Mike Griswold, a participant in one of our 'Fatherhood: Generations of Change' trainings, shared how MB2M has impacted his role as a father.
"Maine Boys to Men has truly been a source of inspiration. They've helped me to deepen my understanding of my internalized ideas of masculinity. By exploring authenticity, the MB2M approach challenged and motivated me to identify how I (we) can play an influential role in changing the societal narrative of male culture. I aim to positively model my own attitudes and behaviors for my three kids while augmenting their understanding of the complex world around them. This is life-changing work and any father--old, new, or aspiring--can greatly benefit from what MB2M has to offer."
The National Women's Law Center recently published a report calling on schools "to address sexual harassment through inclusive policies and practices." Twelve policy recommendations outlined in the report, which you can read here. We have been collaborating with Portland Public Schools over many years to address these topics. We are grateful for the work they are doing to support changes.
On Friday, September 3, Maine Boys To Men's "Men Connect: New Mainers" group will be partnering with SCORE Maine for an in-person community gathering and information session. We will be hosting a mentor from SCORE to discuss a wide range of topics that will offer insight into resources and empower folks around their own self-efficacy and entrepreneurship. We asked SCORE to join us after the new Mainer community shared about financial stressors and communication as a precursor to unhealthy dynamics in relationships.
Maine Boys to Men was honored to be featured in a recent Bangor Daily News opinion article by Kim Simmons. She wrote, "The first few weeks of school are known to be the most dangerous, the 'red zone' for campus sexual violence, but it doesn't have to be true forever. Together we can create (and demand) safer, healthier and more pleasurable college experiences." She pointed out that our work supports the development of nonviolent expressions of masculinity as a prevention pathway.
Maine Boys to Men has been busy for the past month moving into our new offices! They are located at 415 Congress St, Portland, inside the beautiful coworkHERS space. We are excited to be centrally located in Portland--near the arts district and the Old Port. The energy we feel from our neighbors is wonderful
Our phone number has not changed, but we did update our mailing address. It is now PO Box 8235, Portland ME 04104.
On Friday, August 6, we present a new mini-series in our podcast, The Youth Take: A Maine Boys to Men Podcast. This mini-series is call "Gender Across Generations." In the first of three conversations, listen to Owen and his mom, Victoria, discuss what gender means to them.
To listen on Spotify, click here. The Youth Take can also be found on Apple podcasts or wherever you find podcasts.
Many thanks to our community partner Martin's Point Health Care for creating this short video to share a little about our Men Connect for New Mainers program. The program is specifically for new arrivals to the US, expanding on our commitment to provide space for men to reflect on their experiences around masculinity and discuss tools for self-care, healthy relationships, and violence prevention.
Men Connect for New Mainers meets every other Friday evening. New participants are always welcome!
This project is supported by Grant No. 2015-CY-AX-0013, awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.
We are pleased to welcome Jordan Hebert as our new Program Specialist and Facilitator. Jordan embodies Maine Boys to Men's mission every day in his professional and personal life, and will be a fantastic addition to our program team.
Jordan writes, "After six months of an incredible internship with Maine Boys to Men, an internship that afforded me profound personal and professional growth, I am overjoyed to share that I have accepted the role of Program Specialist.
"This is such a humbling transition for me because I am joining a team of individuals who I look up to and admire. The authentic experiences that resonate from the programs MB2M delivers is a reflection of the staff's own genuine benevolence and compassion. I am so grateful for this opportunity to align my passions for social justice and human rights with the righteous mission of advancing gender equity and healthy masculinity.
"I'm excited to collaborate with all of our stakeholders, including our youth, parents and families, youth-serving adults, schools, community organizations and partners, and this amazing team at MB2M to move this mission forward together!"
Jordan has extensive experience working with youth. In the past, he has worked within school settings, coached basketball, and individually tutored and mentored students. He is deeply passionate about elevating youth voice and scaling youth leadership. During a six-month internship with MB2M, Jordan facilitated with skill and compassion our virtual high school programming, our Educators and Coaches program, and our Fatherhood program.
Do you know a Middle or High School student who is interested in a unique leadership education opportunity this summer?
We are pleased to be offering three sessions of our youth-focused, youth-informed Reducing Sexism & Violence Program (RSVP)™ for middle and high schoolers in July. This is the only opportunity this year for youth to experience RSVP outside of the school environment.
RSVP is fast-paced, fun, and interactive. Through a variety of activities, participants will engage with and discuss important topics while discovering new information about themselves and their peers. We will explore societal pressures and narrow definitions of gender and how both can lead to a culture of self-harm, disrespect, harassment, and violence. Topics also include healthy relationships, setting boundaries, and communication skills.
Participants will leave better prepared to navigate the pressures of adolescence and with knowledge they can use to help make their school communities safer and more inclusive. This workshop empowers students to play a central role in confronting sexist attitudes and behaviors that are limiting and harmful to everyone.
All Sessions will take place at STARS Learning Cooperative in Freeport. Cost is $100 per session. Youth participants will have FUN, be challenged in new ways, and learn tools to make their communities safer and stronger.
Middle Schoolers (male-identified youth age 11-14)
Session 1 - July 12-14, 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Session 2 - July 19-21, 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
High Schoolers (all genders age 14-18)
July 26-28, 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
To sign up, contact STARS Learning Cooperative directly at info @ stars-success.com. Space is limited! For more information about RSVP, get in touch with us at info @ maineboystomen.org.
It is with pleasure that we share some exciting role changes within our program team at Maine Boys to Men.
Chris Kelleher is shifting to a new role as the first ever Training Institute Program Manager. He will begin to assume full lead over our Modern Masculinity Training Institute expansion, including marketing, development, and delivery. Chris's extensive work experience over the past seven years with Maine Boys to Men positions him well to lead this program growth. Chris is a trusted and highly respected member of the Maine community. Expansion work is not new to Chris; since 2015, he has assisted as we have grown to include collaboration with various at-risk and in-risk service providers in Portland. In addition, over the last three years, he has developed and delivered new programming in collaboration with the New Mainer community.
Chris says, "The work that we do as a team is so close to my heart and I am pleased to be able to share our programming with an ever-expanding reach of communities. Ending gender-based violence and working towards equality and safety for all in communities continues to be a passion of mine. I am grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with such an amazing team as we look collectively towards the future and growth of this important organization."
Danny Mejia will lead our program team as the new Program Director. While at college, Danny became committed to the work of ending male violence, leading a weekly men's discussion group on topics of masculinity affecting the community. Soon he began working with Maine Boys to Men as a summer intern and his research informed the development of our middle and high school programming. Upon graduation, he became a program facilitator, and then joined us full time as a program specialist. Danny has led our Coaches and Educators trainings and Youth Advisory Council and he played a key role over the last year in shifting our programming to online delivery. Danny is a strategic thinker and can problem solve with ease. He is uniquely capable of delivering quality programming in the present while simultaneously envisioning the future, making him a great fit for our ever-evolving programs.
Danny says, "I have seen firsthand the impact our programming has on young people and i remain committed to reducing gender-based violence in our community, specifically male-violence towards self and others. I believe that through a broader understanding of what masculinity is and isn't, we can encourage boys and men to step away from harmful gender stereotypes and create safer communities for all. I am energized to grow our programming and continue our invaluable work!"
Maine Boys to Men is grateful to both Chris Kelleher and Danny Mejia for their willingness to step forward and lead impactful programming and for their courageous commitment to ending male violence and self-harm.
We are pleased to announce that we are a new team member to join us as Program Specialist and Facilitator. If you are courageously committed to ending male violence and self-harm and want to work on a team that emphasizes collaboration and community, please consider applying for the position. Read more here.
Maine Boys to Men is excited to offer Maine parents, teachers, coaches and youth serving adults a free, CEU-certified professional development opportunity. Join us to learn how to deliver our Reducing Sexism and Violence Program (RSVP)™ to youth in your community.
This virtual program consists of six 2-hour sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays for three consecutive weeks, 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
May 25: Why Boys?
May 27: Gender Stereotypes
June 1: Empathy and Consent
June 3: Beyond the Binary & Narrow Masculinity
June 8: Upstander Intervention
June 10: Facilitation and Storytelling Techniques
This program is funded by the Maine Masonic Charitable Foundation and is open only to Maine residents.
"Maine Boys to Men trained us to use their curriculum, giving us the tools and confidence to create safe spaces and open up the most important conversations with the students we serve." ~Modern Masculinity Training Institute participant
We are so honored to have received a grant from the Maine Masonic Charitable Foundation! The grant will help support our train-the-trainer work, in which we help youth-serving adults from Maine bring our trademarked Reducing Sexism and Violence Program (RSVP) curriculum to their communities.
You can read more about our train-the-trainer program, called the Modern Maculinity Training Institute, here.
After holding a comprehensive national search, Maine Boys to Men is pleased to welcome Heidi Randall as our new excutive director.
Heidi possesses a courageous commitment to ending male violence and self-harm through programs centered in empathy, connection, and belonging. An experienced change agent with a strong history of work in the youth and adult violence prevention fields, she has been an instrumental member of the Maine Boys to Men team for the past five years, first as programming consultant and most recently as our program director. She has assembled a phenomenal team, founded our Youth Advisory Council, led workshops for thousands of youth and adults, developed our train-the-trainer initiative, and much more.
Heidi brings over 26 years of upper management experience within the for-profit and nonprofit sectors in Maine. Her background includes leadership roles with multiple gender-based violence and youth-focused organizations including Safe Voices, Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence, and Maine Youth Action Network. Heidi's diverse experience also includes small business ownership and work with Maine middle and high schools as a teacher, college counselor, and athletic coach.
Heidi writes, "It is truly an honor to be selected to lead the next phase of Maine Boys to Men. Our board, team, funders, and community all share a heartfelt investment in the work of this high impact organization. With our nationally recognized programs and the heightened relevance of our work to so many societal issues, I am inspired every single day. I know we will work together as a collective whole to create great change. Let's begin!"
Please join us in wishing Heidi a warm welcome to this new role! As we embark on an exciting time in the 22-year history of Maine Boys to Men, we are well positioned to expand our work into new regions and increase our impact with diverse communities of youth and adults.
Emma Brown, an investigative reporter for the Washington Post, interviewed Maine Boys to Men team members for her powerful new book To Raise A Boy. Her research investigates how we teach boys to be men—and how we can do better. The book highlights our hands-on curriculum for middle school boys, including the popular activity in which we ask boys to think about the toys they loved as children and then discuss the different ways toys are marketed to boys and girls. This exercise is a practical and readily grasped introduction to the concept of gender stereotypes.
To Raise A Boy is on sale here.
In early February, after six and a half years of leading Maine Boys to Men, Executive Director Matt Theodores stepped down to pursue another opportunity.
During Matt's tenure, Maine Boys to Men saw exponential growth and developed into a nationally acclaimed organization that empowers girls, boys, and adults to bring positive change to their communities. We now offer one of the most comprehensive gender-based violence prevention programs in the nation. Leading researchers have studied our program's impact and we are training others to deliver our programs in communities we can't reach directly.
Before he left, Matt wrote, "I am thankful for the strong community support that has made our work possible and for the exceptional team that has carried it out. I feel fortunate to have had this opportunity to learn and grow alongside the tens of thousands of people who have participated in our programs. I am very excited for Maine Boys to Men to continue to prosper under new leadership."
We thank Matt for his remarkable contributions and his visionary leadership. His passion and commitment have helped create an amazing team that delivers incredibly impactful programming for our communities. Thanks to his steadfast devotion to our mission, we are in a strong position to continue this remarkable growth.
For the last 21 years, Maine Boys to Men has been targeting the cultural causes of violence committed by men and the associated emotional detachment. The nonprofit offers youth and adult workshops that help attendees rethink their definitions of masculinity and become engaged in ending gender-based harassment and violence.
Maine Boys to Men (MB2M) is responding to statewide and national interest by training others to use its Reducing Sexism and Violence Program (RSVP). Its first Modern Masculinity Training Institute will be held on October 2nd and 3rd in Portland, Maine.
CEMS social worker Sarah Hanson received a grant to sponsor Maine Boys to Men workshops for seventh- and eighth- graders that tackle gender stereotypes, identity, and healthy relationships
In Maine, there's a great example of what prevention might look like. Maine Boys To Men is a nonprofit aimed at reducing violence against women and girls by focusing on positive expressions of masculinity. So far, its programs have served 2,187 middle school students.
The program targets middle school boys for a good reason, said executive director Matt Theodores. "By the time boys reach high school, they have become very accepting of traditional masculine stereotypes and are far less open to ideas that challenge those norms," he said. "Middle-school-aged boys have the maturity and enough life experience to have real discussions about gender-related pressures and the impact this has on them and others."
The Maine Boys to Men Middle School program recently participated in a study led by Rutgers University–New Brunswick and University of New Hampshire.
The findings, published in Children and Youth Services Review, suggest the pilot program, "Reducing Sexism and Violence Program – Middle School Program (RSVP-MSP)," improved attitudes related to the use of coercion and violence in relationships. It also found that the program, geared towards middle school boys, changed beliefs that violence, including harassment and sexual and dating violence was acceptable.
By Matt Theodores and Megan Hannan, Special to the BDN
The #MeToo movement continues to expose widespread issues of men using their power and privilege to harass, abuse and assault women. Since the seemingly earth-shattering allegations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein surfaced publicly just over one year ago, there has been a steady cadence of courageous revelations. With each new story...
The United States Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) has awarded a grant of nearly $350,000 to Maine Boys to Men. This award supports a multi-year project to engage adult men as leaders, mentors and allies in preventing male violence against women and girls in Greater Portland.
The special event, entitled "Negotiating Masculinity," will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 31, at Ocean Avenue Elementary School. The underlying goal of Saturday's session is to "explore how adults can partner with youth to create safer and stronger communities by exploring ways that societal pressures and narrow definitions of gender can lead to a culture of self-harm, disrespect, harassment and violence. Free, but registration required.
Maine Boys to Men (MBTM), a program that has long worked with high school boys, is developing a curriculum for middle school boys that teaches them to see and sidestep the rigid gender roles they're already growing into. That's only part of its shift from being strictly a training program for high school students to becoming a multifaceted program working to transform masculinity at the community level.
"With kids reading so much about it in the media, in sports and entertainment, as an educational institution, not to say something about it is saying something unintentionally," Shedd said. "We felt like the moment is right with the MeToo movement to really talk about how we can change our own community so a movement like this is not necessary,"
(NECN - 2 minute video) "It's encouraging to see a generation of students who are not accepting the culture that is being handed to them." Click below to view...
A few weeks ago, with the revelation that Harvey Weinstein is a sexual predator, I reposted something from a female friend on my Facebook page. Sadly, I was not surprised at the reaction from so many women who have experienced fear and worse just because they are female.
PORTLAND- As Maine Boys To Men moves towards celebrating its 20th anniversary next year, executive director Matt Theodores is quietly proud of the organization’s recent surge in services provided.
The nonprofit – dedicated to “helping boys reach their potential to become emotionally healthy, respectful, non-violent men” – increased its outreach “tenfold,” in the last 18 months, its outreach roughly matched that of the previous 10 years.
SCARBOROUGH – Derogatory comments about women from one of the Presidential candidates was front and center in this season's election coverage and through a partnership with Maine Boys to Men, Scarborough schools are instituting a program that would cease this sort of thinking in its young students, especially the middle and high school boys.
What do you do when you realize you want to contribute more to your community in ways that are fulfilling and personally challenging? What do you do when you know you need a change, but you don't know how or where to start? For Lift360's Leadership Intensive alum Matt Theodores, the answer was simple: start volunteering.
Portland, ME – The YMCA of Southern Maine will recognize three Southern Maine-based nonprofits for their efforts to improve the lives on Mainers at the Y's Annual Celebration of Community in Portland on November 2nd.
This inspiring video (3 minutes) aired on the New England Cable Network (NECN) on 11/1/16, showcasing Maine Boys to Men and a group of incredible youth leaders at South Portland High School! These students are using our Reducing Sexism and Violence Program (RSVP) to create positive change in their community.
When yet another mass shooting or sexual assault makes headlines, we talk about the role of guns, religion and alcohol.
Perhaps because most men aren't violent, what we don't talk about is the fact that most violence is committed by men.
Watching the news, the idea that a man will be revealed to be responsible for an act of violence is so commonplace that it simply registers as a fact of life. But do statistics showing that men are by far the most common perpetrators of brutality, sexual assault and harassment, or violent self-harm mean that the male of our species is inherently more violent, or are men and boys acting out a script they’re not even aware they’re following?
PORTLAND, Maine – The United States Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) has awarded a grant of nearly $350,000 to Maine Boys to Men to engage boys and men as leaders in preventing violence against women in Greater Portland.
MPBN Radio - Shana Natelson, ED of Speak About It, Matthew Perry, Community Education and Communications Coordinator for Family Crisis Services and Matt Theodores, ED of Maine Boys to Men joined Jennifer Rooks to discuss efforts to change harmful conceptions of masculinity and femininity and reduce violence against women.
The Sept. 15 BDN headline, "Report: Maine 9th in country for rate of women killed by men," caught my attention, but I quickly got distracted by the disproportional focus on guns, knives or whether these men killed their partners with bodily force.
The United States Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women has awarded a grant of nearly $350,000 to Maine Boys to Men to engage boys and men as leaders in preventing violence against women in greater Portland.
YARMOUTH — An organization working to stop gender-based violence has received a federal grant of nearly $350,000 to continue its efforts in the greater Portland area.
Nonprofit Maine Boys to Men was awarded the grant by the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women on Sept. 8.