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YWCA Evanston/North Shore continues to confront domestic violence from all angles, and, as part of that strategy, is stepping up its efforts to include men in developing solutions.

The organization is sponsoring its first-ever men’s leadership dinner titled “Men Taking a Stand” at 6:30 p.m. on  April 26 at the Merion, 1611 Chicago Ave.

The dinner will include nearly 200 community leaders and is hosted by a committee of men such as Evanston Second Ward Alderman Peter Braithwaite, Evanston City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz, ETHS Principal Marcus Campbell, Evanston/Skokie School District 65 Superintendent Paul Goren, Evanston Chief of Police Richard Eddington, and Evanston Mayor-elect Steve Hagerty.

“Our goal at YWCA is to provide an opportunity for men who are leaders in our communities to come together to examine the deeper, more systemic reasons that lead to gender violence,” said Karen Singer, president and CEO of YWCA Evanston/North Shore. “How do certain institutions produce abusive men? What roles do popular culture, sports, economics and other societal forces play, and how can men get involved to work for change?”

She added, “We really believe that until men engage in helping to solve the issue, we are not going to end gender violence.”

The dinner will feature keynote speaker Jackson Katz, Ph.D., a leader in the growing movement of men working to prevent gender violence.

Dr. Katz, who presented a popular TED Talk titled “Violence Against Women – It’s a Men’s Issue,” is the co-founder of Mentors in Violence Prevention, an influential program in North America. He also is the key architect of the “bystander deterrence” approach to sexual assault and relationship abuse used in sports culture and the military.

The men’s leadership dinner is by invitation only, but interested parties who would like to attend can call YWCA Evanston/North Shore at 847-864-8445.

Dr. Katz also will be the presenter at a violence prevention workshop the following day, co-sponsored by YWCA Evanston/North Shore and Oakton Community College. The workshop will take place from 9 a.m. to noon at the college’s Des Plaines campus, 1600 E. Golf Rd.

The violence prevention workshop is open to the public, but geared to social workers, professional counselors, psychologists, addiction counselors, marriage and family therapists, teachers, occupational therapists and other professionals to help them learn more about engaging men as allies in preventing gender violence. Continuing education credit is available.

Space is limited at this workshop and advance registration is recommended. More information is available at ywca.org/DVConferenceor 847-864-8445.