If we wanted to find a city that was an iconic testament to masculinity, we’d need look no further than Detroit. Founded by a French explorer named Cadillac, it rose up from humble beginnings in fur trade to become the city that literally changed the world; the city that imagined, designed and mass-produced one of the greatest, if not the greatest, invention of modern times: The automobile; the machine that revolutionized the lives of all Americans and indeed all of industrialized humanity.
For over a hundred years, it survived the conflicts of labor, the scourge of racism, and political corruption that would make Chicago blush. Yet it persevered.
And then it fell into hard times. Perhaps by coincidence, perhaps not, it lost its currency and its stature in perfect lockstep with the masculinity that first drove it to the top of civilization.
Bleeding and bankrupt, it now exists in decay and degradation. Once-great industrial complexes now have the look and feel of 1945 Dresden. City parks are overgrown and derelict. Schools and city services are running on fumes; some have quit running altogether. The only vigor remaining is in the rising numbers of the jobless and homeless, and in the handful of citizens doggedly and tenaciously working to salvage what is left.
It is a city teetering and struggling for its footing. It is seeking, like many men, to find its balance and its place in the world again. Also like men, it is in trouble as most of the world looks the other way.
I can think of no better or more appropriate place for men to dust themselves off and start building again. I can think of no better foundation on which men and the women who care for them can stand together and seek change.
With that it gives me great pride to announce that A Voice for Men will be hosting the First International Conference on Men’s Issues on June 27 and 28 of 2014 in Detroit, Michigan.
For the conference we have secured commitments from some of the best known and highly regarded thinkers on men’s rights and issues ever assembled in one place. They are as follows:
Dr. Warren Farrell, author of seven books on men’s and women’s issues, came to prominence in the 1970s as one of the leading male thinkers of our times. Warren originally championed the cause of feminism, serving on the New York City Board of the National Organization of Women (NOW). However, when NOW took anti-male and anti-father positions he began advocacy for boys, men and fathers. He is now recognized as one of the most important figures in the modern men’s movement.
Erin Pizzey, author of five books, including the seminal Prone to Violence, is credited with starting the modern women’s refuge movement in Cheswick, England in 1971. Erin is a steadfast human rights advocate who has lectured internationally on the subject of intimate partner violence. She is also an Editor-at-Large and domestic violence policy advisor for A Voice for Men.
Robert Franklin, Esq, is an attorney at law and the former Executive Editor of the Houston Law Review. Franklin writes commentary on our family law system and other related men’s issues. He is a journalist for the National Parents Organization (formerly Fathers and Families) a shared parenting and family law reform advocacy group. Franklin is also a periodic contributor to A Voice for Men.
Dr. Miles Groth is professor of psychology at Wagner College in Staten Island, New York. He is the founder and former editor of Thymos: Journal of Boyhood Studies and is the current editor of New Male Studies, an international journal that serves as an open access online interdisciplinary forum for research and discussion of issues facing boys and men worldwide.
Barbara Kay is a columnist for Canada’s National Post. She has written on a variety of issues affecting men and boys and has been particularly critical of both cultural misandry and the treatment of men and boys by the modern feminist movement. Kay is a lecturer who has spoken on National Television and at talks regarding her views on the rise of feminism to the detriment of men.
Karen Straughan is an internationally recognized writer, lecturer and videographer. As a mother of young sons, Straughan became concerned about the effects of cultural misandry and began writing and blogging on the subject. She also self-produces video commentary on the men’s issues and has amassed 50,000 followers of her work. Straughan is an activist and a member of Men’s Rights Edmonton and is a contributing editor of A Voice for Men.
Carnell Smith is a nationally recognized expert in paternity fraud. He is the Board President Executive Director of the National Family Justice Association. He is the executive director of the United States Citizens Against Paternity Fraud. He makes radio and TV appearances (CBS Early Show, ABC World News, Abrams Report), on America’s paternity fraud crisis and has been frequently quoted in major newspapers (USA Today, Washington Times, Orlando Sentinel, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, Star Tribune).
Paul Elam is the founder and publisher of A Voice for Men. Formerly a mental health professional, Elam became concerned about the treatment of men and boys, both in mental health settings and the culture at large. He is also the founder of A Voice for Men radio, a network of internet based radio programs dealing with problems that affect men and boys. He is an outspoken advocate against false allegations and takes a leadership role in A Voice for Men’s advocacy for men who are falsely accused or convicted without due process.
Sen. Anne Cools is a member of the Canadian Senate. She became the first Black Canadian to be appointed to Canada’s upper house. She is currently the longest-serving member of the Senate. Cools served on the Senate/House of Commons Special Joint Committee on Child Custody and Access, which in December, 1998 issued its report, For the Sake of the Children. A principal recommendation of this report was that, following a relationship breakdown, shared parenting should be presumed to be in the best interests of the child.
Dr. Paul Nathanson is a Canadian academician who, along with Dr. Kathryn Young, co-authored what is regarded as the world’s most seminal series of books on the subject of misandry, or the hatred and/or fear of men and boys. Nathanson is a noted lecturer and critic of academic feminism who has been an active proponent in calling attention to the problems faced by men and boys.
Dr. Tara Palmatier, PsyD, is a clinical psychologist who specializes in assisting men who have become entangled in relationships with abusive, high-conflict personalities, many of whom are suffering harassment and persecution through the misuse of the family court system. Also known as “Dr. T,” she maintains a website for men seeking to escape abusive relationships and is a regular contributor to A Voice for Men.
Tom Golden, LCSW is a psychotherapist with a focus on men’s issues. He is the author of Swallowed by a Snake, The Gift of the Masculine Side of Healing, and The Way Men Heal. Tom is the former vice chairman of the Maryland Commission for Men’s Health. His website, menaregood.com addresses the cultural bias that exists as it impacts boys and men.
Along with this fantastic lineup of speakers, there will be a featured panel discussion on news media bias featuring an international panel of AVFM News writers, headed by AVFM News Director Robert O’Hara.
Your master of ceremonies for the event will be Vladek Filler, who will give an opening address and introduce all keynote speakers as each one takes the audience through an important address on 12 different areas of modern life that impact the lives of men and boys.
There will also be various workshops available, including one by Warren Farrell and another by Dr. T and myself.
Other events are being planned and will be announced in the days ahead.
AVFM is still negotiating the precise location of the conference and will include that in the registration announcement in the next few weeks, after we have secured the best deal possible for lodging for conference attendees.
Very exciting event, and very exciting days.
Get your tickets now while they are less expensive! The closer we get to the conference, the more the price will increase.
*All sales are final. While every effort has been made to ensure consistency, individual speakers may change without notice. A minimum number of 130 tickets must be sold for the conference to move forward. In the event of cancellation, all conference ticket purchases will be fully refunded.