University of Oregon 2015Campus article: “Men Challenge Social Expectations Through Dialogue With the Men’s Story Project”

The UO 2015 Men’s Story Project production featured pieces by Sam Rose, Alexander Dang, Quang Truong, Avinnash Tawiri, Sean Hahn, Ed Ortega, Adrion Trujillo, Traver Woodard, Steve Livingston, Ian Rinehart, and Jon Davies, and was introduced by Aaron Porter, UO Men’s Center Director.


Overall, what did you think of the production?

“I loved it. I loved the emphasis on men’s experiences, particularly men from underrepresented and oppressed identities.” –Student

“Phenomenal. There was so much bravery, honesty & vulnerability shown tonight.” -UO Staff 

“Wonderful. I was astonished how deeply I resonated with the experiences that were shared. So many of everyone’s life experiences hold deep universal truths.” –Student

“Loved the diversity of men – mostly the honesty, honesty, honesty! Not being afraid to tell the gritty details of their stories and the times when they were transformed by the love & true intimacy.”  -Community Member 

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

“Inspiration, hope, empathy”

“I learned more about the dangers of toxic masculinity.” –Student

“I gained a sort of sense of purpose… It also showed me that I’m not alone in what I feel & how I was treated.” –Student

“To live as a human being, to not worry about how I’m supposed to act, and to do what makes me happy.” –Student

“To love my own story and enjoy the experience of hearing other people’s experiences. TO BE ABLE TO OPEN UP And be real and share your life.” –Community member

“I gained a lot of insight about pressures and obstacles that men have to overcome. I learned that there are many differences and similarities between each person’s stories” –Student

“Connection to identities and perspectives outside of my own personal experience. A stronger understanding of the complexities of masculinity.” –Staff

“I learned the struggles for men and the role violence has played in this normative role of masculinity.” –Student

“I am not the feminist I thought I was. I can’t wait to attend more events and gain perspective throughout the rest of my life.” -Student

“Reinforces to need to look below the surface to find the human to connect with” -Community Member

“I was thankful to hear heartfelt stories of self-acceptance and radical self-examination when it is so difficult for men to do this in society.” –Student

What, if anything, did you appreciate or find effective about the presentation?

“I appreciated the courage that these people had to share these stories. To be who they are & live with every aspect of themselves. To make a difference in the life of others by sharing these trials they have faced.” –Student 

“Telling our stories may be the only thing that changes the world. The vulnerability of these men in sharing their stories was extremely moving.” -UO Staff

“The wide variety of identities & experiences. I was so thankful to hear voices from the male community that so rarely have their stories heard – ex-con, veteran, trans, & survivors.” -UO Staff

“The variety of mediums, variety of presenters, variety of stories and experiences. The necessary inclusion of discussion about sensitive issues and painful experiences but the overall message of hopefulness.” –Student

“The level of openness and honesty by the ‘truth-tellers.’ Esp. regarding personal acknowledgement of having been violent toward others.” –Student

“The diversity, honesty, variety. The opportunity for discussion after was awesome too.”

Heartfelt thanks to:

The Men’s Story Project Planning Committee : Dr. Jocelyn Lehrer, Avinnash Tiwari, Rebecca Robinson, EnJoli Hemphill-Alexander, Cory Brown, Ty Krebs, Sam Stendahl, Sam Rago, and Ben Davies – for all of the help and organizing they did to help make this event possible. Without all of their help, time, energy, and support, this project wouldn’t have been possible!

All the MSP Presenters – for having the courage to present such personal pieces and for taking the time to meet and make revisions to their pieces!

Chelsea Plouffe and Harris Design – for designing the graphics for our promotional materials for this event and other ASUO Men’s Center Events

The ASUO and The Office of the Dean of Students – for their significant funding contributions to the project.

SASS of Lane County, Women’s Space, UO OASA, SWAT, The Women’s Center, and other campus and community organizations doing gender justice work, sexual violence prevention and education, and other social services. Representatives from these organizations have played an instrumental role in helping the ASUO Men’s Center and its staff learn how to work in a more inclusive and social justice-oriented manner.

Jason Kim and the Veteran’s and Student Family Association – for taking the time to help put up flyers and promotional material all over campus!

Carley Irwin and Women’s Space –for contacting us and taking the time to help spread the word about the event to the broader Eugene community!

UO Faculty, students, volunteers, and friends who have supported the ASUO Men’s Center and the Men’s Story Project!