How Men Can Prevent Violence Against Women To Be Topic of Talk at UMass Amherst

AMHERST, Mass. - In response to the recently reported assaults on campus, the University of Massachusetts is sponsoring a lecture detailing what men can do to prevent violence against women. The lecture will take place Wed. Dec. 1 at 4 p.m. in the Campus Center Auditorium.

The speaker is UMass alumnus Jackson Katz, founder of Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) Strategies, an organization that offers gender violence prevention training to numerous groups including professional and college sports teams, corporations, and the U.S. military.

The University will also show a film featuring Katz that examines violent behavior in men on Thurs. Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. in Thompson Hall room 104. The film, "Tough Guise: Violence, Media and the Crisis in Masculinity," is directed by UMass communication professor Sut Jhally, and is produced by the Media Education Foundation, a non-profit research and education organization founded by Jhally in 1991.

"The events of the last few weeks have created a lot of feelings of confusion, anger, and helplessness," says Jhally. "Still, this is an opportunity for education about sexual and domestic violence that we should not miss." Jhally says that many young men on campus have been "crying out" for a way to be involved in the struggle against domestic and sexual violence, but that they do not have the conceptual tools and strategies to be able to respond positively and actively.

"As these events get defined as ''women''s issues,'' non-violent men - the vast majority of men - can offer support, but find themselves sidelined," Jhally says. Jhally hopes that the visit by Katz will be part of a continuing dialogue in which students will address the issues of sexual and domestic violence against women.He says that Katz is the perfect person to initiate this dialogue.

In addition to being founder of MVP Strategies, Katz is a former all-star high-school football player. In 1982, he graduated from UMass with a certificate in women''s studies. He later went on to earn a master''s degree in education from Harvard University, and has been featured on numerous television programs including "Good Morning America," "The Phil Donahue Show," and "Montel Williams."