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Weissberg Forum for Discourse in the Public Square: Gender

May 8, 2014

Around the world, low income young men are at risk of dropping out of school and at higher risk of multiple forms of violence (including homicide). In Brazil, low income young men of African descent make up the majority of the 40,000 homicide victims every year. In the US and the Caribbean, young men of color are overrepresented in school drop-out and in prison. In such settings, given the lack of opportunities and historical injustices, young men sometimes gravitate toward versions of manhood associated with gang-related violence, and sexual conquest; as many as a third of young men in such settings have no or little contact with their biological fathers. Hyper-masculine cultures reinforced in such settings create vulnerabilities for women, girls, boys and men. What policy and program approaches work in such settings? How can we see young men as diverse, as allies in gender and social justice, rather than as threats? What does emerging research tell us about how to achieve change? And how does such work connect to or dialogue with efforts to promote the empowerment of adolescent girls? This event included the premiere of the PBS-To the Contrary documentary “Becoming Papa,” which follows the stories of men in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas, followed by a discussion from leading researchers and voices in the field.

Jeni Klugman

Jeni Klugman

Jeni Klugman is the Director of Gender and Development at the World Bank Group, where she serves as lead spokesperson on gender equality issues, and is responsible for developing strategic directions to promote the institution's gender agenda. She also serves on several advisory boards, including that of the World Economic Forum's on Sustainability and Competitiveness, and those related to the work of the Council on Foreign Relations, Plan International, International Civil Society Network, and the Global Forum on Women in Parliaments, as well as a European Union research program on GDP and beyond. Her previous roles include serving as the director and lead author of three global Human Development Reports published by the United Nations Development Programme: Overcoming Barriers: Human Mobility and Development (2009); The Real Wealth of Nations: Pathways to Human Development (2010); and, Sustainability and Equity: a Better Future for All (2011). Klugman has published widely on topics ranging from poverty reduction strategies and labor markets to conflict, health reform, education and decentralization. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the Australian National University, as well as postgraduate degrees in both Law and Development Economics from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. 

Peter Wellers

Peter Weller

Dr. Peter Douglas Weller is a Jamaican and a Caribbean Man residing in Trinidad and Tobago where he lectures in Clinical Psychology and coordinates Clinical training for postgrad psychologists at the Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies.

A member of the Caribbean Network for the Study of Masculinity, he is the Founder and Chairman of the Caribbean Male Action Network which is a regional, volunteer led, NGO positioned to provide technical assistance to organizations engaging men and boys in the promotion of Gender Equality and Social Justice in twelve countries in the region. CariMAN is part of the MenEngage network.

CariMAN's vision is to create a community of caring men, committed to partnering with women to create a just world where all people achieve their fullest potential.

The mission then is to engage Caribbean men in the examination of existing beliefs and norms, the promotion of respect for diversity and the development of new paradigms and competencies, thus creating opportunities to negotiate new relationships in order to achieve gender justice, social harmony and peaceful partnerships.

An advocate and problem solver by nature, Dr. Peter Weller has integrated his professional training as a Clinical Psychologist and his concerns about wellness and social justice, to build a career as a community change agent. A "doer" more than a writer, Dr.Weller has nevertheless contributed papers and reports including Psychology and HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean: An Introduction and Overview, The Application of Traditional Psychotherapy Models in the Caribbean, An evaluation of programs targeting young men in the Caribbean - identifying emerging needs, and Batterer Intervention Programmes: Towards a Caribbean Standard (Review and Recommendations).

Currently Dr. Weller's work with CariMAN focuses on advocacy, building partnerships and facilitating strategic collaboration with an emphasis on identifying, and where necessary creating, culturally relevant evidence based interventions.

David Grosso

David Grosso

David Grosso was elected to the Council of the District of Columbia as an At-Large Councilmember on November 6, 2012 to represent residents in all eight wards. David brings a wealth of experience having worked with Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton and former Councilmember Sharon Ambrose, in addition to his experience in the private sector. As a Councilmember, David is committed to continuing the school reform efforts, improving health outcomes throughout the city, addressing inequities within the criminal justice system, and enhancing job opportunities by supporting a robust successful workforce development and public higher education system. David has also focused on sweeping ethics reform, transparency and open government, and further engaging residents in the political process.

Weissberg Scholar

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Gary Barker

Gary Barker Ph.D, Founder and International Director of Promundo, is a leading voice on engaging men and boys in gender equality and ending violence against women. He is International Director and founder of Promundo, an international NGO with headquarters in Brazil and offices in Rwanda, Burundi, Portugal and the US that works nationally and globally in engaging men and boys for gender equality. He has led research and program development with men and boys in the Balkans, Brazil, South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, Central America, the Caribbean and the US, including in post-conflict settings. He is co-chair and co-founder of MenEngage, a global alliance of more than 400 NGOs and UN agencies working to engage men and boys in gender equality, and a member of the UN Secretary General’s Men’s Leaders Network to end violence against women. He has been awarded an Ashoka Fellowship and a fellowship from the Open Society Institute for his work, and holds a visiting researcher appointment at the University of Coimbra, Portugal. He is on steering committees or boards of the directors for the Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI), the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinites/SUNY-Stonybrook, the Program for the Advancement of our Common Humanity (PACH/NYU), and the World Bank’s gender branch. Among his publications is the book, Dying to be Men: Youth, Masculinity and Social Exclusion (Routledge, 2005). He is coordinator of the multi-country survey on men, IMAGES (the International Men and Gender Equality Survey), one of the largest ever surveys on men’s attitudes and behaviors related to violence, fatherhood and gender equality. He is co-founder of MenCare, a global campaign, active in more than 25 countries, to promote men’s involvement as equitable, non-violent caregivers. He holds a doctorate in child development from Loyola University (Chicago) and a master’s in public policy from Duke University.  

Faculty Committee


Niobe Way is Professor of Applied Psychology in the Department of Applied Psychology at New York University. She is also the co-Director of the Center for Research on Culture, Development, and Education at NYU and the past President for the Society for Research on Adolescence. She received her doctorate from Harvard University in Human Development and Psychology and was an NIMH postdoctoral fellow in the psychology department at Yale University. Way's research focuses on the intersections of culture, context, and human development, with a particular focus on the social and emotional development of adolescents. She is interested in how schools, families, and peers as well as larger political and economic contexts influence developmental trajectories. Her work also focuses on social identities, including gender and racial/ethnic identities, and the effects of gender and racial/ethnic stereotypes on adjustment and on friendships. Way is a nationally recognized leader in the field of adolescent development and in the use of mixed methods; she has been studying the social and emotional development of girls and boys for over two decades. 


Patrick J. Egan specializes in public opinion, political institutions and their relationship in American politics. He is author of Partisan Priorities: How Issue Ownership Drives and Distorts American Politics (Cambridge, 2013) and co-editor of Public Opinion and Constitutional Controversy (Oxford, 2008). In 2012, he received the NYU Golden Dozen Award in recognition for his outstanding contribution to learning in the classroom. Before entering academia, he served as an Assistant Deputy Mayor of Policy and Planning in the office of Philadelphia Mayor Edward Rendell. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from UC Berkeley and a master’s degree in public affairs from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School.

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