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Prevention Webinar "Sports & Rape Culture: Transforming Athletics Into Prevention Partners"


Sports culture is often seen as synonymous with rape culture. Male athletic programs, especially, across the spectrum have been associated with hyper-masculine norms that support and incubate sexist beliefs and overt support of men’s entitlement to women’s bodies. But sports have also been a transformative force in major progressive social change throughout history - especially in contemporary American history. From racial justice to Title IX advancements, sports at every level have often been at the forefront of major advancement in individual rights and social justice.

Join Alan Heisterkamp and Ward Urion as they explore engaging athletes and their coaches as potentially powerful partners in prevention of sexual, dating, and domestic violence. Be it in high schools, college campuses, or in the community at large, the venue of athletics holds tremendous promise in shaping strong pro-social norms and anti-sexist attitudes among coaches, athletic directors, the athletes they lead to the broader communities in which they have tremendous social capital. We will contrast contemporary examples of sports culture as supporting hegemonic, toxic masculinity with promising programs as transformative agents for change in their communities, as well as some of the unique differences between men’s and women’s sports and how they can both be leveraged to support strong and healthy individuals and communities. We will look at the present academic research that highlights evidence based programs currently in use by prevention experts and advocates around the country and explore critical components of successful engagement strategies.

This webinar will lay the foundation for further in depth examination of the Coaching Boys Into Men Program (CBIM, developed by Futures Without Violence) and Student Leaders & Athletic Youth (SLAY, a pilot empowerment curriculum in development by Rebecca Milliman, prevention specialist at Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress in Seattle) at the WCSAP Conference in May, 2016.


Alan Histerkamp

Alan Heisterkamp, Ed.D., Director, Center for Violence Prevention and Governor’s Office on Bullying Prevention at the University of Northern Iowa. The Center was launched in January 2011 through a public/private partnership between the University of Northern Iowa, the Iowa Department of Public Health, HopeLine for Verizon, & the Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention. As president/CEO of Cultivating Minds, Inc., Dr. Heisterkamp served as a consultant with the Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention & Futures Without Violence & was the education consultant on the film documentary, BULLY. He also co-facilitated research on the Coaching Boys Into Men program in 2010 & supports its implementation in Iowa & surrounding states. Dr. Heisterkamp instructs school & community leaders in bystander prevention education using Mentors in Violence Prevention Strategies (MVP). He holds a masters degree in educational psychology & counseling & a doctorate degree in secondary school administration.

Ward Urion

Ward Urion, Social Change Manager at LifeWire, a community based domestic violence response and prevention program in Bellevue, WA. Ward spent 18 years in the criminal legal system as a court-based domestic violence advocate in the adult & juvenile courts with the King Co. Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. This experience informed his passion for prevention & social change. He’s also been a workplace DV trainer, a human services planner & a mental health program coordinator. He spent several years as project director of the Men's Domestic Abuse Check-Up, a research study at the University of Washington and facilitates a psycho-educational group with incarcerated men. In 2004, he co-founded the Men’s Network Against Domestic Violence, a 501 (c) 3 working to engage men in ending gender-based violence. At LifeWire he conducts outreach & directs prevention efforts by engaging educators, faith leaders, coaches & other community leaders. He has presented nationally & internationally & is a certified trainer in several evidence based prevention curricula.

Recording and Materials:

Reviewed: May 10th, 2016