Healthy Masculinity Action Project
Healthy Masculinity Town Halls
Healthy Masculinity Town Halls and Campus Conversations are gatherings facilitated by Healthy Masculinity Training Institute leaders where community members and students can have honest conversations about healthy masculinity. These Town Halls and Campus Conversations will produce action plans to promote healthy masculinity, build stronger and healthier communities and campuses, and improve lives.
A diverse group of people consisting of law enforcement, tribal men and women, sexual assault and domestic violence advocates, educators, military representatives, state political staffers, and Watford City community members gathered on July 31, 2013 in the heart of the Bakken Formation to discuss Healthy Masculinity and the Oil Patch.
At the start of the town hall a tribal man sang a song in his native language about mothers, daughters, grandmothers, and aunts. After the four storytellers – two men and two women – told a story of their experiences with masculinity, a heartfelt conversation ensued facilitated by representatives from CAWS North Dakota and Men Can Stop Rape, the organizers of the event. “We need our men to stand with us,” one woman said. Later a man said, “We men need to forgive who we were and become who we want to be.” A point was made about the role healthy masculinity can play in building connection and community in Bakken communities challenged by the overwhelming influx of male energy workers.
At the end of the town hall, the CAWS North Dakota town hall facilitator referenced a line from a storyteller’s story, “Who taught your kids to hate?” and asked the town hall participants, “Who will teach our boys to love?”