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Event to address masculinity, hip hop and more

by UofL Today last modified Nov 04, 2010 04:00 PM

Byron Hurt, an anti-sexist activist and filmmaker, will discuss his film "Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes" as part of the University of Louisville's inaugural Engaging Men Week.

 The week, which is sponsored by the Prevention, Education and Advocacy on Campus and in the Community (PEACC) and Men of PEACC program, will focus on men building resiliency in the areas of emotional intelligence, social conduct, spiritual and physical health and intellectual development.

"The Men of PEACC group really wanted to get men more involved in ending violence and in a broader sense, serving their community," said Sharon LaRue, director of the PEACC program. "The majority of young men want to see positive changes in their community but may not know how they can make a difference. Men of PEACC wanted to create a week where these men have the opportunity to come together, discuss challenges, and build their capacity for change — both individually and collectively."

The college years are a very important time in the lives of young men because they are out on their own and making decisions about what type of men they will be as adults, said Ben Donlon, Men of PEACC coordinator.

"It's a time here when people are trying to find their own way," Donlon said. "Hopefully, everyone wants to be a true gentleman." The week's activities will allow participants to discuss their own experiences and grow.

Hurt's talk is a highlight of the week. The lecture and discussion will be from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the SAC Multipurpose Room.  He will discuss his documentary, "Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes," which premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. PBS later broadcast it nationally as part of its Independent Lens series.

 According to Hurt's website, the film "takes an in-depth look at masculinity and manhood in rap and hip-hop, where creative genius collides with misogyny, violence and homophobia, exposing the complex intersections of culture and commerce."

Besides Hurt's talk, the schedule for the week includes

  • "Manformation Fair," 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Nov. 9, SAC multipurpose Room. A variety of on-campus and community groups will be set up and invite young men to join. Participants include Big brothers/big Sisters of Kentucky and MensWork.
  • "Meet with a Side of Meat," 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 10, Cultural Center. Faculty and staff will lead a candid discussion on how masculinity is constructed. Free food.
  • "Meat & Potatoes," 7:30 p.m. Nov. 10, Community Park. Special Guest – Wave 3 Troubleshooter Eric Flack discusses "Underage Sexual Addiction – Myth or Reality?" Free food.
  • "Straight Men & Gay Men: Why Can't We Be Friends," noon to 1 p.m. Nov. 11, Cultural Center. LGBT Services, the Cultural Center and PEACC will lead a discussion on ways to break the stereotypes surrounding gender identity and social interaction.

Sponsors for the week include Men of PEACC, PEACC, Student Activities Board, Club Programming Committee, Cultural Center, Anne Braden Institute, Women's and Gender Studies, Muhammad Ali Institute, the vice provost for diversity, Interfraternity Council, LGBT Services, Association of Black Students, A&S Office of International Diversity and Outreach programs and Campus Health Promotion.

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