Knowing Your Narrative

Unpacking Our Stories of Masculinity and Equity

Oct. 26, Nov. 6, and Nov. 16, 2021

This three-part series of events seeks to unpack narratives around masculinity, faith, and equity. After completing the series, participants will be able to coherently articulate their own personal narratives, identify the ways they’ve been shaped by masculine messaging, and reframe their own masculine identity so it is more inclusive and holistic. We will also unpack the differences in patriarchal messaging based upon racial identity.

The series will be composed of two webinars and one daylong on-campus event (also available online), facilitated by Ben Tapper with the Kindred Collective. A free PDF copy of Strong, Loving, and Wise: Joining Conversations for Men will be made available to all participants. Prior to the event, it is recommended that participants read The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity and Love by bell hooks.

This series is sponsored by Mennonite Men and AMBS (including the Church Leadership Center and the Institute of Mennonite Studies).

Program details


Tuesday, Oct. 26, 7:30–8:30 pm EDT (open to all genders)

This educational event will unpack some of the ways that patriarchy and white supremacy have been interwoven, and help participants dissect their own narratives so that they can see when they’re being influenced by either. Questions that will be answered include:

  • What is patriarchy and how does it impact masculinity?
  • What common messages about masculinity do we hold? 
  • How do these messages impact our relationships?
  • This webinar will be recorded and available shortly after the event.

On-campus event (also accessible online) 

Saturday, Nov. 6, 9 am – 3:45 pm EDT in person or through Zoom (open to those who identify as men or male and to a small group of women/non-binary invitees)

This event will consist of story-telling. We will help unpack the narratives of masculinity so that participants can recognize when and where they may be holding onto stories and tropes that undermine their core beliefs or their desired values. 

9–10:15 am Session 1: Presentation by Ben Tapper, recap of patriarchy definitions, messages, and their impact on relationships 

10:15–10:30 am Break

10:30–11 am Session 2: Presentation by Ben Tapper, Story-telling explained: components of your story with questions to help you craft your narrative; crafting a narrative flow: background info (set the context) & identify main plot points; sample story sharing. 

11:30 am – 12:15 pm Lunch 

12:15–2:00 pm Session 3: Story lab (30 minutes), small group story sharing (1 hour), recap Q&A (15 minutes)

2:00–2:15 pm Break

2:15–3:45 pm Session 4: Round table for integrating perspectives – Nekeisha Alayna Alexis on undoing racism (24 minutes), Jamie Pitts on social construction of masculinities (from Peaceful at Heart) (12 minutes), Steve Thomas on transforming “man box” masculinity to the circle of healthy masculinities (12 minutes); break-out conversations; report responses and final recap.


Tuesday, Nov. 16, 7:30–8:30 pm EDT (open to all who participate in the Nov. 6 daylong event)

  • Reflection time
  • Q & A
  • Resource sharing for those who want to do a deeper dive into uncovering their own story, the effects of patriarchy or White supremacy

Translation and interpretation available as needed.