Engaging Men & Boys

Reclaiming Rites of Passage:
Engaging Young Men in Creating Sexual Violence-Free Communities

Project engages African American men and boys in North Carolina in the prevention of sexual violence. Although the state has several noteworthy prevention efforts underway, none are focused exclusively on engaging African American men who make up a significant portion of the population of North Carolina.

The goals of this project are to increase the number of African American men and boys who are involved in the prevention of sexual violence, develop prevention messages that are culturally specific and tailored to local needs and strengthen the collaboration and cooperation between traditional rape crisis center service providers and African American community leaders. The project plans to accomplish these goals by establishing a task force of rape crisis center services providers and African American institutions to develop outreach materials, host community events and run four pilot sites of African American men and boys to serve as models for project activities. Members of the Reclaiming Rites task force include the North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault, the Governor’s Crime Commission, the historically black fraternity Omega Psi Phi, Durham Crisis Response Center, Inter Act, Harbor, Inc., Family Services, Inc., Mount Vernon Christian Church, New Trinity Family Life Center, North Carolina Central’s Women’s Center and North Carolina State University’s Women Center.

All materials developed by the task force will be tailored to meet the needs of the target population. Outreach and community events will be targeted at local community institutions such as barbershops, churches, schools and playgrounds. The project will engage men in all facets of their life and offer them practical tools that can help to change the attitudes and beliefs that lead to sexual violence.