“Statistics show that only about 15% of men are abusive or violent towards women. And yet, 1 in 3 women will be victims of abuse during her lifetime. How can we, as the 85% of good, well-meaning men, allow this to happen in our presence?” – Tony Porter, co-director of A CALL TO MEN
A group of nonprofit organizations and community members in the Upstate of SC are responding to this call by creating an awareness and educational movement for the Upstate of South Carolina called ManUPstate.
ManUPstate is an Upstate initiative that urges men to engage in addressing the issue of violence against women. Using a play on words with the popular phrase: “Man Up!”, ManUPstate hopes to challenge unhealthy attitudes and social norms among men and boys that tend to create unhealthy understandings of masculinity which often lead to an acceptance of violence, abuse and discrimination towards women and girls.
Led by Safe Harbor, Julie Valentine Center, Compass of Carolina, Greenville County First Steps, Upstate Fatherhood Coalition, Phoenix Center, Pendleton Place for Children and Families and Foothills Alliance, ManUpstate launched with a press conference at Fluor Field on October 3, 2014, revealing a live website and online pledge campaign at www.manupstate.org.
This pledge campaign leads to a ManUPstate Community Breakfast with keynote speaker, Tony Porter, on Friday, November 14 at 8:00am at the Kroc Center. Tony Porter, co-director of national organization A CALL TO MEN in New York, speaks nationally and internationally about the importance of men playing a role in preventing and ending violence against women and girls. Mr. Porter is currently working with the NFL to address domestic violence.
After breakfast on November 14, Mr. Porter will meet with a small group of selected male community leaders to offer additional training, assisting the ManUPstate initiative to gain further momentum by engaging men as leaders for this movement.
“So far, ManUPstate has been created and led by leaders of nonprofit organizations like Safe Harbor, Julie Valentine Center, Compass of Carolina & Greenville First Steps who are obvious stakeholders in this movement,” said Derek Lewis, Director of Greenville First Steps. “By training and engaging men in our community to become leaders in this initiative, ManUPstate can start to develop into the true culture change movement that it is meant to be – good men engaging other good men in an effort to reduce and end violence and discrimination against women and girls.”
All community members (especially men) and members of the press are invited to attend the ManUPstate Community Breakfast on Friday, November 14 from 8:00-9:30am at the Kroc Center. The breakfast is free of charge, but seating is limited. Learn more and register at www.manupstate.org or on EventBrite.