The Men’s Story Project (MSP) is a replicable storytelling and community dialogue project that brings critical exploration of social ideas about masculinity into public forums around the world – via men’s own, less-often-heard voices and stories.
The mission of the MSP is to strengthen social norms that support healthy masculinities, violence prevention, and gender justice in communities around the world.
We work toward this mission by helping groups create live story-sharing events; documentaries and social media based on these live events; accompanying educational tools; and ongoing MSP Collectives. The MSP is rooted in a feminist, anti-racist, intersectional framework.
The MSP highlights men’s stories that are less-often heard; breaks silences on issues including sexism, racism, homo/transphobia, ableism and violence – and ways in which these are often linked with masculinities; celebrates men’s beauty and humanity; and sparks critical dialogue on social notions of masculinity. The ultimate aim of the MSP is to help expand the presence of genuine self-expression, health and justice in communities. The MSP started in San Francisco in 2008, and we’re now helping groups create new MSP initiatives around the world.
Storytelling: For preserving and passing on traditions, challenging and breaking traditions, and creating new traditions.
In each MSP production, diverse men, boys, and folks who identify in any way with maleness share personal stories with a live audience, on topics such as sexuality; gender identity; friendship; romantic and family relationships; gender-based violence (survivorship, former perpetration, intervening, etc.); HIV/AIDS; men’s mental and physical health-care seeking; gender equality; and journeys of personal change – all with a framing focus on exploration of masculinities. Presenters share their stories in diverse mediums (e.g., poetry, monologues, music, dance), and the stories are followed by a facilitated audience-presenter dialogue and a community resource fair. MSP presenters have included students, activists, artists, athletes, veterans, community members, celebrities, and other opinion leaders.
MSP productions can be regularly-occurring (e.g., yearly productions, touring groups), and incorporated into broader education programs. Ongoing MSP Collectives can form around this work, and films, social media and educational tools can be created based on the live productions. MSP productions have been resoundingly positively received, and we invite groups far and wide to get involved in creating MSP initiatives and join the growing MSP Network. Contact us anytime, and we look forward to working with you!