The Bridge Cohort, Mid-1980s to 1990s
This chapter begins with the origins story of what became the largest international men’s antiviolence organization, the White Ribbon Campaign, sparked by the infamous 1989 Montreal Massacre. The WRC story exemplifies men’s ally work during a transitional period during which a mass feminist movement fractured from antifeminist backlash as well as from internal schisms. Meanwhile, feminists built the groundwork for community-based rape crisis and domestic violence centers, national advocacy organizations, campus women’s centers, and women’s studies programs, culminating with the passage of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The chapter traces the continued work of Movement Cohort veterans who built community-based antiviolence nonprofits, as well as the emergence of a younger and more diverse group of men, the Bridge Cohort, whose pathways to antiviolence work were increasingly paved by women’s studies courses, campus feminist organizations, and the beginnings of a professionalized antiviolence curriculum.
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