The Nanaimo Haven Society is hosting three events featuring American author and educator Jackson Katz, a leading male anti-sexist advocate.

Katz is the co-founder of the Mentors in Violence Prevention Program (MVP), a gender violence, bullying, and school violence prevention program that encourages students to report violence when they see it. The program teams up with male athletes to provide young men with positive role models, who advocate that sexist and abusive behavior against women is never acceptable. Katz has also worked locally with the BC Lions and Ending Violence Association BC on their initiative, “Be More than a Bystander.”

He is also renowned for his film Tough Guise: Violence, Media, and the Crisis in Masculinity, which was produced by the Media Education Foundation. In Tough Guise, Katz argues that mass acts of violence in American society need to be understood as part of an ongoing crisis in masculinity.

Tracy Meyers, Coordinator Programs for Children & Youth at the Haven Society, organized the events. She says that she has incorporated materials from the MVP program and Tough Guise into the Haven Society’s Violence is Preventable program (VIP), a classroom outreach intuitive. “There isn’t anything that I’ve found that engages youth like his materials and I have been doing this work for 10 years,” Meyers says.

“I think this is the beginning of a conversation that Haven needs to follow up on,” says Meyers of the events. She hopes that by bringing in Katz, a powerful male ally, men see that violence against women is an issue that impacts everyone. “Men have a really strong role to play in this issue,” Meyers says.

“There is hardly a bigger crisis on the planet and men are not engaged. Our culture frames [violence against women] as a women’s issue,” Meyers says. “It’s women [that] have been traditionally working on this issue—working to name it and rallying to stop it.”

Katz will be delivering a multimedia presentation based on his book, The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help. Meyers says that Katz will be speaking about how masculinity is framed in Western society and how our culture evaluates what it means to be a man. She adds that Katz’s speaks in a conversational tone which is informal and inviting, “what he says in some ways is so common sense. It’s so obvious and yet we never talk about it,” Meyers says. “I think that people will be woken up.” The presentation is sponsored in part by VIU and there is no admission required.

Meyers says that Ilan Goldenblatt, owner of the Thirsty Camel, is raising money for students who cannot afford the ticket cost for the Men’s Leadership Breakfast and the Prevention/Social Change Training to be able to attend the events. Goldenblatt can be contacted at 250-753-9313.

Presentation—The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help. Monday, Nov. 26 at the Coast Bastion Inn, 11 Bastion St., Nanaimo BC 7:30 p.m.–9 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.). Free, No Registration Required

Men’s Leadership Breakfast. Tuesday, Nov. 27 at the Coast Bastion Inn, 11 Bastion St., Nanaimo, BC. 7:30 a.m.–9 a.m. (doors open at 7 a.m.) $40, Includes Breakfast (tickets available until Nov. 22) $320 for a table of 8. Participation is best suited to men who are elected officials as well as civic leaders, including those from community organizations, aboriginal bands, multicultural communities, youth sports organizations, and religious groups.

Prevention/Social Change Training for Professionals. Tuesday, Nov. 27 at the Coast Bastion Inn, 11 Bastion St., Nanaimo. 11 a.m.–2 p.m. (doors open at 10:30 a.m.)$45, Includes Lunch (tickets available until Nov. 22) $360 for a table of 8. Registration is open to social workers, law enforcement, counselors, teachers, physicians, health care providers, victim services workers, and others.

For more information, please contact Tracy Meyers at 250-756-2452 (ext. 224) or <>.

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