Our vision of the Better Man Conferences for 2020 originally focused on engaging men from London and New York to San Francisco and beyond. To meet our audiences where they are, we are pivoting to host our three conferences online. Instead of landing on location, we will gather for two events, each focusing on a different time zone.
COVID-19 may have shifted how we deliver our transformative leadership tools, and we’ve accepted the challenge to improve the relevance and quality of our programming. The need to cultivate connection and foster the community is more important than ever.
The two virtual Better Man Conference events for 2020 will bring the energy, commitment, and participation of leaders with an inspired virtual gathering. The intuitive user design of our digital platform and engaging content provide the space for the immersive and transformative experience our partners have come to expect from our live conferences.
Allyship in action is a process. We all start in different places. Sorting out our biases, our privileges, our emotions, is the inside work. But how do we road test the fire hose of learning to evolve our humanity and expand our empathy? Looking to perfection is the enemy of the good and stalls our growth and our community progress. The goal isn’t perfection, the goal is leading from the heart. Doing the work and working together is where the breakthroughs come in. The reality is, we have to get creative in order to find ways to connect, collaborate and support each other as we learn. For 2020, the Better Man Conference will do what we have done for the last five years, learn how to be a better you.
We’ve designed a program that will give attendees the tools to go inside and explore their own experiences then provide the guidance and support to move out into the public to try on their expanded empathy in a virtual setting.
For the 2020 Virtual Conferences, the process looks like this:
HEALTHY – REMOVING OUR MASKS WITH ASHANTI BRANCH
Unconscious Masculinity could be termed “Mask-ulinity. Culture demands that we wear a mask at work and socially that hides who we really are. The intent of these masks is to keep us safe and effective, but the impact is that we lose sight of who we are and others never know us. Heart-Based Leadership – belonging and being effective demands that we bring all of ourselves to work. Given our conditioning, this means taking off the mask.
INCLUSIVE – FROM UNCONSCIOUS TO HEALTHY AND INCLUSIVE MASCULINITY WITH MARK GREENE, DR. SALIHA BAVA
The myth of gender binarism is at the heart of exclusion and the “man box.” Man Box rules control how we interact and where we hold back and exclude others. Privilege-driven choices and actions exacerbate exclusion by operating behind the curtain. Privilege is a fact – it exists; the choice is to use privilege to exclude or to include. When we can be accountable for our privilege, a wider world of relationship opens up. We are, indeed, “better together when we’re in it together.”
MASCULINITY – REMAKING MASCULINITY: A LONG OVERDUE UPDATE
What we need is a new paradigm of masculinity. What if we were to consider not different genders, but differing gender competencies? It is taken for granted that human beings have far more in common than differentiates them. A new masculinity would involve appreciating and recognizing the different competencies of women, people of color, people from different social strata, ages and abilities.
ACTION – FROM ALLYSHIP TO ADVOCACY WITH JENNIFER BROWN
Allyship is just the beginning. It is necessary but not sufficient – what is often missing or falls short is intentional action. People in marginalized groups want accomplices, co-conspirators, and activists working alongside them. Ally is a verb.