Posted by: joshjasper | October 25, 2009

Dr. Jackson Katz

I had the opportunity the other night to see Jackson Katz present at the University of Northern Iowa.  You may know that Dr. Katz is an internationally known educator, author, and film maker.  Jackson was in Cedar Falls to talk about the Mentors in Violence Prevention program (MVP) that he created.  I have seen Jackson present a couple of other times in the past, and to no surprise, he again left the audience yearning for more, motivated to end gender violence as we know it. 

After the presentation I was incredibly fortunate to meet with Jackson and a few others to talk about “big picture” violence prevention for a couple of hours.  It was surreal to say the least.  I have been known to be the dreamer; one of the few persons that actually believes our vision of creating a community free of sexual violence.  It was nice to be reminded by Jackson Katz that I am not alone in this belief.  There was much I wanted to share.  I wanted to talk about the reoccurring dreams that I have in which the community free of violence has nearly been realized, only to wake up moments before understanding how we made it that far….if I had a nickel for every time I have had that dream!

Rest assured, I didn’t share the dream, but I did share my ideas.  Sitting next to the guy that was preparing  to send a team of prevention educators to Afghanistan to teach the MVP program, and have him agree with my thoughts, and get as excited as me about their potential….well, let’s just say his support has ratcheted up my motivation to realize our vision. 

While driving home that night I found myself doing a little soul-searching.  It occurred to me that I have the ability to do more; that I should be doing more.   Too often opportunities surface in our work in which I should be more vocal about the issues related to men’s violence against women.  Time and time again those teachable moments pass without the proper notice.  It could be from the sexist joke I overhear and do not confront, to the endless acts of violence that occurs in our community in which I remain silent.  I will not allow my silence to act as consent for this behavior again.

No More.

P.S.-one thing I do know about my reoccurring dream…the whole community is involved.



  1. I realize this post is almost a month old, but I thought that I should share my knowledge with a kindred spirit. I have had the privilege of meeting Jackson Katz (before he was a doctor, I might add!) and it was a fabulous experience. The reason I’m commenting is because I read the end of your post and am able to give you a solution to fulfilling those “teachable moments”. Please look at the Green Dot Strategy. It is a bystander intervention and sexual violence education program that treats everyone as if they have the power to stop sexual violence. It makes sense with your dream- this program involves EVERYONE, the entire community in it. Green Dots are positive moments in time in which people do something that is utterly intolerant of violence as the norm. It can be volunteering at a rape crisis center, or simply telling your mom a fact about rape or sexual violence. Something like 1 in 3 women around the world will be beaten or raped in her lifetime. It’s quite a movement; I find that the more that people look into it, the more they like it. Please check it out! You can also go to and search VIP (Violence Intervention and Prevention Center) and look for Green Dots. It is not a waste of your time! Thanks for your post =)

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