We’ve been making so many connections recently—starting new projects and renewing old ones. We thought we’d share here some of the things that are exciting to us.
We are thrilled to bring back our annual youth-led workshop. If you are a Maine high schooler, join us for this free day of fun, friends, and food while we have important conversations about how to increase awareness of healthy self-expression and inclusion. Our youth council will give you a knowledge toolbox on topics like healthy relationships, boundary setting, and communication skills that will empower you to reduce harm in your community. How do societal pressures lead to a culture of disrespect, harassment, and even violence? Let’s explore this together and make our schools and communities safe and more inclusive of all. If you are a high schooler, sign yourself up and share the link with a friend. If you are are parent or educator, this is a great opportunity for the youth you know to experience our Reducing Sexism & Violence Program (RSVP®), especially if your school district doesn’t currently offer it.
Our workshops and discussion groups are powerful enough that people come in as strangers and leave giving each other hugs and exchanging phone numbers. That’s what happened after our March Fatherhood: Generations of Change workshop. Over two weeks, and in just eight short hours, the participants showed up with open hearts and minds, connecting over stories and leaning into vulnerability to extract everything they could from our time together. One participant noted, “It feels like we’re just getting started!” All of them expressed the desire to stay connected to the work and to pay it forward to other dads. We are grateful to Woodfords Church for providing an awesome venue in their Lounge.
Here’s another story of connections: We are members of the Violence Prevention Network. That group led us to our latest presentation of the Training Institute at the Universalist Unitarian church in Rockland, Maine. A group of six participants joined us there, helping us forge new partnerships in Knox and Waldo counties. With the help of networks like these, we hope to continue our work in Maine and to move down the coast into Massachusetts.
You can stay up-to-date with our program offerings by following us on social media. In March alone, we reached 66.8% more accounts than we did in February. We will modestly point out that our social media has it all: program announcements, inspirational quotes, and selfie-style videos. We are very proud that one of our videos reached over 50% non-following Instagram accounts, compared to an Instagram average of 1-5% non-following accounts. Choose your favorite platform: Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.
Not only are we proud of our March social media impact, we are proud of all that we accomplished in 2021. When put together on one page, our stats are really impressive—especially given that we were under COVID-19 restrictions for most of the year. By comparison, in 2022, we have already served 700 students.
If you would like to be part of our courageous commitment to end male violence and self-harm while advancing gender equity, our Board of Directors is actively cultivating and recruiting candidates. We are looking for people with a strong connection to our mission and we would like to expand the diversity of backgrounds and experiences among those on our board. Living or working in the greater Portland area is no longer required. If you or someone you know may be interested in hearing more about this meaningful volunteer opportunity, please connect with us!
Photo by John Barkiple on Unsplash