MVP Strategies Around the World
Sexual violence and other forms of gender-based violence are deeply entrenched global problems.
In the current zeitgeist of prevention, MVP Strategies offers the effective institutional response that activists, educators, government officials, and other leaders are demanding.
As a result, MVP Strategies has a growing presence around the world. Three aspects of MVP Strategies are particularly relevant and attractive for a multitude of societies.
- Flexibility and cultural sensitivity: We customize our universal basic concepts for varying cultural contexts while retaining the core elements of our philosophy and methods.
- Extensive experience and knowledge: We know how to work inside the education, sports, and military sectors, tapping into the strengths and influence of those institutions to advance gender justice.
- Ability to engage men: We focus on men and boys as partners and allies to women and girls in collaborative efforts to change the social norms that underlie abusive behaviors.
MVP Strategies has worked extensively in Canada over the past decade, and our work there is expanding. MVP Strategies Director Jackson Katz has given lectures and conducted professional trainings in eight Canadian provinces, directly reaching tens of thousands of majority and First Nations people in urban, suburban, and rural communities. In addition, MVP Strategies has been part of a number of other Canadian initiatives.
- Since 2012, MVP Strategies has partnered with the Ending Violence Association (EVA) of British Columbia and the Canadian Football League club BC Lions on a highly successful public service and education campaign entitled “Be More Than a Bystander (BMTAB).” The multi-layered campaign utilizes the high-profile nature of the Lions to present public service announcements on television, radio, social media, and billboards that feature Lions players delivering the basics of the bystander approach, especially to men: if you see your friends or peers treating women (or other men) disrespectfully, speak up and interrupt the abuse. To date, the campaign has received an estimated 120 million views.
- In addition to public service announcements, BMTAB also features BC Lions players delivering compelling presentations at high school assemblies throughout the Greater Vancouver area and across the province. In preparation for their educational role, the players receive intensive training from MVP trainers in the MVP basics of challenging gender norms, encouraging women and men’s leadership, media literacy, and the bystander approach. To date, BC Lions players have directly presented to more than 62,000 students.
- The Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters (ACWS) program Leading Change TM: The Alberta CFL Project, builds on the success of the BC Lions BMTAB campaign and the ACWS Playing to Win program. (see below) Players and officials from Alberta’s two CFL teams, the Edmonton Eskimos and Calgary Stampeders, were trained in MVP in 2014. They have already engaged directly with over 2000 youth in Alberta.
- Since 2005, ACWS has annually hosted “Breakfast with the Guys” events at which Jackson Katz and senior MVP trainer Daryl Fort have often been featured presenters. These events, which are typically co-hosted by prominent men, such as Hall of Fame hockey players and other sports celebrities, introduce the basic MVP message to a cross-section of male leaders from business, labor, politics, media, faith-based communities, and human services.
- MVP Strategies has partnered with ACWS and the Whitemud West Hockey Association of Edmonton to develop and pilot a training component for youth hockey coaches, starting in 2009. Drawing curricular ideas from MVP and Futures Without Violence’s Coaching Boys Into Men campaign, the goal of Playing to Win is to provide volunteer hockey coaches with training and guidance about how to integrate lessons about challenging sexism and sexist abuse into “teachable moments” in coaching.
MVP-Scotland is an ongoing successful collaboration between MVP Strategies, the Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) of the Scottish police, and various Scottish educational authorities. Under the direction of Chief Inspector Graham Goulden, the national anti-violence campaign coordinator of the VRU, a version of MVP customized to the Scottish context was initially implemented and evaluated in three schools in Glasgow and Edinburgh in 2011. In 2012, four additional schools began implementing the MVP Program. Preliminary program results have been positive and promising.
In 2013, with further funding from the Scottish government, the VRU began working with all Local Authorities involved in the program to provide a sustainable and scalable model for other high schools in these areas to use the MVP Program. Currently, 15 high schools are using MVP as a way to deliver on Health and Wellbeing outcomes that are identified within the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence. Other Scottish Local Authorities who have expressed interest in the program also will receive MVP training.
Moreover, the Police Service of Scotland (PSOS) in interested in MVP. Formed in 2013, the PSOS combines the eight Scottish police forces into one force. Key priorities for the PSOS include domestic abuse, rape, and sexual assault. MVP offers a tool for these issues to be discussed within educational contexts, with the potential to be the delivery model for prevention in high schools across Scotland.
VRU Chief Inspector Goulden notes, “The MVP Program clearly provides an opportunity to embed within Scottish high schools a sustainable approach which will support health and well-being and positive relationships, as well as exploring the links to different forms of abuse and violence. Whilst the majority of young people don’t bully or abuse, they possess the power to influence peers and provide a positive climate in which these behaviors don’t exist.”
MVP Strategies began its work in Australia in 2006, conducting trainings with personnel from across the Australian Football League (AFL), as part of their groundbreaking Respect and Responsibility campaign. We have been operating systematically in Australia since 2010, when Griffith University’s Violence Research and Prevention Program introduced the program to address a shortage of primary prevention work focused on gender-based violence. More specifically, the program sought to communicate the potential leadership and influence bystanders can have in addressing, confronting and preventing men’s violence against women.
MVP Australia has worked in every state and territory in the country, in both urban and rural settings with a variety of groups including social service providers, high school and university students and staff, local councils, and service and social justice organizations. We have trained members of the Australian Army at all levels of rank since 2012.
In 2015, MVP expects to offer a curriculum for Muslim populations across the country.
MVP Strategies has developed a presence in a number of other countries. For example, MVP Strategies has an ongoing partnership with the Stockholm, Sweden-based organization Men for Gender Equality. And in 2014, MVP Strategies Founder/Director Jackson Katz, on a trip sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, brought the MVP message to South Africa in a series of talks, workshops, and high-level meetings in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Bloemfontein, Pretoria, and Soweto.
To learn more about the MVP Model or schedule a training session, please contact us.
A major force in the gender violence prevention field
As the field expands and more educational institutions, community organizations, NGOs, and local, state, and national governments in the Global North and South prioritize this critical work, MVP Strategies will continue to provide ideas, energy, and leadership in the ongoing non-violent struggle for social change. Our goal is to contribute to the proliferating initiatives around the world that seek to significantly reduce gender-based violence.