WNC Men’s Leadership Conference to Enlist College Men in Preventing Gender-based Violence
Tue, 02/08/2011 - 3:50pm
Male students from area college campuses will gather to develop leadership in preventing gender based violence, in a special conference at UNC Asheville's Highsmith University Union from 5-9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 22. The Western North Carolina Men’s Leadership Conference, co-sponsored by UNC Asheville and Our VOICE, Buncombe County’s sexual assault crisis and prevention center, is expected to draw participants from Warren Wilson College, Montreat College, Mars Hill College and Western Carolina University.
“The conference will create a safe space for men to talk about increasing the role they can play as leaders trying to reduce gender-based violence,” says Bill Haggard, UNC Asheville vice chancellor for student affairs. “Men often perceive that sexual violence is a women’s issue and are not aware of what they can do to prevent it."
"Both men and women can have a powerful influence on the culture and environment that perpetuates dating and sexual violence," says Robin Payne, Development Coordinator with Our VOICE. "The tone a community sets can really influence how individuals act, and move us toward a society free of violence.”
The conference will be highlighted by keynote speaker Tony Porter, who works with the NFL, NBA and many other organizations on prevention programs. Porter is co-founder of A CALL TO MEN: Committed to Ending Violence Against Women. He is also the author of two books, "Well Meaning Men...Breaking out of The 'Man Box' - Ending Violence Against Women" and "NFL Dads Dedicated to Daughters."
The Western North Carolina Men's Leadership Conference is free and open to all currently-enrolled college students who identify as male. Dinner for participants is included in the conference. Staff and faculty at area colleges are invited to attend the keynote speech and attend separate break-out sessions designed to help them work with male students on violence prevention. The registration deadline is February 17. For registration and information, please e-mail Alice Pollard in the UNC Asheville Health and Counseling Center at email@example.com, or call 828.258.7718.