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Voices of Men offers breakfast event, weeklong presentations

The Eighth Annual Voices of Men Call to Action breakfast event, on Tuesday, Nov. 7, highlights a week of activity focused on promoting healthy masculinity and creating a society free of domestic abuse and sexual assault.

The program for the annual Call to Action event runs from 8-9:30 a.m., with a question-and-answer session with keynote speakers from 9:30 to 10 a.m.

Cost for the event is $15 for adults, with free admission for students and their chaperones. To register, go online to: bit.ly/VoicesOfMen

The event will be livestreamed on the Voices of Men website (www.voicesofmen.com), and it also will be available in recorded form.

Voices of Men, a program of Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin, provides training and messaging for males of all ages to create a more respectful, safer world.

The call-to-action event, at Appleton’s Radisson Paper Valley Hotel, features two nationally known guest speakers: Brenda Tracy and Guante.

Since 2014, Brenda Tracy has traveled the nation, sharing the story of her 1998 gang-rape by four men, two of whom were Oregon State football players.

Tracy’s story is one of recovery, redemption, struggle, depression, forgiveness, purpose and service in the name of preventing others from having to endure similar struggles.

With her backstory as a chilling and often graphic testament, Tracy makes dozens of appearances each year before high school and college sports programs, with the intent of changing male behaviors toward women.

During the week of Nov. 6-10, Tracy will appear at Fox Valley college campuses and high schools.

Tracy’s influence on college campuses is growing. At a recent Stanford vs. Arizona State college football game, she was introduced to the crowd, and all football players on each team wore stickers on their helmets to represent sexual assault and domestic violence awareness. All students at the game were given T-shirts that included the “Set the Expectation” pledge.

Tracy’s website is www.brendatracy.com.

Guante is a Twin Cities-based slam poet who creates challenging and often uncomfortable work, defying societal norms on treatment of, and attitudes toward, women.

According to Guante’s website (www.guante.info), “Whether deconstructing traditional notions of masculinity, (or) challenging dominant narratives related to race and racism, … Guante strives to cultivate a deeper, more critical engagement with social justice issues, one based in both empathy and agency. An educator as well as a performing artist, Guante completed his Masters studies in 2016 at the University of Minnesota with a focus on spoken word, critical pedagogy, and social justice education; in that spirit, his performances use poems as jumping-off points for authentic dialogue, critical thinking and community-building.”

Voices of Men was launched in 2007 as an initiative of four Fox Valley domestic abuse and sexual assault programs: the Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services (Oshkosh), Harbor House Domestic Abuse Program (Appleton), Reach Counseling (Neenah-Oshkosh), and the Sexual Assault Crisis Center (Appleton).

While those programs generally serve a female population, the issue of sexual assault and domestic abuse is generally a male-population issue. Multiple studies show that approximately 90 percent of sexual assault and domestic violence perpetrators are men.

 

The annual Voices of Men breakfast has hosted more than 1,000 people in each of the past two years, offering ways to elevate women and girls and create a culture of safety and dignity.

BRENDA TRACY’S FOX VALLEY PUBLIC SCHEDULE, Nov. 7-10:

  • VOICES OF MEN CALL TO ACTION BREAKFAST: Radisson Paper Valley Hotel, Appleton, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 8-10 a.m.
  • UW-FOX VALLEY, Perry Hall, Menasha: Wednesday, Nov. 8, noon-1 p.m.
  • FOX VALLEY TECHNICAL COLLEGE, Grand Chute: Thursday, Nov. 9, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Room A170 (enter through door 16).
  • APPLETON AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT: Thursday, Nov. 9, 6:30-8 p.m., Appleton West Auditorium.
  • Other presentations at Lawrence University, UW-Oshkosh and Neenah High School

About Goodwill NCW: Goodwill NCW is a not-for-profit human services organization that in 2016 helped improve the lives of 63,368 people across 35 counties in north central Wisconsin, through 29 programs and services. The organization includes 27 retail stores and training centers in communities from Manitowoc to La Crosse, and as far north as Rice Lake and Rhinelander, a unique shopping experience at its Appleton outlet store, and online shopping at www.shopgoodwill.com and www.restitch.com, a new women’s apparel site. Visit the website at www.goodwillncw.org.

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