Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs 519 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

March 19, 2007

Activist to Discuss Gender Violence, Prevention

A leading anti-violence male activist who is known internationally for his prevention education work with men and boys is coming to the University of Guelph March 26.

Jackson Katz is co-founder of the Mentors in Violence Prevention program, North America’s leading gender violence prevention initiative in professional and college athletics. He is also director of the first worldwide domestic and sexual violence prevention program in the U.S. Marine Corps.

It will be Katz's first visit to a Canadian university. He will give a free public lecture at 7 p.m. in Peter Clark Hall.

Katz, who has lectured on hundreds of college campuses and given workshops in the United States, Australia and Japan, will discuss the importance of men and women joining together to combat sexual and domestic violence.

“Jackson has managed to inspire and stimulate the dialogue that needs to occur between women and men if we are ever to address the problem of sexual and domestic violence in any meaningful way,” said sociology professor Myrna Dawson, who chairs the event’s planning committee.

"He has helped educate young women and men on the subject and his emphasis on the need for us to work together to address such a serious and persistent problem is key to moving us forward.”

Melanie Bowman of the University’s Wellness Centre, one of the many campus groups that have joined efforts to bring Katz to Guelph, added: “Sexual violence against women is not just a ‘women’s issue’ — it’s a human rights issue. It affects all of us, and we need to work together in a mutually-respectful way to eradicate it. We must focus on creating positive male role models who encourage other men to become actively engaged in this issue.”

Katz’s visit is also sponsored by Counselling Services’ The JourneyMen Men’s Program. “I am very supportive of efforts to involve men in initiatives to combat domestic violence,” said director Rob Baldwin. “Helping men and women join together in a constructive way on this issue instead of being in separate camps is a very positive step."

Other sponsors are the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences, the College of Arts, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Athletics, the women’s studies program, and the Criminal Justice and Public Policy Society.

“The enthusiasm shown by various groups on campus both by agreeing to help sponsor this event and by volunteering in a number of capacities has demonstrated how important this issue is for everyone here,” Dawson said.

“Our planning committee is made up of really committed individuals and it’s been a great experience to work together on this. It really feels good to be part of a campus that not only recognizes that gendered violence is a problem in our society but also has women and men who want to come together to do something about it.”

Admission to the lecture is free but registration is required because of limited seating. To register or for more information, send an e-mail to

Donations will also be accepted at the door, with proceeds going to Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis and Wyndham House for Young Men.

** Note to media: Katz will be available for media interviews prior to coming to Guelph and following his lecture. To arrange an interview, contact Lori Bona Hunt in Communications and Public Affairs: 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338.

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