International Men's Day

From Diane A. Sears  Image courtesy ncfm.org
On 24 October 2012, Ms. Geneuvive Twala, the Botswana Coordinator for International Men's Day conceived  the "2012-2022 International Men's Day Ten Year Plan" which is designed to help quantify the results which should be achieved during a 10 year period to eradicate key challenges that prevent Men and Boys from living fulfilled, happy, healthy and long lives.   The idea is to determine by what amount one would like to, for example, reduce the school drop out rate for boys and adolescent young males through International Men's Day.  As a further example, Ms. Twala decided that by 2022,  a 50% reduction in the number of boys and adolescent young males who drop out of school should be achieved.  I was so impressed with Ms. Twala's conception, that I immediately adopted this plan for the United States.
 
The USA 2012-2022 International Men's Day Ten Year Plan will target for resolution the following challenges which prevent Men and Boys from living fulfilled, happy, and long lives:

 
1.  Education
 
- Reduce school drop out rate for boys and young adolescent males by 50%.
- Increase literacy rate for boys and young adolescent males by 80%
- Explore existing models that effectively address school dropout and literacy issues to determine if they can be implemented nationally
- Design and implementation of tutoring and mentoring programs
 
 
2.  Mass Incarceration, Re-Entry, and Reintegration
 
- Mass Incarceration:  Identify causative factors attributing to rising number of boys, young adolescent males, and Men being incarcerated (e.g., poverty, lack of positive male role models, lack of mentoring, lack of education, dysfunctional families, etc.)
- Mass Incarceration:  Explore existing models that eradicate causative factors attributable to placing boys, young adolescent males, and Men on the path to prison
- Re-Entry/Reintegration:  Mandatory one (1) year minimum two-tiered "psychological debriefing program" for formerly incarcerated and their families and loved ones to (a) provide formerly incarcerated with psychological and emotional tools needed to resolve self-esteem, anger management, and decision making issues; and (b) provide family members and loved with emotional and psychological tools to help formerly incarcerated individuals successfully navigate the arduous journey to healing, redemption, and reintegration.
- Re-Entry/Reintegration:  Mandatory Mentoring Program which matches up a newly released incarcerated individual with a formerly incarcerated individual who has a track record of successfully reintegrating into society and family life for one-on-one mentoring.
- Re-Entry/Reintegration:  Paid Apprenticeship Programs in all industries which lead, after completion of apprenticeship,  to full-time employment at companies offering the apprentice programs to formerly incarcerated individuals.
 
 
3.  Fatherhood

- Male Parenting Programs that educate boys and young adolescent males who are not Fathers as well as expectant fathers on their parental roles and responsibilities (e.g., changing diapers, feeding, what infants and children need -- e.g., nurturing, mentoring, bonding, etc., types of effective discipline based on age of child, etc.).
- Passage and enactment of Federal Equal Custody Act which would provide, among other things,  (a) courts with a mandate in child custody cases to grant Fathers full and physical joint custody of a child: (b) parenting time credit which would work to reduce the amount of child support a Father pays according to the additional amount of time he spends with his child; and (c) paternity leave to all Fathers.
 
 
4.  Health
 
- Passage and enactment of Men's Health legislation which would, among other things, create an Office of Men's Health which would advocate for research and research funding for prostate cancer, colon cancer, diabetes, etc. and do for Men's Health what the Office of Women's Health (established in 1991) has done and continues to do for Women's Health.
- Reduction by at least 50%, the rising mortality rate for prostate cancer, colon cancer, and heart disease
- Reduction by at least 50%, the rising incidence of diabetes and Alzheimer's Disease
- Reduction by at least 50%, the rising incidence of suicide among boys, adolescent young males, and Men
 
5.  Violence
 
- The design and implementation of mandatory conflicts resolution and anger management training for grades K through 12.
- The reduction by 80% of physical, emotional, and "cyber" bullying
 
6.  Military In Transition
- Reduce by 50%, homelessness among veterans/military personnel
- Reduce by 50%, suicide rate among veterans/military personnel
- Reduce by 50%, unemployment rate among veterans/military personnel
- Reduce by 50%, Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome among veterans/military personnel