Inspired by the White Ribbon Campaign to end gender-based violence, the Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable is presenting a virtual event examining the need to talk and teach about healthy manhood at an early age. Presented by the Roundtable’s White Ribbon Group, “A Call to Families: Discussing Healthy Masculinity with Young People,” will take place on Zoom on Tuesday, March 9, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
The special guest keynote speaker for the event is Rickie Houston, director of training for A Call to Men, an organization that works to transform society by promoting healthy, respectful manhood and offering trainings and educational resources. Houston is an experienced trainer, working throughout the United States and internationally. His work has included training extensively with professional athletes and engaging men in the effort to end violence against women in West Africa. He is pastor of a church in North Carolina and served in the U.S. Army from 1982 to 1988.
Houston will speak about the importance of boys being able to show their emotions and the significance of teaching them about healthy masculinity at an early age.
Breakout sessions will run after the keynote address. These sessions will provide participants an opportunity to connect on how they are – or can be – having discussions with young people about healthy masculinity at various ages.
Parents, teachers, coaches and youth leaders are among those encouraged to attend this event.
“Still today, we are raising our boys and girls in a gendered society. I have a small grandson and am very aware of the extent to which our culture influences the ways even small children behave,” said Sue Rushfirth, president of the Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable. “I hope that those who attend our workshop leave with a plan of action resulting from a better understanding of how we reinforce concepts of control, power, aggression and emotional stoicism in our male children; also, the way an internalized acceptance of traditional masculinity – by both boys and girls – may result in unhealthy relationships.”
The White Ribbon Campaign started in Canada in 1991 and has grown to an international movement. In Massachusetts, the state coalition has hosted events since 2007; the Domestic Violence Roundtable has hosted programs since 2016. The White Ribbon Campaign raises awareness about the prevalence of men’s violence against women and brings to the table those crucial to ending relationship violence – men.
To register for the event, visit https://tinyurl.com/y4qmzz39.