About the Men's Resource Center
The mission of the Men's Resource Center for Change is to support men, challenge men's violence, and develop men's leadership in ending oppression in ourselves, our families, and our communities. Our programs support men to overcome the damaging effects of rigid and stereotyped masculinity, and simultaneously confront men's patterns of personal and societal violence and abuse toward women, children, and other men.
A Short History of the Men's Resource Center
The roots of the Men's Resource Center for Change go back over 20 years. In 1981 the National Conference on Men and Masculinity's seventh gathering was held at Tufts University. Several men who attended were moved by the ideas they heard about redefining male roles in healthier, non-violent directions. They returned home inspired to create an anti-sexist men's network.
Recognizing that many men were keenly interested in putting old stereotypes of masculinity to rest, in 1982 these men founded what was originally called the Men's Resource Connection (MRC). A grassroots organization, the MRC was committed to developing a strong local network among men, and between men and women. Soon the men began taking their hopes and visions into the community. In 1983, the MRC sponsored the Northeast Regional Men's Conference at Hampshire College, and soon after began publishing a men's newsletter which has evolved into Voice Male, a magazine with a print run of 10,000 that is distributed throughout our region and mailed to subscribers across North American and overseas.
Over the years, the MRC has offered classes, workshops, consultations, and trainings at schools, colleges, and universities, and for agencies and organizations across the Northeast and beyond. Among its other public activities have been a statewide fathers' conference, newspaper signature ad campaigns, the "Challenge and Change" annual awards banquet, and a four-day Men's Walk to End Abuse, which was initiated in October 2003.
In 1988, the MRC incorporated as a non-profit organization and began offering an array of programs, projects, and services. The domestic violence program, then called Men Overcoming Violence (MOVE) began in 1989; it was among the first programs to be certified when the state began doing so in 1991. Now called Moving Forward, the program also includes anger management classes, Conscious Communication workshops, and youth violence prevention services. The Youth Programs began in 1990 as the High School Education Project; both the Support Groups and Fathering programs (now merged) started in 1993. Through these activities thousands of men, women, and young people have been affected by the MRC's message.
The Men's Resource Connection officially changed its name to the Men's Resource Center of Western Massachusetts in 1993. In 1996, the MRC inaugurated an awards celebration, each year honoring community members whose lives and work reflect a new vision of masculinity, leadership, and social change. In 1998, the MRC conducted an intensive training for a group in the Southwest which resulted in the creation of the independent Men's Resource Center of Northern New Mexico. Later that year, the organization purchased a building in downtown Amherst which houses its administrative offices and many of its programs. In 1999 the MRC expanded its weekly support group program to Northampton and opened an office in the nearby city of Springfield. The MOVE program now operates groups in our Springfield office, plus groups in Greenfield and Athol to the north, and Belchertown to the east, and the support programs offer open drop-in support groups in Amherst, Northampton, and Greenfield; a group for male survivors of childhood abuse and neglect in Amherst; and a group in Amherst for gay, bisexual, and questioning men.
In October 2003 the MRC officially went international, with a 12-day training visit to Japan in which we talked about the MRC's approach to stopping domestic violence. For many years, though, the MRC has hosted numerous visitors from many countries, including Sweden, Norway, South Africa, and the former Soviet Republic of Kyrgyzstan.
In May 2005, in recognition of the fact that our voice extends well beyond western Massachusetts, the MRC changed its name to the Men's Resource Center for Change.
The MRC relies on volunteers and donors to sustain the organization. Their commitment of time, service, and financial support to the MRC--as members, friends, supporters, board, and staff--has been central to the nurturing and growth of the organization. We invite you to explore this website, visit our offices, read Voice Male, attend our support groups, and become part of the MRC community.