Profile of a CAVNET Member: Jackson Katz

Jackson Katz has long been recognized as one of America’s leading anti-sexist male activists. In 1993, he founded the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) Program at Northeastern University’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society. The multiracial, mixed-gender MVP Program is the first large-scale attempt to enlist high school, collegiate and professional athletes in the fight against rape and all forms of men’s violence against women. Today MVP is the most widely utilized gender violence prevention program in college athletics.

In 1996, Katz founded MVP Strategies, which he directs. MVP Strategies is an organization that specializes in providing gender violence prevention education and training for men and boys in schools, colleges, the US military, and small and large corporations.

Since 1996, Katz has been directing the first worldwide gender violence prevention program in the history of the United States Marine Corps – the first such program in the United States military. From 2000-2003 he served as a member of the U.S. Secretary of Defense’s Task Force on Domestic Violence in the military. Since the Columbine tragedy in 1999, Katz and MVP have been working with several schools in the Jefferson County, Colorado school district, including Columbine High School.

Katz is the creator of award-winning educational videos for college and high school students, including “Tough Guise: Violence, Media, and the Crisis in Masculinity.” Tough Guise (2000) was named one of the Top Ten Young Adult Videos for 2000 by the American Library Association. His video Wrestling With Manhood (2002), which examines the gender and sexual politics of professional wrestling, is a collaboration with Sut Jhally. His latest video, Spin the Bottle (due out in Fall 2003), with Jean Kilbourne, looks at gender in the marketing and pop cultural representation of alcohol.

Katz is the author of numerous articles in academic journals and popular newspapers that are widely used in undergraduate and graduate courses. Topics include violent white masculinity in advertising, working with student-athletes in gender violence prevention, men’s use of pornography, Eminem, working with adolescent males in juvenile detention, men’s leadership in gender violence prevention education K-12, and masculinities in media.

He has appeared on numerous radio and TV programs coast to coast, including the Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, Montel Williams, ABC News 20/20, MSNBC and Lifetime Television.

A former three-sport high school athlete and all-star football player, Katz was the first man at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst to earn a minor in women’s studies. He holds a masters degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Since 1990, he has lectured at over 700 colleges, prep schools, high schools, middle schools, professional conferences and military installations in 43 states.

Jackson is a member of CAVNET’s Advisory Board.