Miami-Dade Countys Community Action and Human Services Department is hosting an event in which it hopes the majority of attendees are men.
Calling All Men: Rejecting the Culture of Violence is a series of workshops to raise domestic violence awareness and engage men in activities to promote a safer community for women and children.
We want to bring this national movement to Miami-Dade and start a discussion to end domestic violence in our community, said Lucia Davis-Raiford, director of CAHS.
Representatives from A Call To Men, Men Stopping Violence and the National Latino Alliance for Elimination of Domestic Violence will speak on topics of stereotypes and social norms with select workshops translated into Spanish or Creole.
The event will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday at the University of Miamis Robert and Judi Prokop Newman Alumni Center in Coral Gables.
Alberto Carvalho, superintendent of Miami-Dade Schools, and the event's keynote luncheon speaker, said domestic violence is a personal matter for him and the Miami-Dade community.
"As superintendent, I have attended many, many funerals for our students," Carvalho said.
According to Carvalho, more than 500 people were shot in Miami-Dade County last year. He says too many of these victims were public school students.
"My call to action is that men of our community join together to stand up, man up and speak up to reject this culture of violence," Carvalho said.
More than one in three women in the United States have experienced physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In 2012, more than 4,500 domestic violence arrests were recorded in Miami-Dade County. Arrests have decreased from 5,300 in 2000, but have remained consistent around the 4,500 mark since 2007, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
There wont be an end to domestic violence until men stop committing it, Raiford said.
Ted Bunch, co-founder of the national violence prevention organization, A Call To Men, said men must break free from the man box.
The man box represents contemporary masculinity, Bunch said. It is all the things that we teach our young boys about manhood, and it is what confines them. It is what tells them that they have to be tough, that they cant ask for help, that they cant cry and that they cant do anything like a girl.
Bunch will host workshops at 10:15 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. that will be translated in Spanish and Creole, according to the events tentative schedule.
Everyone always says we need to educate the youth, but this needs to be refocused, Raiford said. Instead, we need to teach our adults who will then become teachers and role models for our children.
Raiford said she hopes participants incorporate lessons learned from the workshops into their roles as youth group leaders, schoolteachers and little league coaches.
You hear men say to their sons, Hit harder, dont hit like a girl. They dont think they are teaching their boys to devalue women, but they really are, Bunch said.