What are we doing? What’s the idea?
Are we having a Boston State House event again this year?
Why is this a men's campaign?
What message is for boys in this campaign?
Why the first Thursday in March?
What are girls and women supposed to do?
Do you recognize Male Victims?
Do you recognize how sexual assault and domestic violence affect different communities?
Where can I get Ribbons?
What is a proclamation event?
Ok, so what’s next, it’s just a pledge, what do I do now?
There’s not enough time, what can I do?
What are we doing? What’s the idea? (back to top)
White Ribbon Day is connected with an international campaign called The White Ribbon Campaign. Designed especially with men in mind at the time, this was created by a handful of Canadian men in 1991 on the second anniversary of one man's massacre of fourteen women in Montreal. They began the White Ribbon Campaign to urge men to speak out against violence against women. Today, the WRC is a worldwide campaign in 60 countries that has collected well over 5 million signatures and growing.
In 2008, Jane Doe Inc. launched the opportunity for Massachusetts to join this international effort for human rights to engage men to help end violence against women, men and children. The approach is one of celebrating positive masculinity; inviting men and boys to be leaders to help end violence against women; and encouraging men and boys to contribute to a solution in any number of ways.
Are we having a Boston State House event again this year?
(back to top)
Yes! Join us Thursday, March 6, 2014 at the State House. Timing and details will be posted closer in advance of the event.
Why is this a men’s campaign? (back to top)
We want men to celebrate our positive masculinity and positive maleness as a place where men do not condone, commit or tolerate violence against women. This campaign calls upon men who are ready to stand up and to be counted. The White Ribbon Campaign is something that you can do yourself, for your children, for your mother, for your life partner.
We need to change – in fact eliminate – the social values among males which support and foster violence against women. This can be influenced positively by your visible stand for a different manhood, visible to other men and as importantly for boys.
What message is for boys in this campaign? (back to top)
We want boys to:
1. see that adult men are really taking on this change issue. By demonstrating that violence must be eliminated as a value of strength among men, boys will also learn that domestic violence and sexual assault make us all weaker.
2. know that they are allowed absolutely to be whole people. This may seem simple and obvious but is crucial to creating a safe and just world. This campaign sends a clear message that boys can be soft and strong and thoughtful and brave and sensitive and artful and athletic and find strength in these differences..
3. take the pledge themselves to declare the kind of man that they intend to be.
Some communities have chosen an inclusive approach to the White Ribbon Campaign with teenage kids in particular, by changing the pledge language and asking individuals regardless of gender to take the pledge.
Why the first Thursday in March? (back to top)
White Ribbon Day is set for the first Thursday in March. This allows us to call attention to March as Women’s History Month, to recognize March 8th as International Women’s Day, and to participate with the international community through the United Nations Secretary General’s Campaign, UNited to End Violence Against Women.
We encourage organizations to hold proclamation events during the week. Some churches, synagogues and mosques will hold events on that weekend, some the weekend before, and others are finding other dates.
What are girls and women supposed to do? (back to top)
While the focus of this year’s statewide campaign is to engage men and boys, we believe that women and girls have a role to play. Primarily, we encourage them to tell men and boys in their lives about the campaign and ask them to become an ambassador.
Some communities have chosen an inclusive approach to the White Ribbon Campaign with teenage kids in particular, by changing the pledge language and asking individuals regardless of gender to take the pledge. This campaign is designed to be adapted to the needs of each community.
Do you recognize Male Victims? (back to top)
Yes. Please visit our Get Help page for important information for all survivors. We understand that there is a difference between addressing social norms, as with this campaign, and addressing individual needs, as with male victims.
Do you recognize how sexual assault and domestic violence affect different communities? (back to top)
This year’s MA White Ribbon Day campaign aims to strengthen the foundation in Massachusetts on which to expand a human rights framework that can support and deepen understanding of how racism, heterosexism and homophobia, and the other isms manifest and contribute to sexual assault and domestic violence where victims are people of color, GLBTQ (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning) victims, elder victims, victims with disabilities and male victims. We must work together to ensure that services and systems respond to the needs of victims regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation and other backgrounds.
Where can I get Ribbons? (back to top)
1. Buy some from us: Purchase Plastic White Ribbon pins:
2. Make your own: obtain rolls of ribbon and safety pins at a fabric store. Cut the ribbon into 6 inch pieces and pin them into a loop. This could be a great project for a men's leadership committee to undertake. You can make about 6 ribbons per yard.
3. or obtain White Ribbons Pre-cut, folded and pinned:
What is a proclamation event? (back to top)
Great question. This is an event that is normally officiated by a town mayor or other elected official to declare on the basis of town authority that March 6th is White Ribbon Day for your town.
This is a very scalable and flexible idea. Here are several smaller scale versions:
1. Take a Moment: Stop a meeting for 5 minutes, and ask the attention of everyone to hear the White Ribbon Pledge and to declare as a group, March 6th at White Ribbon Day.
2. At a church, synagogue or mosque. Clergy and lay people can make a short declaration from the pulpit, to ask the congregation to think about gender role violence and welcome the men of the congregation to become part of the solution to violence against women.
3. A school or larger company/workplace can arrange a community event where the students and employees gather to hear the proclamation and to participate in the pledge.
The goal is to start a conversation among adults that the children will see.
For further information, visit our Proclamation Kit.
Ok, so what’s next, its just a pledge, what do I do now?
(back to top)
Another important question. This is where we all get to be creative. If you would like to read and research, we have a bibliography to start you off.
The important thing is that you are public with your support.
Be a great dad: you have a special opportunity with your kids.
Be a great coach: you can show your teams what leadership means.
Be a great teacher: you can show your students alternatives and that you care.
Be a great colleague: you can help create a safe environment for your co-workers.
Be a great volunteer: many of Jane Doe Inc.’s member organizations are welcoming male volunteers.
Visit our Take Action page, for ideas for projects throughout the year. Fathers Day, Mothers Day and Independence Day all present big opportunities.
There’s not enough time, what can I do? (back to top)
We have two great ideas for you:
1. Take a Moment. You are encouraged to take a single moment during the week of March 6th to recognize White Ribbon Day. This could be as simple as sending our White Ribbon Day Email or telling a close friend that you care about this issue.
2. Set a Plan for Next Year. If you are in a place where your organization (town, business, or group) could imagine participating in White Ribbon Day, then this is the week to sit down and imagine how you would participate next year.
If you are a school, for example, have a meeting with a) the principle, b) the coach, c) the guidance department, f) and your local JDI member organization.
And talk about: 1) what is WRD, 2) in what ways could we participate, 3) think about the kids 4) think about the staff and teachers 5) think about the parents, 6) consider the budget.
Then write up a report and send it to your local paper!
Join with us as an organizational Affiliate