Men Can Stop Rape has been honoring Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month with a flurry of activities at the end of February that engage all levels of society for meaningful change. These activities symbolize MCSR's utilization of the Social Ecological Model for meaningful change. This model recognizes that individuals do not exist in isolation, but within a complex web of influences defined at the levels of relationship, community, and society. We believe the most effective way to create change is by interacting at all levels of the social ecological model. To see how else our MOST Club members are engaging the community, see the Community Strength Projects page.
On Friday February 24, Men Can Stop Rape hosted an intergenerational discussion about hip hop, violence against women, and young men’s civic engagement. The event was part of MCSR’s partnership with the Hip Hop Caucus in their Respect My Vote! Campaign. The Hip Hop Caucus organizes young people to be active in elections, policymaking, and service projects. This dialogue is the first in a series of events leading up to this year’s election aimed at getting young people involved in the electoral process and in their communities.
On Tuesday February 28th, two MOST Club members engaged in international violence prevention efforts through the United Nations Girl-Boy Dialogue, a part of the 56th Commission on the Status of Women International Conference. Kareem, 17, from School Without Walls in Washington, DC and Percy, 12, from City Springs School in Baltimore, MD travelled to New York City to join youth from around the United States and the world. They were joined by Senior Director of Programs and MOST Club Mentor Kedrick Griffin and City Springs MOST Club Mentor Antoine Lewis. The Dialogue focused on economic empowerment for men and women and the students discussed what economic empowerment means to them, what economic empowerment looks like in their states and countries, how economic empowerment will look in the next five years, and what young people can do to promote economic empowerment. In talking about the next five years, Kareem stated, “Internationally, women will continue to be deprived of the same opportunities as men unless we work together to change change this.” Percy said that he learned from the Dialogue “…no matter what your gender is you should be treated equally.”
On Tuesday February 28th, Executive Director and MOST Club Mentor Neil Irvin engaged in preventing violence against women in national policy by participating in the 4th Annual Capitol Hill briefing on raising awareness of and preventing teen dating violence. The panel was hosted by Futures Without Violence and was driven by the vision of Futures Without Violence President Esta Soler (pictured above with Neil). Neil was also joined by representatives from the YWCA, the American School Counselor Association, and Jewish Women International. Speakers at the briefing included Joe Torre of Major League Baseball and the Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation and actress Gabrielle Union. The Briefing was hosted by Senator Michael Crapo, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Representative John Lewis (pictured above with Neil), Representative David Reichert, and Representative Gwen Moore.
This month of April has been designated Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) in the United States. The goal of SAAM is to raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence. As you know, Men Can Stop Rape (MCSR) is leading the way in preventive methods and education on violence, especially men’s violence against women. We do so through our Men of Strength Clubs (MOST), Strength Media, and Strength Trainings. Our leadership on this issue is reflected in our co-hosting the 2012 Healthy Masculinity Summit on Oct. 17-19, 2012 in Washington, DC. These are just a few of the ways that MCSR is reaching out to individuals, organizations, businesses, and the community to put an end to violence against women.
In support of SAAM, I am asking you to show your support on behalf of women everywhere by getting involved in programs like these that will be occurring during the month of April.
Rachel Lloyd book signing on April 4th at Busboys and Poets featuring Jonathan Tucker Poetry reading of “Pimp Culture.”
30 Days of Strength in District of Columbia Public Schools. A project of Men Can Stop Rape, 30 Days of Strength energizes people to raise their levels of awareness, to recognize that sexual assault is both a women’s and a men’s issue, and to become involved in preventing dating and sexual violence.
A town hall community meeting on “Pornography’s Impact on our Sons” on April 30th
We would love to see you at the above events! However, we understand that your schedule may not allow you to do so. If you are unable to attend, please show your support by donating today with a gift of $50 or more to help more young men learn what it means to be a Man of Strength.
Only when we work together can we build a future in which violence against women does not require an awareness month.
Neil Irvin Executive Director
P.S. Changing lives and saving lives starts with you. Please visit our website www.mencanstrape.org and click on the red donate button to make a gift today!