ANTHONY, N.M. (KTSM) – A new program at the Women’s Intercultural Center (WIC) is specifically geared towards young men in their teenage years.
While WIC has had a focus of empowering and educating women, the center is excited to expand their efforts to positively impact men in the Anthony and surrounding communities.
“Most people would be surprised that 15% of our membership are actually males,” said Mary Carter, Executive Director of the Women’s Intercultural Center.
‘Men of Honor’ was inspired by curriculum created by the One Fund Foundation. The foundation’s “The Council” model, structured for boys and young men, aims to “address masculine definitions and behaviors.”
Organizers of the program think lessons like these will allow men to become more in tune with their emotions and feel more comfortable talking about their diverse experiences, the foundation of a respectful, non-violent leader.
Carter is an advocate for assisting the community’s youth through mentorship. She previously worked with the El Paso Independent School District.
“We want to make sure we have great leadership, great citizens, individuals that can create good relationships, stability for themselves, their families and their communities,” said Carter.
The program will review topics such as being an effective leader, embracing your diversity and masculinity.
Mental Health America said men are less likely to seek help for depression, substance abuse and stressful life events due to social norms, downplaying symptoms, and a reluctance to talk.
“It’s been known that men don’t share emotion and feelings and this allows, this program will allow young men to come in and share their feelings, their emotions with another group of men to see that they’re not alone in their journey,” said Garza.
Male stereotypes suggest that in order to embrace manhood, one shouldn’t discuss their emotions and/or their personal struggles. Doing so would acknowledge “weakness” or “sensitivity.”
“Even in my own home, you know, men weren’t allowed to… they were to embrace their manhood and men aren’t supposed to cry. But now this program will allow them to see that its okay for them to express their emotions,” said Garza.
‘Men of Honor’ will serve as a safe place for young men to break down their emotional barriers as well as connect with other men, who very well may be going through the same challenges as they are.
Carter added that a community is only as good as how it takes care of its children.
“If our youth are not taken care of, focused, guided and directed, then we are all at a loss because we are either going to create the future great leaders or the future great criminals,” she said.
The program is open to young men ages 13 to 19 years old. Cost of attendance is free. Sessions will be held at the Women’s Intercultural Center in the facility’s ESL classroom from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m, every Monday.
The program will begin on Oct. 14, 2019 and will run through Jan. 13, 2020.
Women’s Intercultural Center
303 Lincoln Street
Anthony, NM 88021