CARE men’s engagement coordinator expands masculinity programming with new partnerships
October 17, 2016
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Paul Ang, coordinator of men’s engagement at the Center for Awareness, Response and Education, will begin two new partnerships this quarter to increase awareness about men’s health.
Starting Tuesday, Ang will join Robert Brown, director of Social Justice Education at Northwestern, in co-facilitating the second round of NU Men, a six-week dialogue program focused on critically examining masculinity. Ang is also partnering next month with Monika Gutkowska, interim assistant director of outreach and education at Counseling and Psychological Services.
NU Men, which launched last year, will be offered once this quarter, but Ang said he hopes to tailor future programs to specific participants. NU Men aims to provide men on campus a space to explore and challenge their masculinity and to learn about systemic links between masculinity and violence.
Although the skeleton of NU Men would remain the same, Ang said he and Brown are looking at engaging groups on campus such as male athletes and fraternities. In the future they hope to offer multiple cohorts of NU Men at the same time, Ang said.
Brown said he is excited to work with Ang this year and added that he will draw on his prior experience with masculinity-related work at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
In November, Ang and Gutkowska will launch discussion-based programs for male students on campus to discuss mental health and wellness.
Gutkowska said the programming may also include discussions about relaxation and stress management, but the order of events has not yet been finalized. The programming will address body image, sexual health, dating and friendships among men, she said.
There is significant stigma around men seeking mental health support, particularly at NU, Gutkowska said. She also noted that men are at a higher risk of suicide nationwide.
A movie screening hosted by Ang reminded Gutkowska to continue working on getting more students on campus involved in the discussion about seeking help, she said.
“I thought that we should probably do more and continue those conversations on campus, since we don’t have them enough,” Gutkowska said.
Gutkowska said she and Ang will also encourage students, faculty and staff to participate in No Shave November in order to increase awareness about men’s health, particularly prostate cancer.
She said she hopes to encourage male students to be vulnerable and compassionate, and added that she and Ang will focus on collaborating with student groups this year, including Men Against Rape and Sexual Assault and the Interfraternity Council.