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."