With each grant that 1in6 receives, we’re obligated to submit a final report (and sometimes interim report) describing our progress and challenges during the grant period. Here, you’ll find our 2017 interim report to you, our generous allies and supporters.
The first half of this year, our tenth anniversary year, has been busy indeed. Our work is divided into three general areas: awareness/engagement, training, and our website and other digital services.
Our awareness campaign, the Bristlecone Project, will have its 100th volunteer photographed and video taped before the end of the summer. Additionally, David Lisak and Andy Langdon will travel to New Zealand at the end of the year to capture more stories, including the stories of a number of indigenous men. The campaign, which was originally all black and white portraits, will soon include color portraits on all of our electronic platforms. The black and white portraits toured a number of military bases in April, and will be shown at the Canterbury Museum in Christchurch, NZ this fall.
Another important part of the Bristlecone Project is the filming of each volunteer during the portrait sessions. The two and three hour sessions are now being edited down to short two and three minute vignettes on such topics as anger, fear, hope, resiliency, etc., and will soon populate a library-by-topic that can be accessed by anyone via our website. I’ve seen a few of the finished vignettes, and I’m excited about the valuable resource that they will be.
Our training initiative continues to thrive, and this past April, we presented to and trained more people than in any single month in our history. In fact, I had the great honor to present to over 1600 of the ‘Old Guard’ soldiers at Joint Base Myer-Henderson. The reception that we receive from the military and other institutions around the country continues to be a gratifying reminder of the importance of our work. We are negotiating now to present on a number of military installations through the end of the year, including a return trip to Japan.
We are finishing up work on phase one of the redesign of our website, and you will see the benefit of that work mid-July. In addition to the redesigned homepage, the subpages have also been re-conceptualized, creating a more intuitive experience, and the entire site will reflect our new logo and color palate. An abstract representation of the 1 in 6 male survivors, our new logo is composed of six shapes rotating clockwise around a common axis point. The sixth shape breaks off from the group as a visual metaphor for rising above and moving beyond past experiences. The five blue shapes visually support the one, featured shape.
Phase two of website redesign will begin in the fall, and will include content re-development, the beginning of the addition of the Bristlecone video library, and other video components and graphic treatments.
Additionally, we will be adding a third group to our online support group program, which currently offers two groups per week for men who experienced sexual abuse in childhood. These two groups have been so well received (it’s common for groups to meet capacity within minutes of start time) that we’ve decided to add a third group, which will be for men who have experienced sexual assault in adulthood. This free and confidential, therapist-moderated service is proving to be an essential part of our programming, and we will continue to add new groups as we’re able.
It’s important to note that our 24/7 online support line, which is staffed with trained volunteers, continues to operate beyond capacity each month, and we hope to be able to add more volunteers in order to decrease wait times. We also hope to add a Spanish online support line at some point in the future.
True to every mid-term and final report that I’ve written over my 30 years as an executive director, there are also challenges. Our issue continues to be a difficult one to create dialogue around and support for. Translated, our bandwidth to serve the number of men seeking help is maxed out. There is much work to be done, and while we have the creative vision and desire, we are limited in our capacity. But we are tenacious, and we press on.
Knowing our challenges, would you consider a gift to 1in6 this summer (a period during which it can be difficult to fundraise), and would you share this progress report with at least one friend or colleague? Finally, please accept my gratitude for your stalwart support of our work over these last ten years.