Men Making A Difference

Men Making A Difference
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Nolan A Machan

Nolan A Machan

Nolan Machan is the Publisher of OakvilleNews.Org and has over 41 years of local Oakville knowledge. He is committed to providing Oakville residents with the most up-to-date information about our great town.

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On Wednesday March 27th at the Oakville Convention Centre, The Halton Women’s Centre had it’s inaugural Gala honouring men who make a difference. As Melvina Walter the executive director of the centre indicated, it was an interesting proposition for a centre that’s primary aim is to provide support to abused women. It took her and many volunteers three years to establish what will be soon a provincial event.

MC for the night was Ken Welch an anchor for CHCH TV in Hamilton, who guided us through the night flawlessly. However, aside from the incredible accomplishments of the nominees, the keynote speaker, Dr. Michael Kaufman the Co-founder of the White Ribbon Campaign left everyone in the room with a dynamic way to look at how we can help boys  become men who will make a difference.

Dr. Michael Kaufman, Oakville News,

Dr. Michael Kaufman speaking at the 2014 Men Who Make A Difference Awards in Oakville

The premise of Dr. Kaufman’s talk was first about how the world is still a man’s world which has begun to embrace women as decision makers. He brought up an interesting point that it wasn’t until the early 70’s that women were allowed to open a bank-account with out their husband’s approval.  But even in today’s supposedly equal Canadian landscape women still only make a $1.00 for every $1.40 that men make for the same work. It will not be an truly equal until women have the same equity as men.

His second point was regarding how boys are raised with stifling as well as unrealistic expectations of what it means to be a man, which has actually gotten worse not better. He showed a picture of Bateman figure from the 1960’s a relatively realistic and buffed man, to today’s version of  a hyper-masculine man whose body is so over excentuated. On an emotional level, boys are taught not to cry, not to emote anything but bravado.

He finally provided an insight as to how we can raise our boys to be men, which is by giving them permission to live their lives without the fear of ridicule or being ostracized. It is to allow them to express their natural feelings of sadness and fear in a positive constructive way.  It will only be when men feel safe to share how they are feeling that women will be truly safe against violence perpetrated by men.

Of the 20 accomplished men, 6 received special distinction by the Halton Women’s Centre, and they are:

Dan Blackburn is a dad, coach, youth mentor and founder of the Pillars of Greatness. For the last 16 years I have been helping youth live their dreams.

Angus Coll-Smith is a father, husband, program manager, university student, volunteer board member and fitness enthusiast.He works in the social services sector trying to encourage a view of the world through and anti-oppressive lens.

Ron Couchman is the community engagement manager for the White Ribbon Campaign which is the world’s largest movement of men and boys working to end violence against women and girls, promote gender equity, healthy relationships and a new vision of masculinity.

Kevin Flynn the MPP for Oakville, and Minister of Labour was instrumental on putting mental health programmes for youth on the provincial radar.

Scott Graham founder of the Kids4Kids Leadership program which has grown to international status helping thousands of children become better people.

Judah Hernandez contribution is best described by this video

Move | Created to Inspire from Judah Hernandez on Vimeo.

If you are interested in learning more about the Halton Women’s Centre you can contact them via their website.

 

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