Brown University Men’s Story Project: Looking Within, Speaking Out

Brown MSP group - cropped

The production raised approximately $500 for the Women’s Center of Rhode Island.

Event Program

Event FB page

Newspaper articles & blog: ‘Men’s Story’ Explores Masculinity, Gender, Race  3/24/16,  Storytelling To Transform Gender Norms 3/21/16,  A Cool Thing You Probably Missed: Men’s Story Project 4/4/16


“WOW.  So appreciated the courage and vulnerability.”

“Excellent, inclusive, and well-needed.”

“A great way to open broader dialogue about masculinity.”

“Stellar.  We really needed a space for these voices to be heard.”

“Thought-provoking and inspiring.”

“This was a supremely supportive space that allowed for people to be heard.”

“Hearing people express their emotions helped me feel empathy and understand better.”

“This was one of my most moving experiences at Brown.”

“Thank you for putting this together. This project meant the world to me.”

What, if anything, do you feel you gained or learned from the presentation?

Brown University“A humanized, not intellectualized perspective on masculinity and gender.”

“It was reaffirming in many ways to hear so many stories about how it is OK to not fit 100% into norms of masculinity.”

“That people don’t have to be alone.”

“A sense of community I never expected to find. Finding out that I was far more similar to the people I felt excluded from than I’d ever know. Positive representations of masculinity that are so severely lacking. A space for men to share the messages they’ve learned not to share.”

“The constantly-needed reminder that everyone has a background story that the rest of us do not necessarily know.”

“A connection with these people on stage, with lives both very similar and very different from mine.”

“I feel that I gained a much more nuanced understanding of masculinity.”

See more audience feedback


Brown University “Waves and Egg Shells” – Benjamin Koatz 
is passionate about politics, poetry, words and music. They love jewish femininity, queer Torah and creating things with computers. Ben’s hips are their favorite body part, and dancing and fashion exist as two magical, co-equal releases for them.

“Fields of Sugarcane” – Ricardo Jaramillo is a second-year student concentrating in ethnic studies and education studies. As he continues on his journey, he wants to help others to question and unlearn what they’ve been taught about what it means to be a man.

“To Love and to be Loved” – Lars Tiffany is in his 10th year as the Head Coach of the Men’s Lacrosse program. He is a 1990 Brown alumnus with an undergraduate degree in biology. He wants men to know that they deserve to love and to be loved.

“My Gender’s Shroud” – Ramon Stern works for the Brazil Initiative and Brazilian Studies Association at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. He recognizes that despite the salience of questions of masculinity, gender expression and sexuality in his own life, conversations on these issues are much too rare.

“His Footsteps” – Marc Peters is Brown’s men’s health coordinator. He works with male-identified students to promote healthy masculinity and explore how societal norms influence their behavior and campus culture.

“What’s Really Scary…” – Tariq Cannonier is a senior concentrating in Cognitive Neuroscience. He is glad to critique ideas of masculinity and engage in these conversations.

“We Are, Therefore I Am” – Adam Gilbert is a fourth-year undergraduate. He believes this is the cathartic space that he has been craving for most of his life to continue to unlearn toxic masculine norms. He aspires to be a public school teacher to facilitate growth, social awareness, and social activism.

“Pretty Cool” – AJ Whitman is a junior concentrating in cognitive science. They identify as genderqueer, and have thought a lot about masculinity and the role it plays in their life. His experience motivated him to start Spectrum, a group for trans*, non-binary, and gender-questioning students. They are an active member of the Jewish community, and he enjoys Swing dancing, playing guitar, and making things out of chainmail.

“Keeping the Book Open” – Scott Turner is Brown’s director of web communications and also teaches a course on communicating science and medicine. Scott writes a weekly nature commentary for the Providence Journal. He lives in Providence with his wife, two children, and Woody the Shih Tzu.

“Twinning” – Eli Beck is a sophomore who hasn’t quite gotten around to declaring Education Studies as his concentration. Eli wants you to know that he was born the younger twin, but he will catch up eventually.

“I”dentity – Isaac Albanese is the Administrative Coordinator for the Student Activities Office at Brown. He wants to help shed light on the impact that pervasive and exclusive masculinity has within the trans community.

“Special Boy (Niño Especial)” – Juan Carlos Carranza works as the Program Manager at the Swearer Center for Public Service. He is a Brown alumnus and hopes these stories will serve as a catalyst for thoughtful conversations around masculinity.

Presented by: Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, and Masculinity 101

Student Organizers: Ricardo Jaramillo, Justice Gaines, Molly Sandstrom, Andrew Vann

Sponsors: BWell Office of Health Promotion, Brown Athletics, Greek Council, Swearer Center for Public Service, Student and Employee Accessibility Services, Office of the Vice President of Campus Life, Student Services

Co-sponsors: Alpha Chi Omega, Beta Omega Chi, Brown Center for Students of Color, LGBTQ Center, Sarah Doyle Women’s Center


Brown University