Growing Healthy Masculinity and Campus Conversations

Help grow healthy masculinity on college campuses. Contact Men Can Stop Rape to learn about organizing a Healthy Masculinity on your campus:

It’s all about the stories.

Men Can Stop Rape has completed a series of Healthy Masculinity Campus Conversations sponsored by the Verizon Foundation. At the final three Campus Conversations – held at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Angelo State University, and the University of Arizona – storytellers kicked off each event. Some were students: a President of the Rugby Club, a runner on the track team, a politically motivated undergrad, a social work major, a transgender grad student, and a President of the Student Government Association. Others were faculty and staff: a psychology professor, an admissions staff person, a Director of Student Sustainability, and two of the Presidents of the universities.

They told honest, raw, gutty stories about conflicts with masculinity: growing up with no male role models; transitioning F to M and asking, “What kind of man do I want to be?”; struggling with a desire for vengeance after the gang rape of a sister; getting in a pointless fist fight over Christmas break; figuring out how to raise two sons; being sexual assaulted by another man; and 

The stories set the tone. They created an environment where men didn’t have to perform masculinity.

They could talk about issues connected to healthy and unhealthy masculinity: how to break free of “show no emotion”; how to be in healthy relationships and help other men be in healthy relationships; how to better support each other as men; how to fight fair; and how to better support girls and women.

The men could be real and authentic. They could practice healthy masculinity.

Help grow healthy masculinity on college campuses. Contact Men Can Stop Rape to learn about organizing a Healthy Masculinity on your campus:

HMAP Trains New Healthy Masculinity Leaders

The Washignton, DC Healthy Masculinity Training Institute

Based on theories and skills that have shaped the Healthy Masculinity Action Project (HMAP), the Washington, DC Healthy Masculinity Training Institute was filled to capacity. Participants came from a variety of organizations including colleges, religious institutions, Greek life, domestic and sexual violence coalitions, and even an energy corporation.

The training institute began with a reading of the “inclusive” statement shared at the start of every HMAP event and then transitioned into group work focused on developing a description of healthy masculinity based on people’s experiences. The two trainers then introduced the role of storytelling in HMAP by discussing why we tell stories, sharing a personal masculinity story, and discussing with participants how the stories might connect with unhealthy and healthy masculinity. The rest of day one focused on unpacking unhealthy masculinity through dominant stories.

Day two started with a conversation about the relationship between healthy masculinity and masculinities, then moved onto the role of counter stories in healthy masculinity, creating healthy spaces for healthy masculinity, and engaging different male audiences through healthy masculinity. The last exercise of the day, “Gut Check,” provides a way to help men tap into their healthy emotional intelligence in bystander intervention situations.

On the final day, participants discussed self-care, including how the topic relates to unhealthy and healthy masculinity. They then deepened discussion about healthy masculinity and bystander intervention and swung into action by roleplaying bystander scenarios and intervention strategies. To close the institute, three storytellers shared an experience related to pornography to initiate a conversation modeled after the conversations held at the HMAP Healthy Masculinity Summit and Town Halls.

Responses to the Healthy Masculinity Training Institute:

“The HMTI experience was great. Not having done this work extensively, I feel that I was provided the knowledge and skills to successfully facilitate discussions. I am confident in my ability to move forward and engage others in those conversations.”

“...this is the on-the-ground work WE have to go out and do.” 

“This was a wonderfully receptive, smart, and open group."

Howard University Healthy Masculinity Campus Conversation


“Show no emotion.” How men are taught to smother a rich and complicated emotional life was one of the topics of conversation at the Howard University Campus Conversation the evening of October 29, 2013. In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Howard University Interpersonal Violence Prevention Program, the Men of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, the Men of Drew Hall, and Men Can Stop Rape hosted the event, attended by more than 50 people, the overwhelming majority of them men.

Four outstanding male storytellers – a dean, a student, and two university alumni – kicked off the conversation with personal stories that took place in the Marines, on the basketball court, in a dorm, and in a close relationship. Hands shot up across the room in response, and for the next 50 minutes, students used their heads and hearts to speak about unhealthy and healthy masculinity.

The Howard men showed their emotions at the Campus Conversation.

This event would not have happened without the support and commitment of the following people: Dr. Barbara Griffin, Dr. Tricia Bent-Goodley, Akosoa Latrice, Mr. Tyrone Barksdale, Dr. Marc Lee, Lavar Youmans, Lamar White, Dr. Christopher St. Vil, the Men of Omega Psi Phi, the Men of Drew Hall, Roselena Martinez, Melanie Ortel, and Sherri Cunningham.

Men Can Stop Rape thanks the Verizon Foundation and Verizon Wireless for sponsoring this event.

Check out The Hilltop piece about the Campus Conversation here.

Healthy Masculinity Summit Report Now Available

The Healthy Masculinity Action Project (HMAP) is proud to announce the release of the Healthy Masculinity Summit Report which can be viewed and downloaded here. The report documents the results of the Healthy Masculinity Summit, which was sponsored by the Verizon Foundation and held in Washington, DC, last October to launch HMAP. Read the press release about the report here.

Hundreds of men and women from across the country participated in conversations about the potentially positive impacts of healthy masculinity. The promotion of men's nonviolence and healthier life choices was considered across a wide spectrum of societal areas: athletics, the workplace, faith, technology, business, youth development, education, communities of color, fatherhood, mental health, gender-based violence, LGBTQ communities, media, and trafficking. Together, the collection of insights and observations derived from the more than 20 summit conversations serve as a compendium of critical knowledge that will shape the work of HMAP.

Throughout this year, with the support of the Verizon Foundation, HMAP will host regional summits, community town hall meetings in select cities and university campuses across the country as well as a Youth Leadership Summit to continue the discussion on how men can stop the violence. Check the Town Halls page for continuing updates on this series.


Thanks to Our Sponsors, Participants, and Allies for a Momentous Summit

Men Can Stop Rape would like to thank all of the sponsors, participants, and allies of the Healthy Masculinity Summit on October 17-19. We would especially like to thank the Verizon Foundation for being the Co-Host Sponsor of the Healthy Masculinity Action Project. You can find recordings of the first full day's Morning and Lunch Keynote Conversations here.

Even if you weren’t at the Healthy Masculinity Summit in October, you can be a vital part of this initiative by organizing a Healthy Masculinity Town Hall or Campus Conversation in your community. And we can provide you with resources to help you. Send an email to today to ask for assistance.

HMAP is a two-year project of Men Can Stop Rape, National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, Men Stopping Violence, Coach for America, Women of Color Network, and A CALL TO MEN. It is designed to raise the visibility of healthy masculinity and build a new generation of male leaders across the country who model non-violent, emotionally healthy masculinity, serving as positive change-makers in society.

Break the Cycle tweeted during the Healthy Masculinity Summit, “#healthymasculinity is building a society based on collaboration not domination.” The summit was built on the idea and practice of collaborative dialogue; the Healthy Masculinity Town Halls or Campus Conversations are similarly structured.

Make healthy masculinity more visible in your community. Send an email to today to ask for assistance.


The Verizon Foundation is proud to support community programs and nonprofit organizations committed to providing education on domestic violence prevention.  We believe that everyone needs to be engaged as advocates to create a stronger voice for awareness and to help change behaviors at the grassroots level.  We are delighted that organizations like Men Can Stop Rape are educating men and boys on healthy masculinity and relationships so that our communities - and those who live in them – can continue to thrive. Together we – men and women – can help end domestic violence.

Anthony Llompart
Director of Healthcare Philanthropy and International
The Verizon Foundation

Learn more about the conversations that will take place at the 2012 Healthy Masculinity Summit and download the Healthy Masculinity Action Project brochure. See the HMAP Allies below and on the About page.

HMAP National Partners: Men Can Stop Rape, National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, Men Stopping Violence, Coach for America, Women of Color Network, and A CALL TO MEN.

Healthy Masculinity Action Project Allies


© 2012 Men Can Stop Rape (MCSR). All rights reserved.