TMC Administration Notes - December 2014 / January 2015

Letter from the Chair

In this final Chair Letter of 2014, I want to reflect on some unfortunate news stories from the past year, and how we as men can do better.

In 2014, a number of well-known sportsmen were accused of domestic abuse against their wives, partners, and children. Michael Sam became the first openly gay player to be drafted by an NFL team, but was greeted with hate and blinkered attitudes. And a wealthy professional sports team owner was revealed to have racist views toward African Americans even though he owes at least part of his vast wealth to the African Americans who play on the basketball team he used to own.

All of us, men and women, bear personal responsibility for our words and actions. Just like telling the state trooper who pulls you over for speeding that you didn't know the speed limit was 55, not knowing that your behavior is racist or misogynistic isn't an excuse. Neither is an upbringing in which violent and hateful behavior was tolerated. It is our responsibility as humans to educate ourselves to the point where we are able to treat our fellow humans with dignity and respect.

This is good in theory, but harder to do in practice when the culture we live in sends us highly questionable messages. Regular readers of this column know that I have, on more than one occasion, lamented the portrayal of men in the media and popular culture, and that I worry that this portrayal encourages men to do the wrong thing. If you don't behave the way men behave on TV, is there something wrong with you? Are you less of a man if you aren't always thinking about where your next beer or your next sex are coming from?

I believe there is a connection between the violent misogyny, antediluvian racism, and repugnant homophobia on display in 2014, and the portrayal of men in our media and popular culture. If a man is lionized and paid handsomely for knocking people senseless on the playing field, it's not surprising that he might carry over that behavior to his off-the-field life. In a culture that prizes financial success above all else, a wealthy businessman probably thinks he should be excused for his sickeningly racist beliefs.

My wish for all men in 2015 is that you think for yourself about what it means to be the best man you can be. Don't be influenced by popular culture or media. Consider what you can do to make yourself and your community happier and healthier. Happy Holidays to you and your family, and best wishes for a healthy and fulfilling 2015!

Joe Szurszewski
Board Chair


Library Corner

–– Jim Heaney, Librarian

We have a unique and extensive collection of books on men's and general topics which can be checked out by members of the Men's Center. Our periodicals include:

  • Fathering Today
  • Men's Health
  • Men's Journal
  • Lavender
  • Transitions
  • Voice Male.

The books in the Men’s Center Library are sectioned off into 14 categories.  These categories are: Fathers, Children & Families, Fiction, Gay & Lesbian, Health & Therapy, Humor, Men’s Movement & Masculinity, Men’s Stories & Poetry, Miscellaneous, Relationships & Friendships, Reference, Relationships & Friendships, Sexuality, Spirituality, Valued Elders, Women. 

You do not need a password to access this new catalog.  The new catalog is in a white 3 ring binder.  Our entire collection of books is sorted 3 different ways; by Author, Category and Title.

The Men's Center Staff and Key Volunteers

Office Manager -- Randy Genrich
Office Assistant Mgr-- Bryon Wistrom
Anger Mgmt Director-- John Hesch
Office Volunteers -- Rick Charlson, Jim Heaney, Dick Madigan
Librarian -- Jim Heaney
Donation Pick-up Volunteers --
See chart in kitchen area

Board Chair -- Joe Szurszewski
Board Vice Chair -- Tom Weaver
Board Secretary -- Norm Petrik
Board Treasurer -- Rick Charlson
Board Member -- Jim Heaney
Board Member -- Ken Knoll
Board Member -- Andy Mickel
Board Member -- Damon Starks
Alternate -- Harry Greenberg
Alternate -- Dan Gorbunow
Alternate -- Malik Holt
Alternate -- Dave Webb

MenTalk Editor -- Bill Dobbs
MenTalk Production -- Bill Dobbs
MenTalk Here/There -- Andy Mickel
MenTalk Advertising -- Bill Dobbs
MenTalk Mailing Coord -- Scott Benson
MenTalk Labels/Database -- Scott Benson

Program Committee, Chair -- Norm Petrick
Wednesday Present Coord --Randy Genrich

Wednesday Present Publicity -- Rick Charlson

Finance Committee, Chair -- Rick Charlson
Finance Committee Chair -- Rick Charlson
Fin Comm Grant Writer -- Malik Holt-Shabazz
Fin Comm Memberships -- Andy Mickel

Outreach Committee, Chair -- Rick Charlson
Pride Festival Coord -- Ken Knoll
Media Publicity Coord -- Rick Charlson
Outreach Booth at Shows -- Randy Genrich, Andy Mickel, Malik Holt-Shabazz
Librarian -- Jim Heaney
Web Site/Technology -- Bill Dobbs, Andy Mickel, Ken Knoll, Joe Szurszewski
E-mail Responders -- Scott Benson, Rick Charlson, Bill Dobbs, John Hesch, Andy Mickel, Joe Szurszewski

Anger Mgmt Director -- John Hesch
Anger Mgmt Grant Writer -- Bob Anderson
Anger Mgmt Publicity -- John Hesch
Anger Mgmt Steer Commit -- Bob Lundberg, John Hersch, David Giancristforo
Anger Mgmt Facilitators -- Tom M, Michael K, Jim K, John H, Art H, Bryce K, Pat G, Dean G, David E, Hoske R, Cory C, Michael I, John C, Lee C, Norm P, Bob L, Bob A, Harry G, Howard B, Tom F

Support Group Coord -- Norm Petrik
Support Group Database -- Dave Webb
General Men's Issues -- Randy G, Jerry O
Addiction Busters -- Tommy J
Gay Issues -- Pat K, Bruce K, Ranslow Z
Transitions --Scott, Richard S.
Divorce/Uncouplng -- John M, Greg D, Gerry W
Sexual Trauma & Abuse Survivors -- Jerry B, Kathleen M
Bi-Men & Gay Issues -- Leo P, David W, Damon S.
Healthy Sexual Boundaries -- Bobby S, Tom J
Healthy Sexual Boundaries East -- Bobby S
Retirement -- Norm P

Call our Office Manager at 612-822-5892 and ask how you can help.
We have been a vital part of the Twin Cities community for decades,
and almost all of our services have been provided by volunteers like you.