National conference in Nashville tackles violence against women, healthy masculinity


National conference in Nashville tackles violence against women, healthy masculinity

YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee will host the first ever national conference on violence against women and healthy masculinity Sept. 9 and 10 in Nashville.

Keynote and featured speakers include Time Magazine’s 2017 Person of the Year and Silence Breaker, Terry Crews, actor and former NFL star Eddie George, survivor and activist Brenda Tracy, and Alejandra Castillo, CEO of YWCA USA.

SHIFT: An AMEND Together Conference,” is a 2-day conference to confront the crisis of violence against women. AMEND Together, a program of YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee is dedicated to ending violence against women and girls by engaging men and boys to change the culture that supports violence. The conference is supported by Vanderbilt University’s Sports and Society Initiative and YWCA USA.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. One in four women and one in nine men will experience severe intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner contact sexual violence, and/or intimate partner stalking. The Nashville-based affiliate of YWCA USA has spent years developing and implementing AMEND Together, a unique, community-based violence prevention initiative.

“When discussing domestic and sexual violence, the emphasis is typically put on ways women can escape those situations. AMEND Together shifts the culture by educating boys and men on behavioral changes that can prevent domestic violence incidents before they start,” said Shan Foster, YWCA VP of External Affairs and AMEND Together. “The SHIFT Conference is the first of its kind and puts the growing issue of gender-based violence on the national stage.”

Foster is a former NBA player and collegiate standout and was named the SEC Men’s Basketball Player of the Year. He has led YWCA’s AMEND Together program since joining the organization in 2015 and has trained thousands of youth, student-athletes, faith-based and business leaders in Nashville and across the country.

The SHIFT Conference will welcome attendees from all over the country,  representing college athletic departments, youth-serving nonprofits, YWCA’s, domestic violence organizations, law enforcement, victim’s advocates, religious institutions, and more.

Early registration for the conference ends Aug. 9, and full event details can be found here. For more information about SHIFT: An AMEND Together Conference, visit http://bit.ly/ywcashift.

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