There was a packed house at the Dallas Country Club on Monday, May 6, for the annual Men’s Breakfast presented by the Men’s Advocacy Group of New Friends New Life. It was clear that the group — an NFNL auxiliary that mobilizes men against sex trafficking and exploitation of women and girls — had been strategic about appealing to the guys.
Instead of a flowery centerpiece, for example, each table displayed a handsome tie that could be snapped up for $40 toward the cause. And, each place-setting included a $250, black-and-silver gift card “off your first custom suit” from Don Morphy, a Dallas-based custom menswear label.
With guests in the house including the likes of Gerald Turner, Shannon Wherry, Brad Cheves, Chad Ruback, Bill Minick, and Scott Dyer, MAG Board Chair Chris Johnson welcomed everyone on behalf of Event Chair Michael Hurst (who couldn’t be there) and rolled the first of three slick videos about the group’s mission.
Then, following the invocation by board member Clayton Oliphint and a pep talk by Joshua Mayfield, another board member, Kim Robinson updated her first year as CEO of NFNL and reiterated the nonprofit’s central message: “We stand for her, so she can stand for herself.”
With that, Kim brought on the morning’s keynote speaker, Jackson Katz. A renowned educator and author, Katz is a thought leader on topics like gender, race, and violence, and a much-lauded figure in the global movement of men promoting gender equality. His TED talk about violence against women has been viewed around 4 million times.
During his presentation, Katz made these key points:
- Men have been raping women for thousands of years, but only recently has there been “offender accountability” for such acts.
- One billion people today live in countries where it’s still legal for a man to rape his wife.
- Boys who’ve been abused are 10 times more likely to abuse others.
- “We need more men with the guts, courage and strength to speak out” against the sexual exploitation of women.
- Sex trafficking and exploitation “are men’s issues, and we need to shift the paradigm.”
- “Most men are not abusive, but most men don’t speak up.”
- “We men have to figure out a way to break our silence … but it’s going to take decades.”
More than 330 people in all attended the breakfast, which was the second presented by the Men’s Advocacy Group.