The NCAS has been a leader of the sport for social justice movement for 30 years, and one of the core issues we have worked to eliminate is gender violence. Our work in co-developing the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) model placed us in the vanguard of our field by creating innovations around: engaging men; the bystander approach; men and women working together; discussion-based strategies; and many more. Specifically, our experience in sports culture has been pioneering.
From locker rooms to sport executive suites, we have learned many lessons and developed best practices for effectively addressing the full continuum of abusive behaviors and empowering participants to understand how misogynistic language, sexual harassment, gendered bullying, sexual assault, rape and domestic violence are linked together. Our experience informs us that, notwithstanding some incremental progress in sports culture, another innovation is needed to help a sports world that is struggling to gain any real traction in dealing with gender violence.
Simply put, more needs to be done than what has been done in this field to date. We’ve learned that conversations need to go deeper to shift attitudes and behaviors, and to have lasting impact on a departments’ or teams’ culture. We’ve learned that tailored curriculum and trainings are needed for different groups ranging from senior leadership to student-athletes — surgical strategies to most effectively engage and transform participants. We’ve learned that everyone must be involved in training discussions about these issues. We’ve learned that we, as a culture, need to re-think how learning is defined. Finally, we’ve learned how to make impact in sport organizations, to actually move the needle, and we can’t wait to partner with organizations who believe what we believe.
Led by Jeff O’Brien, longtime director of MVP and MVP National, the NCAS has been inspired to synergize our learning into a research-based model called Huddle Up.
Are you ready to join the huddle?