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HYSA Coaches Play Key Role in MEND

HYSA hosted Shan Foster, Executive Director of MEND, for a special training of its Nashville FC Youth coaches on February 26th.  MEND is a primary prevention initiative dedicated to ending violence against women and girls by engaging men and boys to change the culture that supports violence.  One of MEND’s channels for doing this is educating coaches, recognizing the important role that they play in the lives of athletes.

Most prevention initiatives hope to create awareness or teach women and girls how to stay safe. MEND engages men and boys to think differently, empowering them with healthy ideas of masculinity to become the catalyst for cultural change. In learning healthy masculinity, boys will understand how unhealthy masculinity maintains a culture that supports violence against women.  It also seeks to illustrate that men are stakeholders and mutual beneficiaries to the end of violence.  

MEND, powered by the YWCA of Nashville & Middle Tennessee, was launched to influence social norms that define manhood in our culture and produce a local movement of men dedicated to domestic violence prevention. Shan, a former scholar athlete at Vanderbilt University with a BS in Human and Organizational Development, is highly regarded for his achievements on the basketball court.  

Shan is the all-time leading scorer for the Vanderbilt University men’s basketball team and played professional basketball in the NBA and abroad.  Having been touched by domestic violence in his own family, Shan brings his passion for changing the culture that supports gender violence to educating and empowering coaches.

In 2016, for the seventh year in a row, Tennessee ranked among the top ten states for women murdered by men and is overall one of the worst states for domestic violence.  MEND’s goal is to make Nashville the safest place in the world for girls and women, and HYSA/Nashville FC Youth is proud to partner with this local initiative.  For more information about MEND, please visit www.mendusa.org.