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Group Facilitator, (319) 358-1477
WRAC Director (319) 335-1486
WRAC Volunteer Coordinator, (319) 335-1486
5 Old Capitol
Iowa City IA 52242

Release: Immediate

Are men ready to challenge sexism? Anti-sexist men to meet Mondays

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Women's Resource and Action Center (WRAC) volunteer Jon Knapp McAlister will facilitate a Monday night group for anti-sexist men this spring at the Iowa Memorial Union on the University of Iowa campus.

The group, called "Facing the Challenges of Sexism," has two main goals. "We want to give men a space to sort out their feelings about sexism and to discover ways they can act against sexism in their own lives and in the community," McAlister said.

McAlister, who has worked for reproductive freedom, sexual assault awareness, and other feminist causes, got the idea for "Challenges" after talking to Maria Oropeza, WRAC's volunteer coordinator. "A year ago another man came to WRAC with an idea about how men could be sensitive to the concerns of women and still be men," Oropeza said. "The group was a brilliant idea. I think it's easier for men to learn about women's issues from another man because it can come from a common understanding."

McAlister plans to lead the group in discussions about a variety of topics, including relationships, sex, family, homophobia, hope for social change, and others. "It's not going to be about how bad we should feel about ourselves because we're men. That's not productive. Instead, the group will be part support, part education, and part activism." McAlister said he will leave it up to the participants to decide what the activist portion will be.

Monique DiCarlo, WRAC director, said she is especially happy with the activist portion. "The group can provide a opportunity for men to think about the next step beyond talking about feminist theory."

Anyone who wants more information about "Challenges" or other WRAC activities may call (319) 335-1486.