100 Men Campaign underway

100 Men 1 WEB

Several contributors helped kick off the fourth year of the 100 Men Campaign, a local effort to engage men in the movement to end violence against women and girls. Pictured reviewing campaign materials are (from left) Matt Tamm, Steve Biggs, Chris Krajewski and Jan Mancinelli of the Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan, Steve VanDam, Matthew Font and Ben VanDam.

The 100 Men Campaign is a local effort born out of the belief that men have a crucial role to play in the movement to end violence against women and girls. It provides a way for men to become more actively engaged in the effort and to be part of the solution. Campaign dollars fund awareness and educational activities to help inspire and equip men and boys to make changes in workplaces, athletic arenas, schools, faith-based communities and within their own communities and neighborhoods.

Three years ago, 125 local men joined the inaugural 100 Men Campaign and last year that number increased to 165 contributors. The goal for the current campaign is to inspire 200 men to join the effort. The campaign was initiated by the Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan (WRCNM) after having held focus groups to learn what local men thought about the issue and if they wanted to get more involved.

“The overall feedback during those focus groups was that men wanted to help, yet didn’t really know where to start or what actions to take,” said Jan Mancinelli, Executive Director of the WRCNM. “I am thrilled men in the community are stepping up to help in the quest to recognize and end violence against women and girls. The effort they are making with their dollars and with their time is allowing us [WRCNM] to do so much more than we were able to do to raise awareness, hold events and reach out to men and boys messaging respect and non-violence in relationships.”

The 100 Men Campaign provides men with a variety of ways to become more involved in the effort. The primary way is a $100 donation used for local awareness, educational and prevention initiatives; donors also agree to take a public stand on the issue by having their name listed as a contributor in printed materials and advertisements. Some donors also volunteer at events, serve on the Violence Prevention Team, work with coaches and high school athletes during awareness-raising White Ribbon games, attend educational events or write letters to the editor.

“With each community event we sponsor, every panel discussion, coaches workshop or message directed to community members we reach more people and gain more support through a greater understanding of the issue,” said Bill Wilson, a contributor to the campaign and member of the Violence Prevention Team. “It’s crucial for men to realize that even though they are respectful and non-violent in their own relationships, if they don’t also speak out against this violence their silence sends a powerful message, one that helps it persist.”

To donate to, or learn more about the 100 Men Campaign, call (231) 347-0067, or visit wrcnm.org/100-men-campaign.

Recent activities of the 100 Men Campaign:
• More than 350 community members attended the Joe Ehrmann Lecture Series on building empathy, respect, appreciation and compassion in athletes on and off the field.

• Nearly a hundred attended a coaching workshop to learn how to make life-changing impact on players, other coaches and communities.

• Hundreds attended two White Ribbon Campaign boys’ basketball games which generated awareness of efforts to end violence against women and girls. Athletes took the pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and girls.

• Educational, awareness and primary prevention promotional messages were placed in a variety of media; 93% surveyed said the messages made them feel they could make a difference.

• Names of 159 early supporters of last year’s campaign were listed in full page ads published in multiple local newspapers. A total of 165 men eventually contributed to the campaign.

• Partnerships with other local organizations helped facilitate awareness-building, educational projects and events for men, boys and community members.

• Greater web presence to further engage and educate. (http://www.wrcnm.org/support/100-men-campaign)