MTSU is continuing its observance of Sexual Assault Awareness Month by welcoming internationally recognized author and social justice advocate Tony Porter back to campus Monday, April 8, for two special community talks.
Porter, co-founder and co-director of “A Call to Men: The Next Generation of Manhood,” will speak at 6 p.m. and again at 7:30 p.m. Monday in the second-floor ballroom of the Student Union, Room 250.
The 6 p.m. session is planned especially for women, organizers say, and the 7:30 session will be offered for men.
Both are free and open to the public, and a campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTParkingMap.
The event is sponsored by MTSU Athletics, the MTSU Power of One student organization, the university’s Distinguished Lecture Fund and the June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students.
Porter’s “A Call to Men” organization aims to prevent violence by shifting “social norms” and promoting a healthier, more respectful “definition of manhood,” according to its website, www.acalltomen.org.
GQ magazine called his 2010 TED Talk, “A Call to Men,” one of its “Top 10 TED Talks Every Man Should See.” You can see that talk below.
He first visited MTSU in October 2014 during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, detailing destructive behavior that men are socialized to value and noting emphatically, “These rigid notions of manhood are killing us as men.”
The author of “Breaking Out of the ‘Man Box’: The Next Generation of Manhood,” Porter has worked for more than a decade as a life skills trainer and consultant for the National Football League.
He’s also worked with the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy and the National Basketball Association and has been a guest presenter to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, all with a focus of preventing violence against women and realigning men’s socialization.
“Although traditionally, the narrative of gender-based violence has been seen as a ‘women’s issue,’ the narrative is slowly changing. There are still men who believe that because they are not directly affected by gender-based violence, that it isn’t their problem,” said Barbara Scales, director of the June Anderson Center.
“Statistics show us that this is not a ‘women’s issue’; it is a pervasive issue that affects everyone, regardless of their gender identity. How do we engage men in these conversations and help them see the importance of their role in the fight to end gender-based violence? Tony Porter … will be on MTSU’s campus to address this very question.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 1.3 million women are physically assaulted by an intimate partner each year. The U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics says women between age 20 and 24 are at the greatest risk for nonfatal intimate partner violence.
For more information, contact the June Anderson Center at 615-898-5812 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Gina E. Fann (email@example.com)