Men of Strength Organization, better known as MOST, works to prevent men’s violence against women by helping to create a campus culture that does not tolerate attitudes or actions that are harmful to women.
This organization explores what it means to be a man at Florida A&M University and in the world while seeking to develop and encourage healthy masculinity. MOST does not only conduct community strength projects on campus, but outside of the FAMU community.
MOST has been active on FAMU’s campus since Fall 2011 and marked its first semester as recognized Organization Spring 2013. Men Can Stop Rape recognized MOST as its premier college-level organization.
According to MOST’s advisor and student counselor Dougla-Khan Stancil, the social change theory should be implemented to change men’s behaviors, attitudes and beliefs about masculinity, women and sexual assault.
“Part of what we do as an organization is act as active allies to issues in preventing violence against women,” Stancil said. “We want to raise awareness that preventing violence against women is a man’s issue as well.”
This organization continuously works toward developing gender equity and preventing violence against women. They strive to meet these objectives by exploring how stereotypical forms of masculinity contribute to violence and by developing healthy visions of masculinity.
According to counselor Quantina Washington, men can greatly influence other men in the fight to end violence against women through peer education and acting as positive peer influences by demonstrating healthy masculinity.
“Men can also participate in bystander intervention training which teaches techniques for challenging attitudes and beliefs that encourage relationship violence,” Washington said.
Students on campus were impressed with what the organization stands for.
“I find it amazing what these young men stand for and their fight to spread awareness about preventing violence against women,” Miles Menendez senior english student from Naples said.
According to President of MOST Christopher Smith, the organization is aimed to have more of a collective view in the black community at large.
“I believe there is not a lot of awareness about the sexual violence rates on FAMU’s campus,” Smith said.
A few students agree that there is not enough awareness preventing sexual violence on campus.
“From my knowledge, members of MOST organization are needed on FAMU’s campus to spread knowledge to other young men,” Vallery Agenor, psychology student from Ft. Lauderdale, said. “There is little awareness on campus about sexual violence and I look forward to seeing the organizations community projects throughout the semester.
FAMU’s Men of Strength membership is granted through nomination. If students are interested they can be nominated by faculty, staff, or current MOST members.