|(From left) Devyn Huynh, Agustin Cabrera and Carlo Cruz volunteer at the Stop Violence Office.|
|(From left) Glenn Shenker, head of Parking & Transportation Services, Nikki Khurana, director of development for Student Affairs, Gary George of Verizon and Erika Zepeda of the Stop Violence Office.|
In January 2007, a group of male interns at the Stop Violence Office created the alliance Men Against Violence. Although it has only been one year since this Cal Poly Pomona group was established, it has gained considerable recognition for its excellence in creating an initiative to redefine the conventional notion of manhood on the university's campus.
In support of this program, formerly called Men's Allies, the Verizon Foundation has generously donated $24,500 to expand the group's programming and outreach to men for the prevention of sexual assault, dating violence and stalking.
“This program really stands out from many of the other requests for support we receive at the Foundation,” said Gary George of Verizon. “The university's cutting-edge approach to programming is a real asset to the community and their students. The program's approach of challenging traditional concepts of manhood made this project something we definitely wanted to be a part of.”
Men Against Violence was created by men, for men in order to affirm crisis intervention methods and prevention education programming at Cal Poly Pomona. This past October, the group took a leading role in the university's Domestic Violence Awareness Month's “If not you, then who?” campaign. The concept revolved around reasons why men should take a stand against violence toward women. The goal of the program was to allow men to recognize that intimate partner violence is a human rights issue, not just a woman's issue.
In addition to Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the group makes solid attempts to reach out to the university community, especially to male leaders from diverse backgrounds.
Verizon's donation will be used to develop new curriculum regarding the role of men in violence prevention. The funding will also create more opportunities for the group to offer a variety of programs and workshops, which may explore topics such: communicating with a survivor; understanding when to be a bystander and when to step in; and redefining traditional concepts of manhood.
Members of the group also plan to work with the Peer Theatre Program, which serves local high school students.
For more information about the Stop Violence Office, their programs, or ways to get involved, visit http://www.dsa.cpp.edu/police/stopviolence/.