In 2016, the Men’s Circle received a grant from the BC Solicitor General. The funding was intended to support the on-going work that the group does in challenging gender-based violence and dominant constructions of masculinity at UVic and within the greater community. As part of the funding agreement, the Circle had to develop a report to be submitted to the Solicitor General’s office describing how the funding was spent. In an attempt to be transparent to our community, AVP and the Men’s Circle are posting the 2017 funding report on the AVP website along with a resource document created by a team over the past year.
As a group where men and masculine identifying folks can meet to discuss the different ways they are implicated in and benefit from patriarchal systems of power, one of the main things that the Men’s Circle tries to work towards is fostering relationships of accountability with other people in our lives—especially those relationships with women, trans, and gender non-conforming folks. For example, the Men’s Circle tries to model this by being accountable to the folks at AVP. This often occurs by meeting together to discuss the on-goings of the Circle and by accepting the patient and generous guidance and feedback offered by AVP coordinators.
However, the Men’s Circle understands these relationships of accountability to extend beyond the rad folks at AVP to our broader community as well. As can be seen in the report, part of the funding the Men’s circle received was reallocated to both other AVP programming as well as other organizations, programs, and individuals in an effort to support those doing rad work around us. Both AVP and Men’s Circle recognize that the patriarchal structures within society that value certain notions of masculinity above other notions and expressions of gender can also mean that when men and folks with male privilege do feminist and anti-violence work, these efforts are often recognized above those efforts coming from the communities that are most affected by systemic forms of violence. Therefore, a portion of the funding the Men’s Circle received was reallocated to other efforts. These honorariums and donations were also part of our on-going effort to recognize some of the teachings and support that have been offered to those involved in the Men’s Circle from others in the community.
Both AVP and the Men’s Circle hope that by publishing the report here, we can encourage folks in our community to find out what we have been up to as of recently. We also encourage folks to offer their constructive feedback—challenging gender-based violence and dominant constructions of masculinity is a complicated and messy task that we recognize that we do not have all the answers to.
-Men’s Circle Volunteer