Men's Action Project Meeting Structure
The Men’s Action Project is comprised of group discussions, readings, videos, activities, and journal reflections. Each cohort of the program has space for up to 14 participants. The cohort will meet once a week for a two-hour gathering. The group will share a meal together (food and beverages provided), discuss readings, and have large group discussions related to the week’s content. Participants will be provided given access to a Blackboard site for accessing presentations, readings, videos, and journals. At the conclusion of the ten weeks, participants will be asked to share their journal reflections, however, any participant may opt out completely or request specific sections will not be reviewed. Participants will also be given the opportunity to participate in a focud group to discuss their experiences. The focus group is optional and is not a prerequisite for participating or completing the course.
Note: Based on COVID-19 response, sessions for the fall may be held online using Zoom. Sessions will not be held in person if there is not unanimous consent from all participants and facilitators.
Information pertaining to the Men’s Action Project is available, and will be updated regularly, on Blackboard (http://courseware.ku.edu/). Enter your username and password. From there you will see a list of your classes. Click on “Men’s Action Project” under “My Courses” in order to get information about your weekly readings, journal entries, and announcements. The Men’s Action Project Overview, weekly lesson plans, and journals will be posted on Blackboard too.
- Participants must be enrolled at the University of Kansas, either as an undergraduate or graduate student.
- Participants are expected to attend all sessions for the full two hours. Participants may have one excused absense if cleared with facilitators prior to the session.
- Participants must agree to goup agreements, which will be established by the participants at the first meeting session.
- Participants are expected to complete weekly journal prompts based on personal reflection on the week's discussion, as well as optional, but encouraged, readings and other assignments provided.
- While the Men’s Action Project should be educational, transformative, and reflective, it should not cause pain. If course content causes emotional distress at any point, please communicate this with the facilitator(s) and/or reach out the Confidential Care Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org for support and resources.
Participation and Principles of Constructive Engagement:
The Men’s Action Project will explore critical issues that may create discomfort and spur difficult dialogues. Below are some helpful guidelines for engaging constructively in difficult conversations and we expect all students to follow these guidelines, along with the cohort’s established Group Agreements and expectations.
Principles for Constructive Engagement:
- Strive for intellectual humility. Be willing to grapple with challenging ideas.
- Differentiate between opinion—which everyone has—and informed knowledge, which comes from sustained experience, study, and practice. Hold your opinions lightly and with humility.
- Let go of personal anecdotal evidence and look at broader group-level patterns.
- Recognize the difference between the intent and impact of our words and actions.
- Notice your own defensive reactions and attempt to use these reactions as entry points for gaining deeper self-knowledge, rather than as a rationale for closing off.
- Recognize how your own social positionality (e.g.,race, class, gender, sexuality, ability) informs your perspectives and reactions to your instructor and those whose work you study in the course.
- Differentiate between safety and comfort. Accept discomfort as necessary for social justice growth.
- Identify where your learning edge is and push it. For example, whenever you think, I already know this, ask yourself, How can I take this deeper? Or, How am I applying in practice what I already know?
Adapted from Sensoy, O. & DiAngelo, R. (2012). Is Everyone Really Equal? An introduction to key concepts in social justice education. Teachers College Press: New York, NY, pp. 166-179.