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Helping Men Talk About Domestic Violence Prevention at the Healthy Masculinity Summit

by Employee ‎10-31-2012 06:44 AM - edited ‎10-31-2012 06:49 AM

Yakal-Kremski.jpgHMAP-logo-250px.jpgToday's guest blogger is Samantha Yakal-Kremski. She manages the domestic violence prevention philanthropy program at the Verizon Foundation.


I recently took part in the Healthy Masculinity Summit in Washington D.C. For the first time, hundreds of experts and advocates -- from every sector -- came together to connect the dots between stereotypes deeply rooted in our culture about what it means to be a “real man” and the epidemic of violence that exists in our country and the world.


The Summit kicked off the Healthy Masculinity Action Project, a major two-year, grassroots initiative run by Men Can Stop Rape. This project aims to educate men and boys about non-violent masculinity and teach them how to take the message to neighborhoods across the country.


As the co-host and sponsor of the Health Masculinity Summit, the Verizon Foundation joined forces with Men Can Stop Rape to get this project off the ground and spark a national dialogue. We honored remarkable men and women who are role models of healthy masculinity, committed to violence prevention, and determined to make the world a better place.


One example was 15-year old Jakob Little. While in middle school, Jakob initiated a “Free Style Friday” hip hop program during lunch to create an outlet for students and educate administrators that hip hop could be a positive, healthy form of expression. 


At the Summit, we also announced our newest initiative, Your Voice Counts, which helps young men like Jakob start conversations about domestic violence prevention.


As a Summit faculty member, I also led two of the conversation sessions. This dialogue with participants gave me the opportunity to bring together two areas of my life and work in which I’m highly passionate: corporate social responsibility and domestic violence prevention. Hearing from the participants who gathered for the launch Summit was an inspiring experience that reinforced a great sense of solidarity in our collective mission to affect positive change and, ultimately, end domestic violence.

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About the Authors

Rose Kirk

V.P. of Global Corporate Citizenship and President of the Verizon Foundation

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Rose leads Verizon's global corporate responsibility initiatives and philanthropic strategy, which focuses on applying Verizon's technology to improve education, healthcare and energy management.

James Gowen

Chief Sustainability Officer/
V.P. of Services Operations

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James oversees Verizon’s supply chain, vehicle fleet, investment recovery, purchasing and materials management and sustainability initiatives.

Jack McArtney

Director of Corporate and Community Responsibility

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Jack promotes digital wellness and online safety. He works with parents, educators, service providers, application developers and industry leaders to foster responsible use of Verizon's mobile and broadband networks.

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Information on Verizon's efforts to reduce domestic violence and promote literacy and education.


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