Coaching Boys into Men, Houston
Northwest Assistance Ministries (NAM) is a nonprofit, community-based, multi-program social service agency that strives to supply basic needs through neighbors helping neighbors. The Family Violence Center is one of the programs NAM offers to support their community in time of need. Recently Family Violence Center Youth Educator, Melanie Jackman, has worked with coaches to help them deliver a violence prevention message to their student athletes. Melanie has enlisted four coaches to participate in the Coaching Boys into Men program this year.
Coaching Boys into MenSM is a coaches leadership program that partners with athletic coaches to help young male athletes practice respect toward themselves and others (http://coachescorner.org/.) The program addresses root causes of gender-based violence by helping athletes question the underlying beliefs that condone it and motivates them to take action when sexual harassment and other forms of violence against women are taking place. Additionally, because young athletes are leaders within their schools, they have the unique opportunity to model positive and respectful behavior toward girls to other students..
“We are raising a generation of boys who do not have good male role models so they look to athletes and artists to be those role models in their lives,” states Jackman. “At times, these individuals are not sending positive messages about masculinity. Instead, their message is about making money and getting together with a lot of women.”
During her initial outreach to coaches, Melanie discovered that she shares this concern with coaches who have been looking for a platform to discuss the issue of what it means to be an upstanding man in their community. The Coaching Boys into Men program provides them with that platform as well as structured lessons they can draw on to deliver their message.
Jackman states, “Historically, the violence against women movement has been about women helping women. What I have learned from Jackson Katz and others is that we need to talk to men and boys to increase their knowledge about respect. Men and boys play an important role in ending this form of violence, and we need to approach them as allies. t is important that we let them know we are here because we consider them leaders who people look up to and want to emulate.”
Jackman sees her role in the community as empowering youth and providing them with knowledge and skills to have healthy and successful lives. She hopes that this program will grow in the schools in which she is currently working and possibly move into middle school in years to come.
Allies to Survivors with Disabilities
Allies to Survivors with Disabilities (ASD) is one of seven TCFV caucus networks and allies. This year, ASD members are redesigning their brochure and contacted VSA Texas—The State Organization on Arts and Disability. ASD wanted an artist with a disability to design the cover of their new brochure. With a registry of almost 500 Texas artists with disabilities, it was no surprise that 11 artists responded. ASD selected three art pieces and asked various constituents and members on TCFV listservs to vote for the final cover art. The winner was Naomi Rosen’s piece Defiant (on left).
Naomi described her piece Defiant as a self-portrait. “I create a self-portrait yearly never knowing what will appear. A new and unfamiliar strength derived of love and acceptance emerged.” Naomi studied in Israel and New York. She worked as a potter in Italy and England. Naomi now lives in Texas with her beloved Bob and their dog Max, the great wise one.
Runner-up Carolyn Oliver (artwork on right) says, “Art is a very big part of my life. In 2005, I sustained physically disabling injuries in a car accident. My strong desire to create my art gave me the will to recover.”
Learn more about VSA Texas at the website www.vsatx.org.
Actress Marlee Matlin to Speak at Honoring Women in Our Lives luncheon
Please join us for Honoring Women in Our Lives, a special luncheon to raise awareness of domestic violence in Texas, to be hosted on May 3, at 12:00 pm at the Four Seasons hotel in Austin. Our special guest speaker is Academy Award and Golden Globe winner Marlee Matlin.
Marlee Matlin received worldwide critical acclaim for her motion picture debut in Children of a Lesser God, and has been praised for her work on West Wing, The L Word, Spin City, Desperate Housewives, ER, Judging Amy, CSI: New York and other well-loved TV shows. Matlin has received four Emmy award nominations for her guest turns on Picket Fences, The Practice, Seinfeld and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. She serves on the celebrity board of the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
Honoring Women in our Lives will pay tribute to individuals, corporations, and others for their outstanding commitment to empowering women and ending domestic violence. The event celebrates women who touch our lives and affect our character forever.
To register, please visit bit.ly/HonoringWomen.