Evanston/North Shore

The Men's Leadership Initiative

Working together to end violence against women 


YWCA Men's Leadership Dinner in
May 2017, attended
by 180 men from
our communities.

Domestic violence, dating abuse, and sexual assault happens in our neighborhoods, our schools, and our communities.

Men play a crucial role in influencing other men and boys to challenge cultural norms and stop behaving in ways that encourage or actively reinforce violence against women and girls.

We are not going to end violence against women and girls unless we engage men and encourage them to step forward as leaders in this critical work.

The statistics are sobering:

l 1 in 5 teenage girls is abused by a boyfriend
l 1  in 4 women will experience abuse at the hands of a partner
l 1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted while in college
l 40 million adult Americans grew up in a home with domestic violence
l Children of domestic violence are 3 times more likely to repeat the cycle of violence in adulthood

We invite you to join with other men in our community who are taking a stand and adding their voices to the chorus of men who say gender violence must stop now and are ready to do something to help change those statistics.

How you can become a leader

Most men do not engage in gender violence, and these men play a crucial role in influencing their peer groups to stop behaving in ways that encourage, condone, or actively promote violence against women and girls. We invite you to join The Men's Leadership Initiative with other men in our community who are taking a stand and adding their voice to the chorus of men who say gender violence must stop now. 

YWCA Evanston/North Shore offers The Men’s Leadership Training to help men build the knowledge, skills, and confidence to discourage, prevent, or interrupt an incident or potential incident of gender harassment or violence, and creates opportunities for men to mentor young men into healthy masculinity and educate the community on how they can help end gender violence.


We invite you to help change the conversation about gender violence. There are numerous ways to get involved, from one-on-one mentoring to community education. Our 5-week training is the foundation:


Attend an 8-hour training (over 5 weeks) that will you build your knowledge about gender violence, learn how gender oppression intersects with other forms of oppression, be a bystander and intervene confidently, and promote healthy masculinity. See upcoming training dates below.



Men who have completed the Men's Leadership Training will have an opportunity to work with boys at Evanston Township High School after attending a brief training on mentoring essentials. The boys are participants in our after-school group that helps them become peer leaders advocating for an end to gender violence and supporting healthy masculinity.

Community Education

Join our speaker’s bureau, Men Engaging Men, to talk with other men about what you have learned and/or participate in our annual community education campaign.

Leadership Team

Join this committed group of men who want to make sure their voice helps end gender violence in our community. This team works with our Men’s Leadership Coordinator to plan our annual program activities and develop our annual community education campaign in which all men and boys can participate.

To learn more about any of these opportunities, email Antonio Rice at arice@ywcae-ns.org.

Upcoming Trainings

Learn to comfortably and confidently interrupt behaviors that encourage, support, or lead to gender violence with our 5-week Men's Leadership Training.

Training Dates:

Monday, February 19, 2018
6:00 - 7:30 pm

Saturday, February 24, 2018
11:30 am - 1:00 pm



  • Exploring healthy masculinity
  • Understanding media stereotypes that reinforce gender violence
  • Learning about different forms of gender violence
  • Bystander intervention skill building


Antonio Rice is a longstanding youth advocate with a variety of experience ranging from teacher to residential counselor. Growing up near Detroit, Michigan, Antonio is no stranger to violence and the effects it can have on youth and an entire community. This experience has motivated him to dedicate his life to helping adolescents maximize their growth and opportunity.

As a youth, Antonio played football and was able to obtain a degree in education through athletic scholarships. After college, he worked as a teacher in the public school system. After relocating to Chicago, he entered the social service field and worked at Rice Child & Family Center as a residential counselor. There, he worked directly with wards of the state that require additional treatment and skill building in order to be stable enough for group homes or foster care.

Antonio has worked with YWCA Evanston/North Shore since 2011 as a violence prevention educator, focusing on awareness and coping strategies. Over that period he has expanded his work to include training and mentoring high school boys to interrupt ideas of masculinity that reinforce gender violence. By helping youth develop awareness, self-esteem, and problem solving, he addresses the common issues of group violence, bullying, and self-harm.


Brian McHugh received his master’s degree in social work from the University of Illinois at Chicago, Jane Addams School of Social Work. Brian has worked with victims and perpetrators of domestic violence for over fifteen years and is currently employed with the YWCA’ s Alternatives to Violence, in which, he co-facilitates a group for men who have been arrested for domestic violence. 

To Apply:

To ensure we have a diverse group of men in each class, we will briefly interview and accept up to 20 men per training. After you have been accepted, you will be sent a registration form. A $25 nonrefundable registration fee is required at the time of registration. APPLY FOR TRAINING >


Learn more, get safe, get involved, empower yourself.