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Vera House 2020 White Ribbon Campaign this Month Engages Discussions of Masculinity, Word Choices

John Smith

Vera House is now also having to cancel its upcoming walk through Downtown Syracuse over coronavirus concerns but, the White Ribbon campaign will continue through social media and discussions.   The campaign’s Co-Chair James Branch says they’ve been selling bracelets.  He offers them when someone tells him they know of a person in an abusive relationship.

“What I do is actually take my wrist band and I give it to them.  And I tell them, if you look on the inside, you’re gonna find the crisis hotline number and give this to them and when they’re ready to make that phone call, they have it on them and that’s something that they will always carry with them.” 

He says Vera House so much more than a shelter and offers counseling, advocacy and education.  A key topic is engaging men about what positive masculinity resembles.  Mark Britz serves as the Chair for the social media marketing committee for the white ribbon campaign.  They held a discussion yesterday on Twitter.

“We’re really calling on men a lot to share examples of growing up and how that conversation has changed and what do they do in situations where they here of things like locker room talk... and how do they engage other men?  So, people are sharing a little bit more insight around having  kind of constructive conversation and we really love hearing from men, in particular.”

He adds that’s because men can be good role models for other men and boys.  Britz says Vera House gets to the core of the issue pointing out negative words and language that tends to segregate women into a lower status.  For more about the campaign visit Vera

John Smith has been waking up WAER listeners for a long time as our Local Co-Host of Morning Edition with timely news and information, working alongside student Sportscasters from the Newhouse School.