MVP Strategies is an organization that provides sexual harassment and gender violence prevention training to a variety of clients in the public and private sectors.

We utilize the concepts and curricular materials first developed in the pioneering Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) program.

MVP Strategies is a mixed-gender, multi-racial gender violence prevention leadership training organization. Its clients include leaders and others from a wide range of institutions in the public and private sectors, including  programs in human services and public health, educational institutions, all branches of the military, and businesses large and small.

The guiding philosophy in MVP Strategies trainings is the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) Model, first developed in the early 1990s by Jackson Katz, Ph.D. and his colleagues. Among its many accomplishments, the original MVP program was the first large-scale initiative to apply the bystander approach to issues of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and relationship abuse prevention.

The leadership and bystander focus allows the issues of gender violence prevention to be framed within a context of inclusion and responsibility for everyone.

MVP Strategies trainings have been conducted in hundreds of organizations in the U.S., Canada, and around the world.

While MVP is mixed-gender, MVP has had tremendous and historic success working with groups and institutions in male-dominated workplaces that include men’s sports, military organizations, college fraternities, and traditionally male-dominated industries and companies.

Brief background

In 1993, Dr. Jackson Katz and his colleagues at Northeastern University’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society developed MVP as a sports culture initiative. By design, the program quickly expanded to engage general populations of students and professionals in college, high school, the military, and a variety of organizations in the public and private sectors.

In the years since, the multiracial, mixed-gender MVP Model has been widely influential in the development and operation of a range of gender violence prevention initiatives in North America and beyond.

MVP Strategies carries on the work of MVP in numerous educational settings, where we conduct leadership trainings for college and high school administration, staff, faculty and student leaders.

MVP Strategies also introduced bystander training to the United States Department of Defense, and we have been instrumental in helping both the US and Australian militaries develop system-wide prevention programming. We conduct bystander-focused leadership trainings for professionals in a variety of government agencies, community organizations, and small and large corporations. We also consult with clients about how best to integrate prevention strategies.

From the locker room to the classroom & beyond

MVP received its initial funding through a U.S. Department of Education grant, awarded to develop a replicable model for gender violence prevention education that utilized the social status of male college and high school student-athletes and other student leaders.

But MVP did not originate in organized athletics because of the problems in that sub-culture; the impetus for MVP was proactive and positive, and focused on the potential leadership of successful male (and female) student-athletes, coaches, and athletic administrators. From the beginning, MVP set out to utilize the cultural influence of sports culture to catalyze significantly increased involvement in gender violence prevention efforts of leaders in secondary and higher education, the community, and the private sector.

A strong partnership between the genders

The MVP Strategies approach to prevention education has always included a strong emphasis on leadership training—for everyone across the gender, sexual, ethnic, and racial spectrum.

From its inception, MVP has sought to expand the number of men willing to take a stand to prevent sexual harassment, sexual assault and relationship abuse. MVP has been especially effective at delivering its leadership message to men in the dominant and multiracial cultures of athletics, fraternities, the military, and male-dominated industries and businesses.

But since its second year, MVP has been a mixed-gender program. MVP trainings feature lively interactive discussions about gender and sexual norms — and the prevention of harms —  in peer cultures of all genders.

To learn more about the MVP Strategies approach, or to schedule a training session, please contact us.

Asking & discussing the tough questions

Everything is fair game for discussion in the highly interactive MVP dialogues: the responsibilities of leaders to create and sustain workplace and other environments in which expressions of misogyny and gender violence in any form are understood to be contrary to group values; the difference between prevention and “risk reduction” strategies in educational institutions and private sector workplaces; victim-blaming; the role of alcohol in sexual assault; the symbiotic relationship between sexism and heterosexism; the many intersections of race, sex and gender; harassment and abuse directed toward members of LGBTQ communities, and ways to prevent it; and the role of women as bystanders when women are the perpetrators of harassment or abuse.

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