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October 26, 2017

A Call to Men 2017 Conference: The Many Faces of Manhood

Nearly 350 gathered in Bloomington, Minnesota at the end of September for A CALL TO MEN's national conference The Many Faces of Manhood. The conference explored healthy, respectful manhood in athletics, education, incarceration, fatherhood, faith communities, and around issues of gender. In addition to traditional keynotes and panels, the conference featured a series of Transformation Talks, where speakers shared personal stories of adversity, healing and growth.

"Modeling authenticity and vulnerability is critical to creating an environment where we can bring our whole selves, where we can learn and evolve," said Tony Porter, CEO of A CALL TO MEN.  "It is one of the principles of healthy, respectful manhood."

Photos of Movement Makers and other speakers at A Call to Men 2017 Conference

Opening Remarks

with Lina Jurabe Botella, Director of Training, ACTM; Sannii Hernandez, VP, Women's Foundation of Minnesota; Nicole Matthews, Executive Director, Minnesota Indian Woman's Sexual Assault Coalition

"A Call to Men we take really seriously that the work to engage men has to be done with accountability to women. Always through accountability to women. If you come to a community institute, if you come to one of our trainings, you will always see a woman speaking first and a woman speaking last. It is the way for us to role model how to be in connection to each other, and how do we do so? By following the leadership of women"

Why We Are Here: The Many Faces of Manhood- Men Embracing Their Authentic Selves

with Tony Porter, CEO A Call To Men

"If women can end men's violence against women, by themselves, they would have. I mean and the violence is at epidemic proportions. We know that. We know it's one of the leading causes of injury to women in our nation, is men's violence against women. We know it's off the chain. We know it's terrible. We know that's why Department of Justice- we know that's why the Center for Disease Control- we know that's why they call it- they have identified- they have- they see it as, they identify it as, one of the leading causes of injury to women in our nation. Right?

If they could end it on their own: they would have. And some of you may have seen me do this before. I need to do it today. And if my outstretched arm represented all the men in our country, we know there's about that many men that perpetrate violence against women and girls, and then there's all the rest of us that don't.

If they could end it on their own: they would have. We can't count on these men over here right now, but at A Call to Men, we do hold out hope for them. But who's left from the equation? As I was listening to Sandy share and I was thinking about it. Who's left from the equation in any real purposeful way is us."

Roundtable Discussion: What We What to See from Men When We Think Authenticity

with Dr. Beth Richie, Nicole Matthews, Lina Juarbe Botella, Director of Training, A Call To Men; Eva Tenuto, Exec Director and Co-Founder, TMI Project; Beckie Masaki, Co-Founder, Asian Pacific Institute on Gender Based Violence

"If men could show up as their authentic selves, when they are hurt, they wouldn't react in anger. Right? And when they have the emotional side that, Tony, you were talking about, it wouldn't come out in all kinds of other side ways. Right? Like they could show their authentic emotions. They could be who they are, or who they were meant to be.

When I think about Native men, or Anishinaabe, we do have cultural teachings. We have our seven grandfather teachings, and love is one of them. And truth, and honesty. And so when I think about authenticity, it means all of that. And it means that when men are hurt, they get to cry, and I get to cry, and we get to show up in that way, together, both with our rawness and our pain, and who we are. Right?"

Last Words (pt1)

with Alexis Flanagan, Resonance and Core Trainer, ACTM

"One of the many things that the man box demands of men, as you've heard so many times this morning, is that they stop short, way short, of being their authentic selves. Men and boys, whether they're straight, gay, cisgender, transgender, gender non-conforming, when they display the authentic parts of themselves that don't fit into the man box, other men are socialized at the very least to ridicule them or to use violence against them to make them conform. And yet, at A Call to Men event, time and time again, when I witness men responding to our commitment to meet men where they are without blaming and shaming them, with curiosity and a willingness to try something different, it stirs up hope in me for a world that includes their liberation as well as mine.

I'm inspired by the moments of self-awareness with men in our training spaces that are marked by observable physical changes in their body language. They become more open and more engaged, for example. That reminds me of the internal shift that happens in me when I notice a habit that's no longer serving me and I realize that I have other options. This readiness and openness to personal transformation is what we hope to inspire and to catalyze in these days together."

The Many Faces of Manhood: Men Embracing Our Authentic Selves – Challenges and Rewards

with Trina Greene Brown, Resonance; Ted Bunch, Chief Development Officer, A CALL TO MEN; Neil Irvin, Executive Director, Men Can Stop Rape; Wade Davis, Senior Diversity & Inclusion Consultant, YSC; Ed Heisler, Executive Director, Men As Peacemakers, and Core Trainer, A CALL TO MEN

"Like it's hard to fight against love. You know, it really is hard to fight against love. There's not a lot to grab onto. It's hard to fight against love. And that meeting men where they are, right? Meeting men where they are is really important. That we can't- that we have to allow them to bring themselves in, and all that they bring in with them. You know, about- while holding them accountable, of course. But- and then peeling back those layers for that authentic person to come through. And we have to model that. You know, that's one thing that we do in A Call to Men is we tell a lot of stories that really expose our own transformation, our own growth, our own- and that's what men- that's what resonates. When Tony talks about touch the hearts of men, cause the longest distance- what is it 18 inches between the mind and the heart? When he talk about resonating with men, what resonates with men is honesty; because honesty is authentic."

Last Words (pt2)

with Alexis Flanagan, Resonance and Core Trainer, ACTM

"We stay in this place of choice. We can choose to numb ourselves and turn off every single thing that has been ignited and stirred up in us today, or we can step into it, and we can choose to do something different than we've always done. There's another world that's on her way, and it is rooted and grounded in connection, and in love, and in authenticity, and in taking risks to show up to be our true selves. We've got choices to make about what our role is going to be to help her get here."

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