November 25, 2016 — It is International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and here at Men Can Stop Rape (MCSR) in Washington, D.C. we are inspired more than ever and empowered to do our work. While our very raison d’être is problematic, we are grateful to be among a network of allies who are woke, compassionate, and strong. And we are encouraged that our MCSR Team — representing all four corners of the world; as well as a range of ages, political perspectives and spiritual practices — is willing to do the self-care that is required of such community work.
Through the years, we have reached some 65 million people in support of our goal to mobilize men and boys for the purpose of creating cultures free of violence. From you, who also represent a wide range of ages, races, and identities, we have learned so much. We understand that to be invested in the safety and well-being of each other means that we have to do this challenging work at our “home” (office) first.
These best practices were developed from those of you who participate in our various Healthy Masculinity Action Projects, and from our youth members of the Men of Strength (MOST) Club and the Women Inspiring Strength and Empowerment (WISE) Club.
We have learned that we first have to be unafraid to be who we are. Though each one of us, at one time or another, have felt as if we are “alone,” we have not dropped the ball on each other. We take walks, sit in silence, and listen, and we find ourselves again, on common ground.
Here, “I believe you,” is a declaration we make to each other on a daily basis.
“Our WISE club, in particular, has become my place for inspiration,” says MCSR Program Manager, Ebony Wheeler. “Through teaching young women about counter stories and understanding the cycle of gender based violence, I’m able to see their growth, hear their voices and provide them with the necessary resources for what they say they need, not what we as adults think they want and need. They’ve taught me to be more open in guiding them in the right direction… and most importantly, they see the violence and want it to stop.”
In January, we begin to celebrate our 20th anniversary, honored to continue upholding these foundational goals of MCSR. Though we look forward, the urgency of “equality, security, liberty, integrity and dignity for all human beings” is not lost. Today, we invite you to join us at our next Youth Summit; and to chat with us on Twitter, Facebook, our website and through the Assault. Services. Knowledge (ASK) App. Together, we will be strong, without violence.
- The MSCR WISE Club
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