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Help Bring Healthy Masculinity into the Curriculum this School Year
September 9, 2013

Dear Friends,

neil-graduatesIt’s easy to concede that we can’t afford to dream big. It’s tempting to try to scale back: fewer MOST Club mentors, less schools, less impact. But when we see the power MOST Club has to change lives and improve communities, we know we have a responsibility to reach as many boys and young men as we can. By supporting MOST Club this year, your gift will have more power than ever before.

Back in 2000, when the first Men of Strength (MOST) Club formed at Ballou High School, seeing 15 young men sitting in a circle talking about healthy masculinity and preventing violence was my vision of the perfect future. Thirteen first days of school later, my vision for the ways MOST Club can impact young people nationwide has expanded.

Instead of a single circle of 15 young men, we envision whole schools of male students, taught by a network of specially-trained teachers and staff, in a co-curricular class on healthy masculinity and the prevention of violence against girls and women. This fall we will pilot the MOST Club as a co-curricular class to all male students at a charter school in Washington, DC. Imagine the change 600 MOST Club members can create in their neighborhood.

I used to dream about bringing our youth development expertise to girls and young women-to have girls and boys of all ages working as allies to make a more peaceful and equitable world. Club WISE (Women Inspiring Strength and Empowerment) is expanding this year and, with your support, will be in as many as 14 schools in DC with many more Clubs to form in the future. This past summer, we worked with children as young as seven, and we will continue to emphasize working with girls and boys throughout the lifespan, including working with teen fathers.

I used to dream about just 15 young men whose lives I could change. Now I dream about a whole nation of young men seeing healthy masculinity in action, learning social-emotional intelligence, and becoming MEN OF STRENGTH. Now I dream about schools that value young men’s strength like they value math and reading. Now I dream about communities where violence against girls and women is a thing of the past, where young men are positive forces for peace and equity. But these are all still just dreams without your help. With your donation, you can help incorporate MOST Club into school curriculums, empower girls and young women to realize their strength through Club WISE, and make real impact in the lives of young men and women nationwide.

We need your gift to spread these innovations from our hometown to yours. The young people we work with always say that MOST Club feels like a family. This family is about to get a lot larger and I can’t wait to welcome the new members. Can I count on you to join us?

Please donate today link



Neil Irvin
Executive Director

P.S. Donate today to support MOST Club and give boys and young men across the country the opportunity to learn true strength through healthy masculinity.

Men Can Stop Rape is an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) organization (Tax ID #52-2007652).
Your contribution is tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

HMAP Trains New Healthy Masculinity Leaders

The Washington, DC Healthy Masculinity Training Institute

Based on theories and skills that have shaped the Healthy Masculinity Action Project (HMAP), the Washington, DC Healthy Masculinity Training Institute was filled to capacity. Participants came from a variety of organizations including colleges, religious institutions, Greek life, domestic and sexual violence coalitions, and even an energy corporation.

The training institute began with a reading of the “inclusive” statement shared at the start of every HMAP event and then transitioned into group work focused on developing a description of healthy masculinity based on people’s experiences. The two trainers then introduced the role of storytelling in HMAP by discussing why we tell stories, sharing a personal masculinity story, and discussing with participants how the stories might connect with unhealthy and healthy masculinity. The rest of day one focused on unpacking unhealthy masculinity through dominant stories.

Day two started with a conversation about the relationship between healthy masculinity and masculinities, then moved onto the role of counter stories in healthy masculinity, creating healthy spaces for healthy masculinity, and engaging different male audiences through healthy masculinity. The last exercise of the day, “Gut Check,” provides a way to help men tap into their healthy emotional intelligence in bystander intervention situations.

On the final day, participants discussed self-care, including how the topic relates to unhealthy and healthy masculinity. They then deepened discussion about healthy masculinity and bystander intervention and swung into action by roleplaying bystander scenarios and intervention strategies. To close the institute, three storytellers shared an experience related to pornography to initiate a conversation modeled after the conversations held at the HMAP Healthy Masculinity Summit and Town Halls.

Responses to the Healthy Masculinity Training Institute:

“The HMTI experience was great. Not having done this work extensively, I feel that I was provided the knowledge and skills to successfully facilitate discussions. I am confident in my ability to move forward and engage others in those conversations.”

“...this is the on-the-ground work WE have to go out and do.” 

“This was a wonderfully receptive, smart, and open group."


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