MEN’S COMMUNITY, a nonprofit corporation providing a community workshop
for all men, has been in continuous operation since the Fall of 1987.
My belief was, and is that men in our society need a safe place to heal
the wounds caused by the male role conditioning each of us has been
subjected to since childhood. That role denies the true humanity of each
man and results in unfulfilled lives, often marked by addictions,
difficulties with relationships, various forms of abuse, isolation, and
lack of a spiritual foundation for living. My own profound
dissatisfaction with my boyhood experience of what being a male was
supposed to mean was the catalyst that led me to question the wisdom of
this programming and to begin my own journey to reclaim my humanity.
experience as a teacher, my two years in rural Turkish culture, and the
wisdom I found in the teachings of the Feminist Movement, Pia Melody,
Charlie Kreiner, and Re-evaluation Counseling were some of the
inspirations for the program which became BREAKTHROUGH Phases 1 & 2.
With the encouragement of dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers, a
format was developed to help teach BREAKTHROUGH to the ever increasing
number of men who sought us out. In 1993, a manual was created and
graduates were trained to lead small groups. In order to keep our
graduates from slipping back into old habits, we established
BREAKTHROUGH’s ongoing support groups – Phase 3. It is through these
groups and workshops within the community that we continue to move
beyond our deepest insecurities creatively and optimistically.
dream that healing and reclaiming the human spirit could be a peer-led
community activity was coming true. In 1996, a few men took on the role
of teacher, freeing me for other work and allowing classes to grow in
frequency. Community volunteers acting as administrators and our board
of directors have helped insure the continued success of BREAKTHROUGH.
has evolved and engendered good work. In 1993 I made my manual
available to Janet Thomas to develop a similar program for women. This
hugely successful program, called BREAKFREE, has helped many women
reclaim their own humanity. During this same period, I founded a local
chapter of the National Coalition Building Institute, an organization
dedicated to ending all types of oppression.
2000, we have grown in a way that allows us to offer more classes for
more men. By now, over 1500 men have been through our program. Author
and teacher, David Richo, has become a friend and resource, allowing us
to improve critical areas of our program and to offer David’s knowledge
to the wider community in workshops for women and men.
has been more successful than my early fears let me believe it could
be. One of my life’s joys is to be able to both shepherd and participate
in such a vibrant community working together to create more fulfilling
lives for ourselves and assist others to do the same.
-Fred Jealous, Founder/Director