YWCA receives $350,000 federal grant to support AMEND Together, youth violence prevention programming

YWCA Vice President of External Affairs and AMEND Together Shan Foster leads a discussion at the Margaret Allen Middle School Amend Together Club with Predators players Roman Josi (59) and Nick Bonino (13) looking on.

YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee recently was awarded a $350,000 grant to continue its AMEND Together programming. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)’s Consolidated Youth and Engaging Men grant program supports projects that engage men as role models and key influencers in primary prevention strategies addressing sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sex trafficking. The DOJ’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) will administer the grant.

“This funding award is evidence that AMEND Together is a model program, worthy of recognition and support,” said YWCA Vice President of External Affairs and AMEND Together Shan Foster. “We are grateful the U.S. Department of Justice sees value in our innovative work of engaging men and boys to break the cycle of abuse in our community.”

YWCA is partnering with Metro Nashville Public Schools, the Tennessee Secondary School Athletics Association (TSSAA), and 100 Black Men of Middle Tennessee to engage men and boys as allies in the effort to reduce and end violence against women. The OVW Engaging Men grant will enable YWCA and our partners to train and educate 30,000 MNPS personnel, students, parents, and mentors in the AMEND Together curriculum over the next three years. YWCA will also identify, recruit, and train at least 10 MNPS staff to launch 10 AMEND Together Clubs in the 2020-21 school year. Currently, YWCA offers AMEND Together programming in 24 MNPS middle and high schools, reaching more than 500 boys.

Extensive work by experts in gender violence prevention reveals that through education and mobilization, ‘good men’ must play a critical role in creating a community where all women and girls are valued and safe. From this highly actionable finding came AMEND Together, a primary prevention strategy based on the concept that the end of violence against women and girls begins with men. The YWCA program has grown rapidly over the last five years, and it recently joined with Vanderbilt Sports and Society Initiative to host a national conference on ending gender-based violence and promoting healthy masculinity.