LGBTQ+ NFL athlete Ryan Russell to speak in Alumni Gym on March 1

Ryan Russell, the first openly LGBTQ+ athlete in the NFL is the keynote speaker for the Men's Leadership in Gender Equity Conference - an event to engage men on empathy, communication & allyship.

Leadership Fellow Tim Boles and the Gender & LGBTQIA Center are hosting a half-day conference, Men’s Leadership for Gender Equity, on Sunday, March 1 from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. The goal of this event is to promote healthy masculinities and men’s engagement in efforts for gender equity on campus and in their daily lives. Breakout sessions led by campus and the community experts about identity, allyship, bystander intervention and cultural competency will follow the keynote speaker. This opportunity is open to students, faculty, staff and community members of all genders.

On Sunday, March 1 at 1:30 PM in Alumni Gym,  the NFL’s first openly LGBTQ player, Ryan Russell, will speak about “Living Your Truth” as the keynote speaker for the Men’s Leadership for Gender Equity Conference. Following the keynote, there is spectacular line-up of breakout sessions from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the Moseley Center. Sessions include topics on empathy, communication, healthy relationships, allyship and bystander intervention. These breakouts are led by experts from the campus and community.

For those attending any or all of breakout sessions, please register using this link through PhoenixCONNECT. Students who attend the keynote and three breakout sessions will receive a certificate of attendance! Community members do not need to register for the event, they can check-in at registration the day of the event.

This event is a partnership between Leadership Fellow Tim Boles for his Common Good Project and the Gender & LGBTQIA Center. A special thanks goes out to all of our sponsors, especially the Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Lecture Fund, the Interfraternity Council, the Student Government Association, the Center for Equity & Inclusive Excellence, the Title IX Office, and Women’s, Gender & Sexualities Studies. Special grants that helped make this event possible are the Hillaire Pickett Leadership Grant and the Don Chaplin and Andy Hunt Fund for supporting LGBTQIA students in the Elon Experiences.

The following are the breakout sessions scheduled for the conference. The locations will be available to participants when they check-in the day of the event. If you have further questions about the event, contact Becca Bishopric Patterson or the Gender & LGBTQIA Center.

Men and Masculinity in the Media

Presenter: Brandon Bell

This interactive session uses popular music, cartoons and movies to explore the construct of masculinity in our societies. Participants will have the chance to reflect on the media they consume to explore their own understanding of their masculinity and develop a more critical appetite for the media they consume.

Masculinities for Positive Relationships 

Presenters: Harry Titus & Joe Strid

Attendees will participate in activities that challenge gender norms and explore how stereotypes can harm men. Participants will engage in activities that build empathy for themselves and others.

Healthy Relationships

Presenters: Shannon Finney & Jubitza Figueroa

The first step toward having healthy relationships is learning to recognize the difference between unhealthy and healthy behaviors. This session dives into the characteristics of different types of relationships, examines related issues, and provides participants with the resources available at Elon Univeristy.

Trans Allyship 

Presenters: Trinity Dixon & Kate Lengyel

Learn more about transgender identities, specific issues that people in these communities face and how to be an active ally for these communities.

Wise Decisions: Preventing Sexual Violence on College Campuses

Presenter: Wise Guys Program Staff

Attendees will learn about the issues that surround sexual violence on college campuses and how to focus on healthy masculinity, sexuality and relationships. This workshop will empower college students to make healthy choices that will positively impact themselves, their partners and fellow students.

LGBTQIA Allyship – Part 1 

Presenters: Jay Tiemann & CJ Porterfield

This presentation will cover information about gender and sexual identities, LGBTQIA terms, basic ally tips, and Elon resources. Participants will leave feeling more confident in their LGBTQIA knowledge and with strategies on how can be an ally!

Soul Sessions: The Paradox of Hip-Hop, Hyper-masculinity and Homoerotica

Presenter: Derrick Luster

This program will utilize early and contemporary Hip-Hop song lyrics, concepts, and themes to unpack how paradoxical hypermasculine topics are, considering Hip-Hop artists’ homoerotic nature of addressing sex and love. The presentation will also contextualize toxic perceptions of masculinity within Hip-Hop, and how that affects support and respect for LGBTQ+ Hip-Hop artists.

Supporting Survivors

Presenters: Julia Metz & Felicia Cenca

This workshop begins with a review of what gender-based violence is, then primarily focuses on how to support survivors. This includes skills to effectively respond to disclosures, resources, and empathy building.

Masculinities For Positive Change

Presenters: Harry Titus & Joe Strid

In this session participants will learn how to use their privilege for good by putting their values into action. Attendees will learn about bystander intervention strategies and practice through scenarios.

LGBTQIA Allyship – Part 2

Presenters: Jay Tiemann & CJ Porterfield

Take your LGBTQIA ally strategies to the next level by diving into LGBTQIA history and interactive small group scenarios that prepare you to create change. Attendees to Part 1 & 2 can receive an official certificate of completion and LGBTQIA Ally button following the training.

Mentorship: The authentic and courageous journey

Presenter: Billy Baker

Participants will engage with their understanding of mentorship, while making sense and reflecting upon some of their most valuable mentor relationships.  Additionally, attendees will get the opportunity to engage in storytelling practices to refine the ways they share their experiences with others, while acknowledging their values and the unspoken social contracts that exist within hyper masculinity.

How to be Sex-essful 

Presenters: Julia Metz, Kate Lengyel, & Matt Reichenbach

This sex-positive program uses scenes from movies and tv shows to open up discussion about the differences and intersections between sex, consent, and pleasure. Our goal is to begin to build skillsets around asking for consent and prioritizing pleasure.

Challenging Rape Culture

Presenter: Xavier Bryant

Come learn how men can challenge rape culture and create a better world for folks of all genders!

Are You Man Enough?

Presenter: Christopher Horack

A discussion-based session designed to talk about how, as men, we could serve to improve our lives and the lives of those around us by being more courageous in our daily lives.

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