For All Sea­sons to present pro­gram on sex­ual vi­o­lence

The Star Democrat - - LOCAL -

EAS­TON — For All Sea­sons will of­fer a pro­gram on end­ing sex­ual vi­o­lence at 6:30 p.m. Thurs­day, Nov. 15, with speaker Don McPher­son, for­mer Philadel­phia Ea­gles quar­ter­back, ac­tivist and fem­i­nist.

McPher­son’s topic, “You Throw Like a Girl: A Con­ver­sa­tion to End Sex­ual Vi­o­lence,” will ad­dress men’s vi­o­lence against women.

The event will be held in the Gold Room at the Tide­wa­ter Inn at 101 E. Dover St., and is free and open to the pub­lic.

For more than 34 years, McPher­son has used the power and ap­peal of sports to ad­dress com­plex so­cial jus­tice is­sues. He has cre­ated in­no­va­tive pro­grams, sup­ported com­mu­nity ser­vice providers and has pro­vided ed­u­ca­tional sem­i­nars and lec­tures through­out North Amer­ica.

“Women have al­ways been in this con­ver­sa­tion about sex­ual vi­o­lence,” McPher­son said. “Now it’s time to bring the con­ver­sa­tion to­gether with men and women.”

“This dis­cus­sion is di­rected pri­mar­ily at men and fo­cuses on language such as ‘you throw like a girl’ that sets a stan­dard on the nar­row ex­pec­ta­tions of mas­culin­ity while si­mul­ta­ne­ously es­tab­lish­ing an un­der­stand­ing that girls and women are ‘less than’ men,’” he said.

Beth Anne Lan­grell, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of For All Sea­sons, said peo­ple are try­ing to fig­ure out where we go from here and what we do now that this is­sue is front and cen­ter in the me­dia.

“Not talk­ing about it is not an op­tion,” Lan­grell said. “We need to have con­ver­sa­tions that are pro-so­cial and pro­tect our fam­i­lies and in­di­vid­u­als. We have to find age ap­pro­pri­ate ways to have the con­ver­sa­tion, and by hav­ing Don here, we can start that con­ver­sa­tion in our com­mu­nity.”

“The ‘Me Too’ move­ment pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity for men to not just stand in sol­i­dar­ity with women but make real change in the root causes of sex­ual vi­o­lence,” McPher­son said. “My pre­sen­ta­tion fo­cuses on nur­tur­ing pos­i­tive language and a healthy un­der­stand­ing of mas­culin­ity.”

As an ath­lete, McPher­son was a unan­i­mous Al­lAmer­i­can quar­ter­back at Syracuse Univer­sity and is a vet­eran of the NFL and Canadian Foot­ball League. Since 1984, he has de­liv­ered school and com­mu­ni­ty­based pro­grams ad­dress­ing is­sues such as drunk driv­ing, al­co­hol and substance abuse, bul­ly­ing, youth lead­er­ship and men­tor­ing.

Upon re­tir­ing from pro­fes­sional foot­ball in 1994, he joined North­east­ern Univer­sity’s Cen­ter for the Study of Sport in So­ci­ety, as na­tional di­rec­tor of Ath­letes in Ser­vice to Amer­ica.

In 1995, McPher­son turned his fo­cus to the is­sue of “men’s vi­o­lence against women,” as di­rec­tor of Sport in So­ci­ety’s Men­tors in Vi­o­lence Pre­ven­tion Pro­gram, and emerged as a na­tional leader and advocate for the pre­ven­tion of sex­ual and do­mes­tic vi­o­lence.

He has con­ducted work­shops and lec­tures for more than 300 col­lege cam­puses, com­mu­nity or­ga­ni­za­tions, and na­tional sports and vi­o­lence pre­ven­tion or­ga­ni­za­tions. His pro­grams and lec­tures have reached more than one mil­lion peo­ple.

McPher­son has re­ceived sev­eral hon­ors in recog­ni­tion of his ser­vice, in­clud­ing the Fred­er­ick Dou­glas Men of Strength Award, given by Men Can Stop Rape; Cham­pi­ons for Change, pre­sented by Life­time Tele­vi­sion; the Cre­ative Vi­sion for Women’s Jus­tice, pre­sented by the Pace Univer­sity Women’s Jus­tice Cen­ter; and a Lead­er­ship Award from the Na­tional Cen­ter for Vic­tims of Crime.

He has served as a board mem­ber, con­sul­tant and ad­vi­sor for sev­eral na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions, in­clud­ing the Ms. Foun­da­tion for Women and the Na­tional Foot­ball Foun­da­tion and the U.S. Na­tional Com­mit­tee for U.N. Women. McPher­son re­cently joined the ad­vi­sory board of the Cen­ter for the Study of Men and Mas­culin­i­ties at Stony Brook Univer­sity.

To re­serve your seat for the event, visit don­m­cpher­son.eventbrite.com or call 443-258-2130.

For more in­for­ma­tion, call Monika Mraz at 410822-1018, email mm­raz@ forallsea­son­sinc.org or visit forallsea­son­sinc.org.

DON MCPHER­SON

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