SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – A local not-for-profit dedicated to ending domestic and sexual violence, in the Central New York region, held a press conference to honor the 10 year mark of one of its many programs.
The Vera House implemented The 12 Men Model Program in 2009 to promote violence prevention by organizing healthy dialogue between men about the redefinition of masculinity, and the removal of gender stereotypes.
“Yes you can be strong, you can be a provider, but if you like other things…not into sports, but you’re into the arts, that’s okay. It’s okay for you to be exactly who you are without having the pressure of the performance of masculinity,” said Men’s Outreach and Project Coordinator, George Kilpatrick.
Kilpatrick goes on to note that the support of city officials can help propel the movement forward, but it begins by making a strong local impact.
The 12 Men Model Program received a proclamation from the County Executive, Ryan McMahon and Mayor Ben Walsh, whom were both present at the conference. Both men acknowledged their personal connection to the program as they both have young daughters that they hope find men that embody what the program exemplifies.
Over 200 men have completed the program since its inception a decade ago, and according to analysis done by The Worker Institute at Cornell, more than 80% of participants applied strategies they learned from the model into their own lives.
” As an adult, as a responsible father, as a leader in the community, and as a director I take that position serious. I had to use this model… to make sure that I have a positive influence on everyone that I meet,” said Drake Harrison, Director of 100 Black Men of Syracuse, also one of the very first participants of the program.
Vera House provides a 24-hour support and information line, along with an emergency shelter to assure that everyone is safe from violence.
Contact (315) 468-3260 for more information on the 12 Men Model Program and other services.