Island Men's Journal Article

LETTERS

North American Confederation of Men's Councils

60 South Aberdeen Street
Arlington, VA 22204
(703) 979-6170

July 29, 1991

Jim Richardson Island Men's Network 35 Cambridge Street Victoria. British Columbia V8V A47

Dear Jim, Men throughout North American are joining together to give birth to the North American Confederation of Men's Councils! I invite you to review the enclosed material which will give you an understanding of what the Confedera- tion is all about. After reviewing this material, we hope you decide to join the Confederation as a convener. If you do decide to join us, please call or write me using the address and phone number above. For our brotherhood.

Duval Enclosures

NORTH AMERICAN CONFEDERATION OF MEN's COUNCILS
An Information and Networking Service Agency

Draft

The Confederation seeks to:
* promote and encourage men to form men's councils. We hold that structure and construction, not deconstruction, empower men. We also hold that awakenment without empowerment and sustenance of men is counterproductive.
* serve as a continental information clearinghouse for men's councils (maintain publication lists, ritual and ceremony information, workshop facilitators, etc.).
* furnish leadership training information and retreat resources.
* network with men's councils in a collegial, cooperative and non-hierarchical way.
* "open the gate" to men's councils by promoting ways to make it easier for more men to access and partici- pate in councils.
* steward the men's movement, with generativity and brotherhood. Our mission is to become servant leaders, and assure the likelihood that the best potentials of leadership, service and brotherhood arise in men individually and in groups.
* stand open to the indicative need for gender, racial, and earth care reconciliation; and to stand open to more men regardless of race, income, ethnic background, religious preference or sexual orientation.

The Confederation does not seek to:
* be a political movement or controlling agency.
* advocate or practice centralization or using hierarchical structures.
* exclude groups focused on recovery or other themes. We do not require following any particular orthodoxy.
* be a front for any group or agenda (New Warrior, Mythopoetic, social justice, etc.).
* speak for the national men's movement. We stress that each council speaks for the men's movement in its own locality through its own chosen leadership.

Other Facts about the Confederation: The North American Confederation of Men's Councils will have a group oriented focus. While individual men may affiliate for service and information, our primary focus is in servicing groups of men. For start-up, there is no set membership fee. Men's councils financial support is welcome but not required. The services provided by the Confederation will be driven by the cash flow and the resourcefulness of the people involved with the work. The Confederation ",ill initially operate as an unincorporated association. Our plans call for the administrative office to be located at Jeff Duvall's home office; and Jeff will be fairly compensated for expenses and work time on Confederation business. Compensation will come from gifts and grants. The Confederation is a loose affiliation of men willing to coordinate, network and share information. We stress that these men should be compensated on the basis of fair market value for the services they provide. The tentative launch date for the Confederation is September, 1991. The launch will be announced by a letter that will be mailed to leaders of men's councils throughout North America. The letter will also invite the councils to become affiliated with the Confederation. Council names and addresses will be drawn from Wing- span and other groups with access to mailing address information. The Confederation will furnish a quarterly empowerment packet and other useful printed material (if funding and staff resources are available). The Confederation's Stewardship Team: Bill Kauth (Wisconsin), Forrest Craver and Jeff Duvall (Washington, D.C. Metro Area), Tom Daly (Colorado), Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette (Illinois), Chris Harding (Massa- chusetts), and Stan Snierkowski (California). (Additional American and Canadian men will be added) member" as a group we would welcome that commitment. On the other hand, if you wish to simply "affiliate" and not become a formal member of the North American Confederation, we would welcome that choice as well.

The initial conveners whose names appear on the letterhead are raising money through contributions and grants to cover costs of fulfilling this shared dream. If your group or individual men wish to contribute financially, we would welcome your financial support.

Because we are an incorporated association, checks should be made payable to Jeffrey L Duvall with the memo section of the check designating North American Confederation of Men's Councils. We will provide a financial accounting for all monies received to our members and affiliates on a regular basis. As an affiliate or member, we will immediately put you on our mailing list to receive talking papers, reports, interviews, special training opportunities and other materials.

We also urge you to send us reports, conference plans and other materials dealing with your learnings, questions and insights in any area of men's council work. We will then duplicate and mail these materials to other participating councils along with original source materials provided by the conveners. We anticipate a powerful flow of creativity and the evoking of challenging material which will benefit all of us and enrich and deepen our local work.

Please write The North American Confederation of Men's Councils. 60 South Aberdeen Street, Arlington, VA 22204, or call us at (703) 979-6170 and indicate your interest in participating in this new birthing of service for all the men of North America.

For our brotherhood,

The Conveners The North American Confederation of Men's Councils

(Names and Signatures Here)

Draft

Island Men's Network..
35 Cambridge ST.,
Victoria B.C. VBV/4A7

attn; Jim Richardson

Dear Jim;

Enclosed you shall find the article about our gathering which I promised you a while ago sorry for the delay.

Many thanks for the information you have been sending up to us, it is very appreciated. As we discused on the phone the movement up here is in it's infancy and many crinks have to be worked out yet but we are progressing.

I've advised several of our groups of your workshops with Shepherd Bliss and there has been some interest so hopefully they will contact you. I hope to get your posters up next week. As you know we are planning a gathering for that same time the details have not been finalized as yet. However it looks like there will be little change from the last one.

I was please to read the last issue of Island and see the articles an ponography and pro-feminism and am looking forward to seeing more article of expression in future issues. Having spent most of my life in the Human services field I am aware that there are many issues regarding socisl justice and action that need to be seriously addressed if we are to try and keep the family as our social base.

Yours Truly

Don Nelson.

Don Nelson. 2613-B- Willemar Ave., Courtenay B.C. V9N/7N7, Aug.18/91. (604) 338-7416

DEAR SIR;

I am writing to request any information or aid you or your organization can send to me regarding Men's issues in todays society. This request is being made in an effort to gather information and contacts that would assist in the development of resources for opening a Men's centre here in Courtenay, British Columbia, Canada.

The Men's movement is growing fast in this area, at the present time there 16 men's groups here and another 12 or so in communities to the north of us. This is in a population area of about 90,000. Recently the groups pooled their efforts and had their first gathering which was such a tremendous success that they are planning another for the Fall.

I personally am looking into the idea of a Men's centre to serve as a physical centre for networking among men in our communities and raising the awareness of men's issues such as sexism in advertising, male parenting and custody concerns and to serve as an information outlet to those interested in the mythopoetic aspects of the Men's movement.

Please send any information you may feel relevant or useful to the above address .

Also for your information and use I have a BBS. system available through one of my friends, the data number is (604)-383-1188 should you want to send electronic mail to our area.

Thanks for your cooperation

Don Nelson

VALLEY MEN CELEBRATE THEIR LIVES by Ross Cribb, Quadra Island, B.C.

I didn't know what a large group of men did when they congregated and was apprehensive about finding out; not having been to a men's meeting before, I was free to think up whatever unpleasant scenarios I wanted! in Courtenay on June 8th I was given the chance to find out firsthand what 80 men do at a gathering and am pleased to say there were no fights, no domination and no come-ons. There was lots of sharing, caring and compassion. And there was a lot of shedding of old attitudes as well.

The day started with a talking circle where all in attendance were given the opportunity to introduce themselves, share previous experiences and voice expectations. Any feelings of uneasiness were soon dispelled with the warm up exercise which followed the circle. Here everybody joined hands and a series of waves were transmitted around the room by rhythmic squeezing. I could sense the bonding as the "squeeze" moved round the circle.

This wonderful bonding tone was to last throughout the day. A sincere effort of extending oneself made everyone approachable and happy to converse. Typical barriers and facades were dropped and there was an equal sense of value amongst the diverse group of men who ranged in age from 3 to 73 and who represented both blue collar and white collar occupations as well as the full gamut of personality types.

After a brown bag lunch break the circle was re-formed and the organizing Courtenay men's group (The Comox Valley Men's Coalition) outlined the workshops available for the afternoon; these sessions included topics like shame, anger, men's health and vasectomies and male parenting and were facilitated in part by professional counsellors who were in attendance. There were continuous activities throughout the afternoon which included drumming, juggling and softball ... something for everybody with no pressure applied to join one particular activity over another.

I chose to attend the anger workshop which was marked by a lot of openess and honesty. I came away with a new understanding that although we all have different backgrounds we share the same difficulties. And within this kind of loving context a renewed sense of self worth can be discovered.

It was heartening to find that there is a large contingency of men capable of providing a comforting environment within which to share experiences. This understanding was expressed during the talking circle's reconvention in the mid-afternoon.

The day wore on towards suppertime. Against the vibrant background of the drumming and the joyful playing of softball, the individuals present were able to drop their personas for a time and participate in the dynamics of this empathetic group. The environment this created was underscored by the frequent use of the community hall's telephone as men called home to cancel other engagements in order to stay for the evening.

After the delicious potluck dinner was over and the dishes happily washed, there was more drumming, softball and friendly conversation. The day cuhninated with a pipe ritual around a blazing bonfire; here, fathers and sons were honoured in ceremony adding a deep element of honour and appreciation for the day and the men who had chosen to gather together.

I expect that this gathering will provide the impetus for the fon-nation of new men's groups in the Comox Valley and swell the ranks of active groups as well. There are plans in the works for another such gathering this Fall. The CVMC brought together Valley men celebrating their lives and for this a sincere thank you is extended to this organizing group from all who attended this incredible event.

Ross Cribb Box 526 Quathiaski Cove V0P 1N0 285 - 2897

 

Updated on:30/06/00 09:39 PM

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