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MOST and WISE Clubs start Spring 2014 strong

Our Washington, DC, Men of Strength (MOST) and Women Inspiring Strength and Empowerment (WISE) Clubs had great semesters in the fall of 2013 and are starting 2014 strong. As part of a project in partnership with the District of Columbia Office of Victim Services, many of our middle school MOST and WISE Clubs have focused on serving chronically truant students. The unique model of MOST and WISE Club allow our specially trained mentors to find out and address the students' underlying causes for their tardiness and/or absenteeism.

Along with their weekly meetings, MOST and WISE Club members have been hard at work on awareness-raising efforts in their schools and service projects in their communities focused on healthy masculinity and female empowerment. WISE Club has been emphasizing a healthy self-image along with planning for future careers and healthy lifestyles. MOST Club members have been breaking down unhealthy, violent masculinity and have been working on bystander intervention skills in situations involving violence and sexism.

After finishing up a city-wide canned food drive for the holidays, MOST and WISE Clubs are focusing on raising awareness through film by showing films on LGBTQ discrimination and violence, unhealthy masculinity, and stories of young people succeeding. We will also be starting WISE and MOST Clubs at four more sites in Washington, DC in partnership with the Georgia Avenue Family Support Collaborative. What perhaps best sums up the extraordinary progress we've made so far in the school year was said by a middle school WISE Club member: "WISE Club gives me hope."

 
Happy Holidays from Men Can Stop Rape

MOST_Club_middle_school_web“I appreciate more than words can express the time and attention you gave both of my sons during their high school and college years. They both are doing well and pursuing their dreams, so you can see OUR hard work was not in vain.”

Dear Friends,

A letter received around this time of year usually comes from one of two sources: a friend or family member recalling their family’s accomplishments during the year with the hope that you’ll be impressed or a nonprofit organization recalling their accomplishments during the year with the hope that you’ll give them money. The above quote comes from a different kind of letter that I receive around the holidays: letters from the parents of Men of Strength (MOST) Club members. The joy in these letters comes from knowing that we as a community of parents, coaches, teachers, and other mentors were able to work together to produce exceptional Men of Strength.

In times when the struggle to prevent violence and promote healthy masculinity seems overwhelmed by media authorities, politicians, and popular figures condoning rape culture, it is so necessary to be reminded of where the real work lies. It lies in the young men who I first met almost a decade ago mentioned in that letter, one who is now a teacher in Washington, DC and the other a college student in New York. The work lies in the truant girls and boys who were once thought unreachable and are now finding their potential in MOST Clubs and WISE (Women Inspiring Strength and Empowerment) Clubs. It lies in the middle school MOST Club member in South Carolina who said that when his mother died, MOST Club was his family.

We’ve accomplished a lot this year at Men Can Stop Rape. We’ve engaged thousands of young people, trained hundreds of professionals, launched a mobile app for victims of crime, and travelled across the country facilitating Healthy Masculinity Town Halls. We’ve reached all segments of the population from underserved children in Washington, DC to oil workers living in “Man Camps” in North Dakota. We couldn’t have done any of this without the support of people like you. Whether you’ve donated money or time to us or whether you’ve simply been a positive presence in a young person’s life, we want to thank you for making our work possible. It’s not too late to help support MOST and WISE Clubs in communities across America with your gift this year.

With all of the miles flown, the miles driven, and the slices of pizza served this year, the work is tough. But receiving a letter like that from a MOST Club parent reminds me of all of the joy that comes with a life where young people are prioritized. Please, take this holiday season to be a mentor for the young people in your life, whether they are your children or the children of others. As we see with the letter, strong young women and men are raised by a whole community. The work of raising young people is not the work of others; it is OUR work.

 

Donation button

Sincerely,

Neil Signature

Neil Irvin
Executive Director

P.S. December 31st, 2013 is your last chance to give your tax-deductible gift to Men Can Stop Rape and file it with your 2013 taxes.

 


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