A Message from Debra Robbin


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Director's Message

October 6, 2017

Dear JDI Friends,

We’re writing with news about JDI’s upcoming strategies and initiatives to continue engaging and mobilizing men and boys in the solutions to prevent and end sexual and domestic violence. We hope you will share our excitement as we make some shifts in the year ahead in order to broaden, deepen, and strengthen the incredible prevention efforts taking place in communities across Massachusetts.

JDI’s Massachusetts White Ribbon Day Campaign was conceived as a call to action that invited men and boys to come off the sidelines and step into a partnership with the women and girls who have historically carried the weight of this movement. Our framework has also evolved over the years to be more intentional about recognizing and addressing these issues in the context of gender equity and gender-based violence. And we have also shifted our messaging to focus on promoting healthy masculinity and the impact that toxic norms have on all of us but especially on men and boys.

We have spoken with many of you through visioning sessions, campaign debriefs and conversations about what the future holds for this work. We heard that there is a thirst for more knowledge and skills about how to address these issues on the individual and community levels. We also heard that the WRD framework does not resonate with all communities who are interested in engaging men and boys. One consistent theme did emerge: a request for JDI to deepen our work in substantive ways.

As a result, this year we will be having a prevention summit in December dedicated to reimagining manhood. rather than a major statewide event in March. We hope you will join us for #ReimagineManhood: Exploring Gender Equity, Racial Justice and Healthy Masculinities on December 14 in Worcester. (Download the flyer (WORD) (PDF) and online.)

JDI will continue to promote WRD and support your activities throughout the year. And we will mark March 1st to bring statewide attention to the issues and to invite others to become part of the solution. Our hope is that this shift will add value to your efforts in your community and continue moving the needle statewide to foster equity, safety, and justice for all survivors and communities.

The 10th Anniversary of JDI’s MA WRD Campaign in 2017 created many opportunities: we expanded our network and signed on 200 new WRD Ambassadors and 25 new WRD Affiliates; and YOU helped spread the word about the campaign and its goals. We reached tens of thousands with our Public Service Announcement and visibility in three of the premiere sporting arenas in Massachusetts: Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots; Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox; and TD Garden, home of the Boston Celtics. You co-hosted local trainings to help prepare men and boys to deepen the conversation with their peers and communities.

It also afforded us the opportunity to reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re going. None of this would have been possible without two things: first, your active participation, support, and enthusiasm for a vision of a world without gender-based violence; second, your shared understanding that we must reimagine manhood and social norms around equity and power in order to collectively make progress.

As a public health prevention strategy, JDI will continue seeking ways to shape and influence systems and social values to reinforce and support the changes being made on the individual and community levels. And we welcome your involvement and input on those macro strategies as well.

Please be in touch about your own plans and any questions and ideas you may have.

For peace and justice,

Debra Robbin Signature

Debra J. Robbin, Ed.M.
Executive Director