How can we prevent domestic and sexual violence against women? It is a question educator and activist Tony Porter addressed during his ‘A Call to Men’ presentation at Tennessee State University March 27.
Porter is co-founder of ‘A Call To Men: The Next Generation of Manhood,’ a leading national men’s organization addressing domestic and sexual violence prevention and the promotion of healthy manhood.
A central tenet of ‘A Call to Men’ is the belief that preventing violence against women is ultimately the responsibility of men. During his talk, Porter emphasized that even well-meaning men who do not see themselves as part of the problem need to get involved.
“Its time for those of us who are ‘well meaning men’ to start acknowledging the role male privilege and socialization play in domestic violence as well as violence against women in general,” said Porter. “As well meaning men we must begin to acknowledge and own our responsibility to be part of the solution to ending domestic violence.”
According to Porter, his work and vision is not to beat up on well meaning men, but instead to help them understand, through a process of re-education and accountability, how to become part of the solution to ending domestic violence.
“We must educate and re-educate our sons and other young men,” said Porter. “We must accept our responsibility that domestic violence won’t end until well-meaning men become part of the solution. While a criminal justice response to domestic violence is necessary, a cultural, social shift is required.”
Porter and Ted Bunch co-founded the national organization, ‘A Call To Men,’ to address and end domestic and sexual violence against women and girls by challenging men to reconsider their long-held and long-taught gender beliefs, then take those lessons back to disseminate within their respective communities.
Since its founding in 2002, ‘A Call To Men’ has worked throughout the United States and the world to develop and shape the next generation of manhood.
Working with hundreds of youth sports organizations, high schools and colleges throughout the country, including Harvard, Columbia, Morehouse, and Berkeley, and has trained men and women from more than 3,000 organizations throughout the country, including the National Basketball Association, the United Nations, and hundreds of national, state, local and community based domestic violence and sexual assault organizations.
TSU partnered with the Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence, Verizon Wireless, Meharry Medical College, and the YWCA of Nashville & Middle Tennessee to sponsor this special presentation. For more information, contact Chandra Lipscomb, director of the Men and Women Centers, at 615-963-4947