At the age of 28 Mr. Katz became involved in the Real Men project, a grass-roots educational programme based in Boston which addressed the sexism prevalent in US culture. He oversaw the project as Chief Organiser until 1998.
In 1993 Mr. Katz co-founded the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) programme which has gone on to become one of the most influential programmes directed at addressing the masculinised ideal of violent action in patriarchal societies most prevalent in traditionally male arena such as the sport of football. The programme was based in Northeastern University’s Centre for the Study of Sport in Society, and was aimed at creating a social atmosphere in which violence was unacceptable. Rather than deal with the victim or the perpetrator, the programme seeks to eradicate the culture of violence through ‘bystander action’ in which peers and social units of people address signs and actions of violence. Although it began by targeting people in sports culture, it has since expanded to provide training in mentoring and lectures at schools, university campuses, communities and other institutions including the military across the United States. MVP was the first organisation to address the bystander culture, and is multi-gender in approach.
The success of the programme is such that to date it has been implemented by a quarter of the teams in the NFL, a number of Major League Baseball clubs, NASCAR, and many other sports organizations. In 1997 Mr Katz began a world-wide programme specifically created for the United States Marine Corps.
Mr. Katz was appointed to the American Bar Association’s Commission on Domestic & Sexual Violence in 1998 and served as an adviser until 2000. From 2000 until 2003 he was a member of the US Defense Secretary’s Task Force on Domestic Violence, and for the last decade has been an adviser to Women’s Work, a programme set up by Liz Claiborne’s Company.
Mr. Katz has produced several documentaries intended for viewing within the school and college system, available through the Media Education Foundation:
· Tough Guise: Men, Violence and the Crisis in Masculinity (1999) - named one of the Top Ten Young Adult Videos in 2000 by the American Library Association.
· Wrestling with Manhood: Boys, Bullying & Battering (2002) (with Sut Jhally).
· Spin the Bottle: Sex, Lies, and Alcohol (2004) (with Jean Kilbourne).
He has also taken part in numerous other documentaries and television shows addressing violence masculinised culture.
Mr. Katz has also written several books dealing with various aspects of masculinity intersecting with violence, including:
· Reconstructing Masculinity in the Locker Room: The Mentors in Violence Prevention Project (1995)
· The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help (2006)
· Leading Men: Presidential Campaigns and the Politics of Manhood (2012)
Mr. Katz has also written many articles which address the intersectional aspects of cultural violence and blogs for the Huffington Post. His book The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help was published in 2006.
Mr. Katz is a feminist who states “multiracial, multiethnic, multinational feminism is one of the great transformative social movements in human history. Men have and always will be a part of that, even as we continuously grapple with how to get it right.”*
Mr. Katz’ website can be found here: http://www.jacksonkatz.com/
To see his renowned TED talk, go here: http://www.ted.com/speakers/jackson_katz.html
Blog by Tina Price-Johnson