Speakers at the Midwest Symposium on Men's Leadership and Accountability Around #MeToo

Jackson KatzJackson Katz, PhD

Jackson Katz, Ph.D., is an educator, author, filmmaker and cultural theorist who is internationally renowned for his pioneering scholarship and activism on issues of gender, race and violence.

He is co-founder of the multiracial, mixed-gender Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) program, which in 1993 introduced the “bystander” approach to the gender violence prevention field.  MVP is one of the longest-running and most widely influential gender violence prevention programs in North America and beyond, and is the first large-scale program of its kind in the sports culture and the military. He is the author of The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help and Man Enough? Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and the Politics of Presidential Masculinity. He is the creator of the award-winning educational documentaries Tough Guise and Tough Guise 2, and he is featured in the films Miss Representation and The Mask You Live In. His TED talk, “Violence against Women is a Men’s Issue,” has been viewed more than 3.5 million times. He lectures widely in the U.S. and around the world on the role of men in the promotion of gender equality and the prevention of men’s violence against women. 



Co-Founder: Gender Violence Institute

Chuck Derry has worked to end men’s violence against women since 1983.  From 1983 to 1993, he worked with male offenders in St. Cloud Minnesota and was the men’s program coordinator for six of those years. In 1994, he co-founded the Gender Violence Institute in Clearwater Minnesota and through that organization provides training and technical assistance nationally and internationally on the dynamics of domestic violence, criminal justice system reform, effective coordinated community responses to domestic violence, law enforcement investigations, rehabilitative programs for men who batter, and engaging men and communities in primary prevention.

Throughout his career, Chuck has worked to develop and implement strategies and community initiatives for involving men and male leaders in the primary prevention of sexual and domestic violence, including commercial sexual exploitation, to “stop it before it starts”. Chuck co-founded the Minnesota Men’s Action Network: Alliance to Prevent Sexual and Domestic Violence in 2005 and co-coordinated that project through 2016.

Chuck is also a founding member of the North American Men Engage Network (NAMEN). A collective effort of men and women from the United States and Canada developing a network of organizations and individuals working with men and boys to promote gender equality in North America.  NAMEN is a regional member of the Global MenEngage Alliance, a global alliance of regional and country networks working for gender justice and equality. Chuck served on the governing board of the Global MenEngage Alliance from 2012 through 2017 and has served on the NAMEN Steering Committee since it’s inception.


EmilianoEmiliano Diaz de Leon


Men’s Engagement Specialist, Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA)

taasa.org | taasaconference.org 

After more than a decade of experience working for several domestic and sexual violence centers across Texas, Emiliano joined the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault in 2008 and provides training and technical assistance on primary prevention of sexual violence to Rape Prevention Education (RPE) grantees around the state. In addition Emiliano provides training and technical assistance on enhancing services to male survivors of sexual violence to individuals and organizations in Texas and around the country. 


Darnell MooreDarnell Moore

Darnell L. Moore is Editor-at-Large at CASSIUS (an iOne digital platform) and formerly a senior editor and correspondent at Mic. 

He is co-managing editor at The Feminist Wire and an editor of The Feminist Wire Books (a series of University of Arizona Press). He is also a writer-in-residence at the Center on African American Religion, Sexual Politics and Social Justice at Columbia University.  Along with NFL player Wade Davis II, he co-founded YOU Belong, a social good company focused on the development of diversity initiatives. 

Darnell’s advocacy centers on marginal identity, youth development and other social justice issues in the U.S. and abroad. He is the host of Mic's digital series, The Movement, which was nominated for a Breakthrough Series: Short Form Award at the 2016 IFP Gotham Awards. He has led and participated in several critical dialogues including the 58th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women; the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington National Panel on Race, Discrimination and Poverty, the 2012 Seminar on Debates on Religion and Sexuality at Harvard Divinity School, and as a member of the first U.S. delegation of LGBTQ leaders to Palestine in 2012.

A prolific writer, Darnell has been published in various media outlets including MSNBC, The Guardian, Huffington Post, EBONY, The Root, The Advocate, OUT Magazine, Gawker, Truth Out, VICE, Guernica, Mondoweiss, Thought Catalog, Good Men Project and others, as well as numerous academic journals including QED: A Journal in GLBTQ World Making, Women Studies Quarterly, Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media & Technology, Transforming Anthropology, Black Theology: An International Journal, and Harvard Journal of African American Policy, among others. He also edited the art book Nicolaus Schmidt: Astor Place, Broadway, New York: A Universe of Hairdressers (Kerber Verlag) and has published essays in several edited books.

Darnell has held positions of Visiting Fellow and Visiting Scholar at Yale Divinity School, the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at New York University and the Institute for Research in African American Studies at Columbia University. He is presently Writer-in-Residence at the Center on African American Religion, Sexuality, and Social Justice at Columbia University. He has taught in the Women and Gender’s Studies and Public Administration departments at Rutgers University, Fordham University, City College of New York City and Vassar College. Darnell has also provided keynote addresses at Harvard University, Williams College, Stony Brook University, New Jersey City University, Stanford University, and the New School.

Darnell received the 2012 Humanitarian Award from the American Conference on Diversity for his advocacy in the City of Newark, where he served as Chair of the LGBTQ Concerns Advisory Commission. He is the recipient of the 2012 Outstanding Academic Leadership Award from Rutgers University LGBTQ and Diversity Resource Center for his contributions to developing the Queer Newark Oral History Project. He received the 2013 Angel Award from Gay Men of African Descent and the 2014 Gentleman of the Year Award from the Gentlemen’s Foundation. He was listed as a one of Planned Parenthood’s Top 99 Dream Keepers in 2015, was featured in USA Today’s #InTheirOwnWords multimedia feature on contemporary civil rights activists, was named among EBONY Magazines's 2015 Power 100, Time Out New York's Eight LGBT Influencers, Be Modern Man 100, and The Root 100 2016.

He assisted in organizing the Black Lives Matters Ride to Ferguson in the wake of Mike Brown’s tragic murder and along with Alicia Garza, Patrisee Cullors, and Opal Tometti (#BlackLivesMatter Co-Founders) developed the infrastructure for the BLM Network. He is presently represented by Chartwell Worldwide Speaker Agency and is soon to complete his first book, No Ashes in the Fire (Nation Books).


Vanessa McNealVanessa McNeal MSW

Vanessa McNeal is a tenacious and thought provoking national speaker, film producer, and business owner.

She speaks nationally on how to confront adversity with grace using her personal story as a vehicle to inspire and empower others. She is known for her investment and wisdom in topics that are often difficult to talk about. Her message has resonated with audiences around the world through the influential topics of overcoming adversity, sexual violence, social change, leadership and empowerment.

At an early age, Vanessa experienced child sexual abuse and neglect. Due to the neglect, she wasn’t taken to school regularly, so she was placed in a remedial class. She spent time in foster care before she was raised by her grandparents. At age 15, Vanessa was sexually assaulted at a college preparatory program and overcame the many faces of rape culture. Vanessa was the first in her family to graduate high school and went on to pursue her bachelor’s degree at Iowa State University. She received her Master’s degree in Social Work at the University of Northern Iowa.

In 2017, Vanessa founded her production company McNeal Media with the goal of creating social change through the art of storytelling. She is the director and producer of the internationally recognized documentary, “The Voiceless”. The film features the stories of male survivors of sexual violence. She won "Best Director" for the documentary at the Newark International Film Festival. At Indiefest she received Women Filmmaker Award of Recognition. She is currently Directing “Gridshock”, a documentary that investigates the flourishing sex trafficking industry in Iowa.

Vanessa won the 2017 YWCA "Woman of Tomorrow" award. She was also honored with the 2018 STATEment maker award in the entrepreneurial spirit category. She has also been featured in numerous publications, articles, and news broadcasts.


Rus FunkRus Ervin Funk MSW, CSE

Rus Funk is a consultant specializing in working with organizations and communities to promote healthy masculinities; equity, diversity and justice; and violence prevention.

Rus is a long-time activist and community organizer focusing on anti-racism, and gender justice.

Among his organizing efforts, he is co-founder of DC Men Against Rape (now Men Can Stop Rape, Inc.), Men for Gender Justice, the Baltimore Alliance to End Child Sexual Abuse, MensWork: eliminating violence against women, the Own It Initiative (a project of the Center for Women and Families), the Ohio Men’s Action Network, White Folks Against Racism, the North America MenEngage Network, among others.

Rus currently serves on several national and transnational boards. He is the secretary of the Board of the National Center on Sexual and Domestic Violence, serves as the Co- Chair of Male Engagement for World Without Exploitation (WorldWE, an international coalition to combat human trafficking and exploitation), is on the Steering committee of the North American Men Engage Network (NAMEN – a US and Canada network of efforts to engage and organize men to promote gender equality), and serves on the Global MenEngage Alliance Board.

Rus has traveled extensively throughout the US and internationally, he is a sought-after trainer and speaker. He was part of the coalition that crafted and worked to pass the original Violence Against Women Act (focusing on the Safe Campuses and Civil Rights sections of that law).

Rus has also written extensively. In 1993, Rus wrote the first book in the US, by a man, for men about stopping rape (Stopping Rape: A Challenge for Men, New Society Publishers).

Some of his recent publications include:

  • “The Role of adult pornography in intimate partner sexual violence perpetrators’ offending” (with Walter S. DeKeseredy) in Perpetrators of Intimate Partner Sexual Violence: A Multidisciplinary approach to prevention, recognition and intervention (2017) Ed by Louise McOrmond-Plummer, Jennifer Y. Levy-Peck and Patricia Easteal. Routledge Press (pp 134 – 142).
  • “Addressing and combating intimate partner sexual violence” (with Lundy​ Bancroft) in Perpetrators of Intimate Partner Sexual Violence: A Multidisciplinary approach to prevention, recognition and intervention (2017) Ed by Louise McOrmond-Plummer, Jennifer Y. Levy-Peck and Patricia Easteal. Routledge Press (pp 179 – 189).
  • “Men’s Work: Men’s voices and actions against sexism and violence.” in Journal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community. (2008) Vol 36: 1 – 2; (pp 155 – 171).
  • “Be realistic, Demand the impossible: Taking action against pornography” in Pornography: Driving the demand in international sex trafficking (2007) ed by Captive Daughters Media.(pp 346 – 381).

Rus lives in Louisville, KY with his partner, and their 8-year old child. He enjoys writing, baking, tending his roses, bike-riding, hiking, and photography.


Graham GouldenGraham Goulden

Graham Goulden, BA, is a highly experienced, committed and engaging violence prevention trainer. 

For thirty year he was a Scottish police officer and Chief Investigator specializing in criminal investigation, drug investigation, training and crime prevention. For the last eight years of policing career he was a key member of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit.

In 2010 Graham introduced The Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) into high schools across the Scotland. MVP is a leader in bystander education in the United States. Graham continues to support MVP development in Scotland as well as a trainer for the US MVP organization.

Graham has delivered bystander prevention trainings in many different settings including high schools, colleges universities, in work places, in prisons, with military and police and with professional and amateur sports in the UK and United States. Graham has worked with many different individuals and groups using bystander activities to engage audiences in the prevention of abuse. Graham has worked with hairdressers, dentists, vets, fire officers, police, military, prison officers and in communities. In addition, Graham has delivered training to bar & security staff across Scotland to help the spot vulnerability and predatory behavior.

Graham has conducted numerous trainings and keynote speeches in Scotland, England, Wales, Sweden, and in the United States. In addition to conducting bystander trainings, Graham has expert knowledge and experience in embedding violence prevention programs within local government. He has been able to build sustainable models for the longer term.

Graham is a passionate advocate of the bystander approach. He is committed to engaging individuals making it clear that we all have a role in the prevention of violence in our communities. 

Since retiring from the police service he has set up the organization ‘Cultivating Minds UK’ with the primary aim of starting conversations in many different settings and communities to promote healthy relationships and successful outcomes.  He continues to work with the violence reduction unit in prevention work across Scotland and the UK.  Graham is also an associate trainer with the Heroic Imagination Project.

Graham holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice Studies and a Certificate in Training from Napier University, Edinburgh. He lives with his family near Edinburgh.