project (HMAP) is a national grassroots movement to eradicate the harmful expectations and stereotypes our society teaches boys about what it means to be a man. A two year initiative, HMAP aims to build a new generation of male leaders who will model strength without violence and serve as positive change makers in society – taking their communities from awareness to action. Ultimately, HMAP will train more than 1,000 ambassadors to spread the movement nationwide by holding town halls, presenting on healthy masculinity in schools, and working with local organizations on community outreach to prevent violence against girls and women. These ambassadors will equip nearly 1 million people with knowledge on the importance and benefits of healthy masculinity and how to prevent violence against women.

For more information or to read this report, visit www.healthymasculinity.org.