Preventing Violence, Promoting Healthy Masculinity

By Giving List Women   |   May 20, 2024
Teaching “Live Respect” at the Kristin’s Fund football camp.

In 1990, Tony Porter was director of a substance use program in a hospital north of New York City. There, he’d meet the profeminist community of primarily Black and Jewish women who would change the trajectory of his life. Porter’s work was initially focused on antiracism, but the more he listened at the feet of his female colleagues, the more he understood the intersections between racism, patriarchy, and violence against women. This challenged Porter to get involved in violence-prevention work – and to invite other men to do the same. 

He volunteered for a domestic violence offenders intervention program for the next five years, learning about domestic violence through a feminist lens and the socialization of men who cause harm. “It was about power and control, seeing women as less valuable – as property and objects, particularly sexual objects.” 

Porter also recognized that abusive behavior doesn’t manifest in a vacuum. It is enforced by societal norms and a lack of accountability. Ending violence against women required a culture shift that started with men – not just abusive men, but all men.

Breaking out of the “Man Box”

Porter subsequently organized what he thought would be a one-time training, “A Call to Men: Ending Domestic Violence, Becoming Part of the Solution.” After the event, there was extensive interest in bringing the same training to other communities. The sessions were so successful that Porter and the group facilitator, Ted Bunch, established A Call to Men in 2002. 

Their vision? To create a world where men and boys are loving and respectful, and women, girls, and other marginalized people are valued and safe. Porter and Bunch built their work on a foundation of challenging the collective socialization of manhood, also known as “The Man Box” – a term coined by Porter to describe the rigid set of societal beliefs that foster an epidemic of violence against women and girls while preventing men from embracing their authentic selves. “We invite men. We don’t indict men,” Porter explains. “We are reaching in and grabbing the hearts of men. That’s where transformation happens. That’s where vulnerability begins.”

A Call to Men has since trained millions of people and worked with organizations worldwide – including the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS, U.S. military, colleges, universities, high schools, human service organizations, faith communities, and corporations across the country. In addition, the organization offers its signature trainings, along with a curriculum for boys, corporate coaching, technical assistance, policy advising, film and media that “impact culture with culture,” and more.

One thing that hasn’t changed? Marginalized voices are as essential to A Call to Men’s work today as at its founding two decades ago – a majority of their trainers and leadership team are women of color. “I’m proud to work for an organization that centers the perspectives of people who have historically been silenced,” says CCO Kimya Motley. “We’re invested in collective liberation. None of us is free until all of us are free.”


A Call To Men

Donate now!

(917) 922-5668
Chief Development Officer: Ted Bunch


We work to transform society by promoting healthy, respectful manhood and offering trainings and educational resources for companies, government agencies, schools, and community groups.

Begin to Build a Relationship

We know you care about where your money goes and how it is used. Connect with this organization’s leadership in order to begin to build this important relationship. Your email will be sent directly to this organization’s director of development and/or Executive Director.