Founder/Director

Jocelyn Lehrer, ScD is Founder/Director of the Men’s Story Project and affiliated Senior Research Associate at the University of California-San Francisco Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health and Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies. Lehrer’s work focuses on the prevention of HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence (GBV), and the promotion of healthy masculinities and gender equality. Her research on sexual assault, dating violence, sexual health and mental health has been published in leading journals including Pediatrics, Archives of Sexual Behavior and Journal of Adolescent Health. Her applied work includes serving as a Senior Gender Advisor at the USAID Office of HIV/AIDS, where she helped integrate attention to gender equality, healthy masculinities and GBV within international programs of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief; working to integrate GBV and HIV response in Guyana; consulting with Acumen Fund on how social enterprises can engage women so as to augment social impact; leading M&E projects with HIV/GBV organizations in East Africa, and facilitating support groups for women and LGBT youth who are living with HIV/AIDS. Lehrer has consulted with organizations including San Francisco Women Against Rape, American Jewish World Service and World Vision International, and given many trainings sponsored by groups including the U.S. Dept. of Justice Office of Violence Against Women. Her awards include the UCSF Chancellor’s Award for Public Service, and her work has been highlighted in media including CNN, Huffington Post and Forbes.com. Lehrer holds a doctoral degree from the Harvard School of Public Health and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the UCSF Center for AIDS Prevention Studies. Her family is from Chile, and she is a native Spanish speaker.

Advisory Council

Juan Carlos Areán is Director of the National Latin@ Network for Healthy Families and Communities, a project of Casa de Esperanza. Since 1991, he has worked to engage men across different cultures to become better fathers, intimate partners and allies to end domestic violence and achieve gender equity. Previously, he worked at Futures Without Violence, the Men’s Resource Center for Change and Harvard University. Juan Carlos is the lead developer of Futures Without Violence’s Fathering After Violence initiative and co-producer of the groundbreaking documentary Something My Father Would Do. He is co-author of various articles, curriculum and educational tools for men, including Working With Fathers in Batterer Intervention Programs (Oxford University Press) and Fathering After Violence: Enhancing Safety for Women and Children Post-Separation (FWV). Mr. Areán is an active trainer who has led hundreds of workshops and presentations throughout the U.S., as well as Mexico, Canada, Chile, Brazil, Russia, Austria, Sweden, Bermuda, the U.S. Congress and the United Nations. He is a founding member of the United Nations Network of Men Leaders to combat violence against women, led by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Debra Chasnoff is an Academy Award–winning documentary filmmaker, a nationally-recognized champion of using film as an organizing tool for social justice campaigns, and a pioneer in the international movement to create safe and welcoming schools and communities. Debra’s acclaimed documentaries addressing youth and bias issues are widely hailed by educators and advocates as among the best tools available to help stimulate dialogue and activism around many of the most challenging issues affecting young people’s lives and school environments. Her most recent film is Straightlaced—How Gender’s Got Us All Tied Up, about gender and sexuality pressures that teens and young adults face today. Her other award-winning films include It’s Elementary—Talking About Gay Issues in School, Let’s Get Real (about bias and bullying), That’s a Family! (supporting youth growing up in diverse family structures), and the Academy Award-winning Deadly Deception—General Electric, Nuclear Weapons and Our Environment. Her first film, Choosing Children, explores the once unheard-of idea that lesbians and gay men can become parents after coming out.

Shari Dworkin, PhD, MS is Professor of Sociology in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California – San Francisco School of Nursing. She is also the Director of Doctoral Studies in Sociology and an Affiliated Faculty Member at the UCSF Center for AIDS Prevention Studies. Her research centers on four main areas: (1) the intersection of economic empowerment and HIV/AIDS prevention for at-risk women, (2) masculinities and prevention of violence and HIV/AIDS, (3) global HIV/AIDS policies, and (4) media, culture, sport and the body. Her work has been published in journals including the American Journal of Public Health; Culture, Health and Sexuality; Gender & Society; Journal of Sex Research; Archives of Sexual Behavior; PLOs Medicine; American Journal of Community Psychology, and Hastings International & Comparative Law Review. Her forthcoming book is titled Men at Risk: Gender Relations and HIV/AIDS Prevention (NYU Press). Dworkin holds an MS in Biostatistics from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Southern California.

Paul Hawken is an environmentalist, entrepreneur and author. His work includes starting ecological businesses, writing about the impact of commerce on living systems, and consulting with heads of state and CEOs on economic development, industrial ecology and environmental policy. He has appeared on numerous media including the Today Show and Larry King, and has been profiled or featured in hundreds of articles including the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek and US News and World Report. He has written seven books including four national bestsellers: The Next Economy (Ballantine 1983), Growing a Business (Simon and Schuster 1987), The Ecology of Commerce (HarperCollins 1993) and Blessed Unrest (Viking 2007). The Ecology of Commerce was voted in 1998 as the #1 college text on business and the environment by professors in 67 business schools. Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution (Little Brown 1999), co-authored with Amory Lovins, was referred to by President Clinton as one of the five most important books in the world today. Paul’s books have been published in over 50 countries in 28 languages. Paul has founded several companies including OneSun, focused on ultra low-cost solar, and founded the Natural Capital Institute – a research organization whose main project is the creation of the first open-source platform for global social change, WiserEarth (www.wiserearth.org). He has received seven honorary PhD’s.

Van Jones is a social entrepreneur, CNN political contributor and host of The Messy Truth with Van Jones. In response to much civil unrest and energy post election, Jones launched the #Love Army — a values-based movement that is working for an America where everyone counts. Jones has founded and led several social enterprises engaged in social and environmental justice, including: The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, which promotes criminal justice reform; Color of Change, which works for racial fairness through its over one million members; and Rebuild The Dream, a 21st Century “think tank” that champions innovative solutions to fix the U.S. economy and uplift the next generation.  Jones is also founder of The Dream Corps; its major initiatives are: #YesWeCode, aimed to help young people from underrepresented backgrounds find success in the tech sector; #cut50, which works to make communities safer while reducing the number of people in prisons and jails; and Green For All, which advances environmental solutions that prioritize families and workers affected by some of the worst pollution in America. Jones is also founding President of Magic Labs Media.  Jones is a Yale-educated attorney and author of two NYT best-selling books, The Green Collar Economy (2008) and Rebuild the Dream (2012).  In 2009, as the green jobs advisor to President Obama, Jones helped to lead the inter-agency process that oversaw a multi-billion dollar investment in skills training and jobs development in the environmental and green energy sectors. Jones has received many awards and recognitions including the World Economic Forum’s “Young Global Leader” designation; Rolling Stone’s 2012 “12 Leaders Who Get Things Done”; TIME’s 2009 “100 Most Influential People in The World”; and the Root’s 2014 “The Root 100.” In 2017, Van Jones signed a management deal with Roc Nation, becoming the first political commentator & activist in their family.

Jackson Katz, PhD is an educator, author, filmmaker and cultural theorist who is internationally recognized for his pioneering scholarship and activism on issues of gender, race and violence. He is co-founder of Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP), one of the most influential gender violence prevention programs in North America, and the first major program of its kind in sports and the military; MVP introduced the widely-used “bystander” approach to the sexual assault and relationship abuse fields. Since 1997 he has run MVP Strategies, which provides gender violence prevention/leadership training to institutions in the public and private sectors in U.S. and around the world. He is the author of two critically acclaimed books, The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help  and Man Enough? Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and the Politics of Presidential Masculinity. He has published numerous academic and journalistic articles on topics as far-ranging as Eminem, the gender politics of conservative talk radio, violent white masculinity in advertising, juvenile detention, pornography, and sports metaphors in presidential politics. He is creator, lead writer and narrator of the award-winning Tough Guise videos. He lectures and trains widely in the U.S. and around the world on violence, media and the many intersections of gender, sexual orientation and race.

Michael Kimmel, PhD is among the world’s leading researchers on men and masculinity. Professor of Sociology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, he is the author or editor of over 20 books including Manhood in America, The Gendered Society, the best-seller Guyland, and Angry White Men. He is the founding editor of the scholarly journal, Men and Masculinities. He lectures and consults with corporations, governments, NGOs and universities on engaging men in implementing gender equality policies.

Paul Kivel is a social justice educator, activist and writer, and has been an innovative leader in violence prevention for forty years. He is an accomplished trainer and speaker on men’s issues, racism and diversity, challenges of youth, teen dating and family violence, raising boys to manhood, and the impacts of class and power on daily life. His work gives people the understanding to become involved in social justice work, and the tools to become more effective allies in community struggles to end oppression and injustice and to transform organizations and institutions. Kivel is the author of numerous books and curricula including Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice, which won the 1996 Gustavus Myers Award for best book on human rights, Men’s Work, Making the Peace, Helping Teens Stop Violence, Boys Will Be Men, I Can Make My World A Safer Place, and You Call This a Democracy?: Who Benefits, Who Pays, and Who Really Decides.

Mary P. Koss, PhD is a Regents’ Professor in the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona. She has worked in the field of violence against women for over 30 years. She served on the National Academy of Sciences Panel on Violence Against Women, is the sexual violence coordinator of VAWnet.org, the national online resource on research on violence against women funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Contol and Prevention, and sits on the Coordinating Committee of the Sexual Violence Research Initiative based in Johannesburg, South Africa. She co-edited a two-book series for the American Psychological Association Presidential Initiative on Violence Against Women and Children, including maltreatment, sexual and physical violence, published in 2009. In recognition of her contributions, the American Psychological Association honored Dr. Koss with its 2000 Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research in Public Policy and with the 2003 Committee on Women in Psychology Leadership Award. In 2010, Dr. Koss was the 8th recipient of the Visionary Award from End Violence Against Women International.

Frederick Marx is an Academy- and Emmy-nominated filmmaker who has worked for 30 years in the film and television industry; he is particularly known for Hoop Dreams. His recent works – the feature film The Unspoken, starring Harry Lennix and Sergei Shnirev, the documentary mini-series Boys to Men? and the sequel New American Heroes – explore adolescent boys’ journey toward mature masculinity. Marx brings a passion for multiculturalism and social justice to each subject he addresses. An independent thinker in the increasingly commercialized world of “independent cinema,” he continues to provide a voice of artistic and social integrity. Marx has been a Guggenheim Fellow and received the Robert F. Kennedy Special Achievement Award. warriorproductions.tv

Oswaldo Montoya is co-founder of the Men´s Group against Violence in Managua, which was the first men’s group of this kind in Central America. A former Fulbright grantee, he holds a Master´s degree in Educational and Developmental Psychology from Boston College. For over twenty years he has served as an educator, activist, program officer, researcher, consultant and counselor engaging men and boys in the efforts to build a more gender-equitable society, free from violence and discrimination. He is the author of several publications and educational manuals and has contributed to successful educational campaigns, advocacy and alliances to work with boys and men. Over the years, Oswaldo has worked with Puntos de Encuentro – a Nicaraguan feminist organization, with EMERGE – a domestic violence program in the U.S., with Save the Children, promoting children´s rights, and as Global Co-Coordinator for the MenEngage Alliance – an alliance of over 600 NGOs working with boys and men to promote healthy masculinities and gender justice around the world.

William Ryerson is Founder and President of Population Media Center (PMC), an organization that strives to improve the health and well-being of people around the world through entertainment-education strategies. He also serves as President of The Population Institute in Washington, D.C., which works in partnership with PMC. In developing countries, PMC creates long-running serial dramas on radio and television, in which characters evolve into role models for the audience resulting in positive behavior change. The emphasis of the organization’s work is to educate people about benefits of small families, encourage the use of effective family planning methods, elevate women’s status, prevent exploitation of children, and promote avoidance of HIV infection. Research studies have found this work to be highly effective. Mr. Ryerson has a 40-year history of work in the field of reproductive health. Ryerson holds an M.Phil. in Biology from Yale. He served as Director of the Population Institute’s Youth and Student Division, Associate Director of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and Executive Vice President of Population Communications International before founding PMC in 1998.

Aqeela Sherrills is best known for creating the 1992 “peace agreement” between longtime Los Angeles rival gangs, the Bloods and the Crips. Sherrills’ inspiration came from the loss of thirteen friends to gang violence, which led him to lay the groundwork for peace in his neighborhood. Within 10 years he co-founded the Amer-I-Can Program, Inc., a large life skills non-profit with former football legend Jim Brown, and established the Community Self-Determination Institute, an agency dedicated to creating a sustainable model for what peace can look like in urban war zones. Sherrills’ current focus is on what he terms the “Reverence Movement,” a peace process that allows people to see the sacredness in one another. He has advised government officials in Belfast and Serbia on the process of establishing non-violent communities, addressed the Hague and the U.S. Congress on the importance of peace, reverence and non-violence, and brokered peace agreements between gangs in cities across the U.S. Sherrills believes the only true path to reconciliation begins from within; it’s a message he believes must be made accessible to people in communities around the world. He has received awards including the Denise Aubuchon Humanitarian Award from Death Penalty Focus, and sits on the boards of several social justice organizations.