As part of the University of Iowa Anti-Violence Plan, the university is committed to expanding and coordinating its efforts in mobilizing and engaging male-identified students, staff, faculty, and community partners to work as allies with all genders to create a culture of respect free from gender-based violence.

The Men & Masculinities Coalition is open to students, staff, faculty or community partners who are champions of our mission, regardless of age, gender, race or ethnicity.

The following principles guide members in building better understanding of gender norms, equity, and inclusion when working with students, faculty, and staff.

Student Development Principles

  • Understand that male bodies and biology do not dictate any particular kind of behavior.
  • Model a healthy, respectful manhood to other others.
  • Participate and actively engage in campus, community, state and national programs, events and trainings
  • Listen and respond empathically
  • Encourage consistent medical/health check-ups and evaluations
  • Integrate self-defined masculinities supportive of healthy behaviors into their personal and academic lives.
  • Explore how precollege experiences lead to the development of masculine identities and subsequent behaviors.
  • Develop the ability for men to embrace and express a full range of emotions not
  • normally expressed (for example, fear, sadness, out of control)
  • Talk to others about issues of male socialization and how to have healthier relationships

Concurrent Principles

  • Value everyone’s life, treating all people equally, and promoting the betterment of humanity.
  • Listen to others and validating their experiences.
  • Hold each other accountable in creating a better community. Be open to reproach.
  • If you do or say anything that diminishes a person’s dignity and respect, make a genuine effort to acknowledge and correct the erroneous behavior in order to make amends

Anti-Violence Principles

  • Engage in bystander intervention behaviors to prevent sexual violence and homophobia, transphobia and all forms of oppression on campus and in the community.
  • Recognize that power, control, or violence have no place in healthy gender expression. Violence is not the answer.
  • Refrain from disrespectful and dehumanizing comments regarding a person’s gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, ability, and social economic class.
  • Intervene when we hear language that denigrates people bases on gender or gender expression. Understand the impact of language in marginalizing others.
  • Develop an interest in emotional experiences outside of sexual conquest.

Goals of the Men and Masculinities Coalition

  1. Foster critical conversations about authentic masculinity across campus.
    • Provide programming on healthy masculinities for a variety of audiences
    •  Promote events and programming across campus and on social media
  2. Increase students’ knowledge and skills in engaging healthy relationships.
    • Provide programming on healthy relationships
    • Measure learning outcomes of program participants to evaluate knowledge gained
  3. Broaden and build a coalition with engaged partners that connects the University community and beyond.
    • Promote opportunities for training and mentoring   
    • Increase trainer participation at community-sponsored events   
    • Measure learning outcomes of program participants to evaluate knowledge gained 

For any questions or to learn about how to become involved, email Alicia Vance Aguiar.

What about Me(n) Summit - Speaker Series

The What About Me(n)? summit speaker series provides an opportunity for youth, parents, campus staff, faculty and community partners to engage in critical conversations and skill-building toward the a better understanding on authentic masculinity through collaborative education and action with all genders in the university and community. Small group sessions are led by national and local leaders who are passionate about this work. This event is sponsored by the University of Iowa Men & Masculinities Coalition and participants of any gender, race and ethnicity are welcome. During the pandemic, summit sessions have evolved into a speaker series.

This year's summit featured keynote two speakers with with three separate talks in the Spring 2022 semester.

Dr. Wilson Okello gave a live-streamed presentation entitled "Exploring the Potential for Love as the Root of Relationships." Dr. Okello discussed how an anti-heteronormative love ethic anchored in Black feminism can serve as a liberatory tool among men in and beyond academe. Employing a Black feminist love praxis, he explored possibilities of love as a relational and revolutionary interruption of the white supremacist, capitalist, cis-patriarchal modes of being that dominate the persistence of Black men in and beyond academe. 

Previous speakers in 2021 include: 

Casey Cornelius presented the first talk, geared toward fraternity members on campus.  Casey is a leading national voice on the topics of personal development and healthy masculinity. Casey (usually) travels the country helping organizations and individuals maximize their greatest potential. 

Jörg Vianden is Professor in the Department of Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education at UW-La Crosse. His scholarship focuses on men and masculinities as well as social justice issues in higher education. Jörg’s research has been published in several national and international journals and he is the author of Got Solidarity? Challenging Straight White College Men to Advocate for Social Justice which was published by Routledge in 2020. Jörg is originally from Germany and proud to be a 1999 alum of The University of Iowa’s M.A. Program in Higher Education in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. 

Got Solidarity? Strategies to Engage White College Men in Social Justice Advocacy

In this talk, Vianden discussed the Straight White College Men Project, a qualitative nationwide research study underlying the Got Solidarity? text. The focus of the presentation rests on the research problem of White college men’s typical absence from conversations about, courses on, and commitments to social justice and inclusion on college campuses. Vianden will share data on race and gender privilege of White men, as well as present a composite sketch of the findings of the study. The talk concludes with a list of specific strategies college educators in- and outside of the classroom can use to engage White college men more actively in institutional equity and diversity efforts.

Moving across the Plains: A Pedagogical Model to Develop White College Men’s Solidarity for Social Justice 

In the second talk, Dr. Vianden introduced a model to develop White college men’s solidarity for social justice efforts. The model is based on the Straight White College Men Project, a nationwide qualitative research study. The model combines structural and systemic spheres of socialization and oppression, personal and individual spheres of White college men’s perceptions of responsibility and action in solidarity efforts, and a pedagogical sphere that creates challenges for privileged college learners. The talk concluded with specific strategies for college educators to use in curricular or co-curricular spaces to engender the development of key aspects of White college men’s solidarity for social justice.