DADE MEN is a series of photo exhibitions highlighting prominent Miami men. The exhibition series has been launched in order to raise awareness on issues of domestic violence, elevate the collaboration of local communities in this pervasive issue, and make Miami safer for women and girls.
DADE MEN was launched on October 1st, 2015. Miami DADE county has the highest number of recorded cases of domestic violence in all of Florida. According to the Miami Herald, there were 25,000 cases of domestic violence reported in the county in the past five years. In 2014 alone, there were 9,811 cases of domestic violence.
Modern civilizations and their intellectual lineages are products of a tradition of patriarchy. In serving this tradition, women have been held as unequal community members, less valuable than their male counterparts. We have lived and, in many ways, thrived under this oppressive social structure.
We have paid for our commitment to this time-hardened tradition. For too long masculinity and manhood have been narrowly defined. Masculinity is often associated with violence. Violence has been an effective tool of control, subduing minority interests; it has been a barrier to economic development; and it has been the greatest threat to peace and fair prosperity.
When will the tipping point come? When will we re-examine our notion of manhood and how it affects our families, communities, nations and the world? We have to be bold. Let’s choose now. Let’s not allow this inequality to continue. Let’s endeavor to invent a new man – a new masculinity – a something that we at Millennials Project believe that our generation is capable of creating. The measure of manhood should not be his degree of control and domination over women, but how he appreciates and supports them. Let’s create a masculinity that affirms women, helps them become equally health, educated, and respect participants in all aspects of cultural life.
Through this exhibit in addition to related workshops and events, we at the Millennial Project want to mobilize 25,000 men in the next year as supporters and allies in what we consider the most important social movement of our generation: the movement to reduce violence against women. What we are beginning as a grassroots movement can have wide-reaching effects in households and communities locally, nationally, and internationally. Ending domestic violence is an important means of supporting global peace.
We are aware that this form of violence prevention does not rise to the higher levels of diplomacy upon which the media often focuses, but it is a necessary step in helping men and women coexist without the burden of overt aggression that represses women and isolates men in outdated and dangerous “masculine” behaviors.