Just a quick note – the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has put up the funds to launch a new web site and programming initiative geared towards young teens, 11-14: Start Strong.
The site currently lists 11 cities, though one imagines the intention is to eventually branch out. This is a good example of the kind of coordinated effort that can occur when funds are brought to bear and help support the work that is happening on the front lines. Also, the web site design is A+.
I think RWJF and Family Violence Prevention Fund have framed the discussion perfectly, not just for that age group, but for the nation at large: ending violence in a culture steeped in violent behavior which masquerades as “normal” and “acceptable” ultimately means defining (and teaching) what constitutes healthy relationships.
I look forward to viewing more of the site when I find the time, and to watching the program grow.
There is no constant in life except change, as the saying goes. I’m pleased to announce that I have been offered a job as the new Violence Prevention Communications Coordinator for the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault (WCASA). I will start later this week, as Sept. turns to October. I look forward to it with much excitement and anticipation.
Many of you may not be aware that for the better part of the last eighteen years violence prevention has been a passion of mine, but mostly a labor of love; MSR, being a modest non-profit, has never had the resources to pay me, or any of the other folks who’ve devoted time to the cause, what our time was really worth; we subsist on the occasional grant and the rare, but quite welcome, stipend for workshop facilitation (though the majority of workshops that we provide in the community we do for free in circumstances where the requesting organization are themselves so strapped for cash).
As such, MSR, and violence prevention has often had to take a back-seat to whatever was foremost on my agenda in terms of a rent-paying job; even for the past two years that I have been unemployed, thanks to the havoc wreaked upon the economy, the search for employment was so encompassing that energy left over for changing the world was a rare commodity. So with this new position at WCASA, I will have a chance not only to pick myself up by my own bootstraps, but also the rare opportunity to earn a living doing something that I believe in and to which I am committed.
This does not mean an end to my association with MSR, nor my commitment to continuing this blog space and podcasting and such. I intend to continue to posting on behalf of MSR; and of course I will continue to work in the community doing prevention work, with a focus on increasing awareness of and participation of men. But, I will be wearing two hats – one as a member of the state coalition, and one as a member of one of the oldest men’s anti-violence organizations in the country.
And both worn quite proudly.