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WTLC's New Health Masculinity Program - WTLC: Ending the Cycle of Violence and Exploitation
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WTLC’s New Health Masculinity Program

 

WTLC is excited to have launched our new Healthy Masculinity Program this year, which works to create safer communities by encouraging men to examine their own roles in our society, learning what actions they can take on an individual level to help promote healthy masculinity in their own community.

 

Recently, two staff at WTLC participated in the “A Call to Men” training, which works to transform society by promoting healthy, respectful manhood. Eddy Fuentes, Community Advocate, and Julio Rebollar, Prevention Education Supervisor, were selected to be trained through A Call to Men to become facilitators for WTLC’s Healthy Masculinity Program. Prior to the training, both were eager to learn what healthy masculinity entails.

 

“I always considered myself an advocate for healthy masculinity and felt this training would highlight the same or similar thought processes,” explained Eddy. Julio expressed similar thoughts, saying he was “eager and hopeful to learn more about machismo and the conceptual reasoning as to why we tell our children not to cry.” Both Advocates agreed that masculinity had played an important role in their lives growing up.

 

Julio described how the training delved deep into the history of ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and the way white patriarchy plays a pivotal role in defining healthy and unhealthy masculinity. Eddy added that he hadn’t realized the overall impact that race relations have on masculinity, explaining that it was both enlightening and eye-opening to hear survivors’ stories and presentations from other advocates. Presenters discussed their own cultural upbringings and the implications they have on masculinity, leaving both WTLC advocates considering how this has impacted their own well-being.

 

When asked if they wished they had learned anything more from this training, Julio explained that he was left with more ambition and hunger to utilize the knowledge he had obtained. He was left with the question “How do I have this conversation with men and how do we show our emotions while educating children and teens at an early age to be open about their feelings?” He wanted more direct instruction as to what to do with this newfound knowledge.

 

Eddy, on the other hand, said, “I don’t really feel like there needed to be anything different. The training was really informative and engaging. It pushed me out of my comfort zone and challenged my personal views on masculinity.”

 

Both advocates left the training feeling inspired to seek further growth through continued discussions and dialogue. A Call to Men is designed to encourage participants to examine their own identities and how they can take action to create a healthier environment for the people in their communities and personal lives. There is no easy prescription that can be used as a remedy for all relationships and communities, as they all differ and require different forms of engagement. The tools this program utilizes are survivor-driven, which encourages participants to understand that they are the experts in their own lives and that they are best positioned to really know what will work for them.

 

All survivors and participants deserve the resources to heal from nonhealthy masculinity. You can take steps to help. Each of us has the power to make a difference. The Healthy Masculinity Program will roll out its first session January 21st, 2021 2:00PM-3:00PM and is currently accepting new participants. If you or someone you know can benefit from this group, please contact fbarron@wtlc.org for more information.