Many thanks to those of you who submitted a Letter of Support on behalf of International Men’s Day and its candidacy as an Official Nominee for the 2016 Public Peace Prize. Would you be willing to continue your support for International Men’s Day as a candidate as a Laureate for the 2017 Public Peace Prize by (a) visiting its Finalist profile page.
How do we offer our support/vote for the finalists?
Each visit to the finalist’s profile page
Each “Like” on Facebook or Twitter for the Public Peace Prize = 1 support/vote
Sharing on Facebook or “retweets” on Twitter = 2 supports/votes
Comments of appreciation or encouragement published on the website, on the Facebook page or the Twitter account of the Public Peace Prize, or sent by email = 3 supports/votes
The initiatives or candidates who receive a significant amount of support in their category will be proclaimed the laureate of this category. The Public Peace Prize team reserves the right to create categories in line with the candidatures proposed in order to maximize the recognition of the diversity of actions for peace.
The Public Peace Prize is not a cash prize but a prize of public recognition. Your signs of appreciation and support are decisive to help make the finalists, such as International Men’s Day, better known and to contribute to their visibility around the world.
Provided below is an overview of the mission and accomplishments of International Men’s Day.
Observed in over 80 nations throughout our global village, International Men’s Day has become a global grassroots movement which is helping to move the world to improve the manner in which it addresses key challenges preventing Men and Boys from reaching their full potential—key challenges which serve as obstacles to peace and creating and sustaining a nurturing environment that is economically self-sufficient and psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually vibrant. These key challenges include, but are not limited to, Fatherlessness, violence and the tolerance of violence, lack of real life options, physical and mental health, and education. Coordinators for International Men’s Day transcend the boundaries of geography, language, ethnicity, politics, class, economics, and religion by forming collaborative and strategic alliances, which develop and sustain initiatives and which address some of the key challenges that serve as barriers to peace in communities, nations, and our world.
So, how is International Men’s Day going about the business of addressing some of the key challenges that serve as barriers to peace in communities, nations, and our world? The overview of several initiatives created under the banner of International Men’s Day which appears below, offers answers:
- At-Risk Youth: In 2011, through a partnership with a Richmond, Virginia church in the United States and the Virginia (USA) Regional Coordinator, the Men of Tomorrow Rites of Passage ™ Mentorship Initiative was created to address the issues of Fatherlessness, academic underperformance, and lack of real-life options confronting at-risk boys and youths from the ages of 11 through 17 in that community. Mentors were assigned to each of the boys and youths participating in the initiative, which offers workshops that promote and provide academic scholarship, public speaking skills, entrepreneurship, and leadership skills. In August 2012, upon learning about the Men Of Tomorrow Rites of Passage ™ Mentoring Initiative launched under the International Men’s Day umbrella in the United States, Botswana’s Coordinator for International Men’s Day worked with the United States International Men’s Day Team to have this same initiative implemented in the nation of Botswana. This initiative was implemented in Botswana under the umbrella of International Men’s Day in October 2012 and is known as the Botswana Men Of Tomorrow Rites of Passage ™ Mentorship Initiative or BMOT. At-risk boys and youths between the ages of 11 through 17 in Gaborone, Botswana are participating in workshops and programs created by this initiative which focuses on academic scholarship, leadership skills, and entrepreneurship. As a result, a collaboration was spawned between two nations located on different continents..
- Religious Intolerance – In an effort to simultaneously address religious intolerance, incorporate solutions-based initiatives created by many leaders and members of the interfaith community which are designed to address hunger, poverty, homelessness, Fatherlessness, mass incarceration,, lack of real life options, physical and mental health, recidivism, and restorative justice—some of the key challenges which prevent Men and Boys from living productive lives and empowering and strengthening the communities in which they live, the International Day of Prayer for Men and Boys was inaugurated on 14 November 2014 under the International Men’s Day banner. The International Day of Prayer for Men and Boys serves to bring together clergy and congregations of all faiths: Jews, Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Hindus, Quakers, etc. for the purpose of collaboratively addressing and helping to eradicate obstacles to productivity and empowerment which Men and Boys struggle with day after day throughout our global village.
- Men and Boys’ Physical and Mental Health – The USA International Men’s Day Team launched the United States’ observances of International Men’s Health Week in the United States by hosting a national teleconference on Men’s Health on Sunday, 12 June 2016. The National Teleconference on Men and Boys’ Health brought together health care professionals and providers, military veterans, Fatherhood and Men’s Issues Thought Leaders, International Men’s Day Regional Coordinators, Mass Incarceration and Restorative Justice Thought Leaders, and concerned citizens which highlighted a national model for comprehensive health care for Men and Boys which exists in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Male Health Services Program which operates out of the Spectrum Health Services Clinic in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania provides Men and Boys with physical and mental health care which speaks to their unique health issues. One of the co-founders of this program was a guest on the National Teleconference and talked about how the program was created and described the services that are being provided to Men and Boys in a section of Philadelphia which, by and large, is underserved from a health care perspective. A pediatric physician from Ohio was also a featured guest on the National Teleconference who discussed, among other things, mental health care for children—particularly boys and youths—the need for it and the fact that this need is largely overlooked. Mental and physical health care for Men who are military veterans or who are currently serving in the United States military and Incarcerated Men was also explored.
- Violence, Ethnic Intolerance, and Improving Police-Community Relations – In response to the alarming incidences of violent and deadly clashes between police and members of the community that the police serve and protect in the United States, two (2) Violence, Race, and Police-Community Relations National Teleconferences were held (in July 2016 and August 2016.) The solutions-based National Teleconferences on Violence, Race, and Police Community Relations were staged under the banner of International Men’s Day. It brought together Fatherhood and Men’s Issues Thought Leaders, social entrepreneurs, International Men’s Day Regional Coordinators, Mass Incarceration and Restorative Justice Leaders, and concerned citizens. The solutions-based dialogue explored, among other things, how to defuse violence in communities throughout the United States, create better working relationships between communities and the police, racial profiling, the role that ethnicity or race plays in community-police relations, and what not to do when you are stopped by the police to avoid a routine police stop from escalating into a life-and-death situation.
- Mass Incarceration, Recidivism, and Restorative Justice – After noting that Incarcerated Men and Male Youths were not participating in International Men’s Day observances, the United States International Men’s Day Team designed the International Men’s Day Healing and Repatriation Initiative. This initiative which was established in 2012, brought Incarcerated Men and Male Youths into the International Men’s Day equation. On 19 November 2012, the International Men’s Day Healing and Repatriation Initiative was inaugurated and the first International Men’s Day observance was held at the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York. An Incarcerated Father was selected as the Chair of the International Men’s Day Healing and Repatriation Initiative. Under his leadership, International Men’s Day has been observed in four correctional facilities. Observances of International Men’s Day in correctional facilities take the form of workshops and discussion forums. Incarcerated Men and Youth engage in solutions-based discussions that explore the causes and remedies for violence, Fatherlessness, and dysfunctional communities. The Incarcerated Men and Youths are asked to explain why they are in prison and to atone for their transgressions by writing letters to family and communities expressing remorse for the acts they committed which resulted in their imprisonment. Mentoring is offered to the Incarcerated Men and Youths who participate in the initiative. Cognizant of the damaging psychological effects incarceration has on incarcerated individuals and the souls connected to them, in 2012, the USA International Men’s Day Team created and distributed a Restorative Justice proposal entitled, “The Case For A Mandatory Healing And Humanization Program For The Incarcerated.” The USA International Men’s Day Team proposes that the mandatory “healing and humanization” program should take the form of a two-tiered intensive “psychological debriefing” for a mandatory minimum of one (1) year for both the incarcerated individual and their family members and loved ones. The first tier of the psychological debriefing will heal embedded psychological, spiritual, and emotional wounds incurred during his or her imprisonment and teach him or her how to love again and trust again and resolve any anger management or conflict resolution issues. Loved ones and family members of incarcerated individuals will undergo a mandatory debriefing to become equipped with the psychological and emotional tools they will need to reinforce the formerly incarcerated individual’s spiritual, psychological, and emotional healing. In 2014, the USA International Men’s Day Team supported and continues to support Operation Fresh Start ™, a multi-tiered results-oriented initiative created by The Honorable James M. DeLeon, a veteran jurist in the Criminal Court Division of Municipal Court in the City of Philadelphia, which creates pathways to reintegration and redemption for formerly incarcerated individuals. Operation Fresh Start ™ is a global model for eradicating recidivism and creating pathways to reintegration.
Public officials have acknowledged International Men’s Day. British Prime Minister, The Honorable Theresa Day publicly recognized International Men’s Day in the days preceding its observance in 2016. For the second consecutive year, a debate on International Men’s Day was held and facilitated by The Honorable Philip Davies, a member of the House of Commons in the Parliament of the United Kingdom. In the United States, the Governor of Michigan issued a Proclamation acknowledging International Men’s Day in November 2010. And in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, since 2010, a Mayoral Proclamation has been issued declaring 19 November as “International Men’s Day” throughout the City of Philadelphia.
Photo credit: Getty Images