July 27, 2005

Coaching Boys into Men

The Family Violence Prevention Fund: "Boys are swamped with influences outside of the home, from friends, the neighborhood, television, the internet, music, the movies, everything they see around them. They hear all kinds of messages about what it means to be a man; that they have to be tough and in control." The people at The Family Violence Prevention Fund feel that too many of those messages invite violence and especially violence towards women.

The get that boys need positive men around them as guides, coaches, mentors and role models. The have created a great little pamphlet that provides a clear, eight-step job description if you're a man willing to step up to the challenge. Check it out...

July 23, 2005

Men Stopping Violence

Men Stopping Violence: "...works locally, nationally, and internationally to dismantle belief systems, social structures, and institutional practices that oppress women and children and dehumanize men themselves."

If we're going to raise boys into self-respecting, loving, compassionate, strong men, we have to quit showing them models and images of male violence against women and children. This group is making that kind of difference.

July 11, 2005

Building Men for Others

Rev. Joe Ehrmann is the driving force behind the Building Men for Others organization. He is on a campaign to help men reclaim their manhood and become mentors and coaches for boys. He says, "Tonight over 40 percent of American children will go to bed in homes in which their fathers do not live. In addition, 68 percent of all black children and 30 percent of all white children are born outside of marriage. Of the fathers in the home, and the male-mentor-coaches involved in our boy's lives, many have been given little or no specific instructions in defining masculinity or in understanding what a man is and what a man does."

As an ex-professional football player it's interesting to learn that he feels professional sports are having a negative impact on males. He says, "...it is estimated that 90% of American boys regularly or often watch televised sports programs, with their accompanying commercials that influence and improperly define masculinity." He feels that given the "extraordinary numbers of boys who consume a sports masculinity formula” there needs to be a "countering message that correctly defines masculinity, and the proper role of coaches and sports so that they can positively influence the development of boys to men."

This is truly a man who "gets it," and is making a big difference. Rev. Ehrmann is one of my heroes.

July 6, 2005

Where Volunteering Begins

VolunteerMatch: This organization exists to get you hooked up with an organization in your community that needs your help. By entering your zip code and your volunter "interest area" on this website, a search will quickly develop a list of places in your neighborhood where you can make a positive difference. Some of them will undoubtedly be youth serving organizations. But no matter where you're involved, building community builds good kids. Try it out. Make a difference.