AMEND Together aims to prevent violence against women, girls by educating young men

AMEND Together is a program of the YWCA
AMEND Together is a program of the YWCA(YWCA of Lubbock)
Published: Feb. 5, 2023 at 6:57 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A growing number of young men in Lubbock are participating in a program aimed at preventing violence against girls and women, by teaching them respect and accountability.

The YWCA’s AMEND Together seeks to challenge a culture that supports violence.

“We set a baseline for what is healthy manhood,” said Jaa’far Abdullah, who oversees AMEND Together at the Lubbock YWCA. He said staff and volunteers serve as mentors, discussing emotional sensitivity, self-esteem and how young men talk to each other.

There are AMEND clubs at roughly a dozen Lubbock-area schools now, with plans to add groups at more schools. The YWCA has established similar programs in other cities around the nation. There is curriculum targeted for fifth to 12th graders.

While these are serious topics, the groups also participate in fun activities. We visited with Abdullah ahead of an open gym night at the Sun ‘N Fun, where AMEND members and guests they invited competed in a three-point shooting contest and three-on-three tournament; others faced off in video games. This is one of many events scheduled during and after school; each club sets its meeting schedule.

Abdullah said young men want to have these difficult conversations.

“Some of them, because of the situation maybe at home or in the community, they’re not able to have those conversations.” The leaders create safe spaces, to welcome the young men.

“We eat, we fellowship, we talk about life.” Abdullah said this naturally opens questions like “how did you get married, or what are some of the things you look forward to as you become an adult.”

Members come from all across campuses: athletes, choir groups, leadership councils and even a chess team.

Click here - to find existing clubs. Or contact your school’s administration for the steps to create a new club.

Lubbock Mayor Tray Payne and the city council recognized AMEND Together in December.

Special recognition granted by the Lubbock City Council
Special recognition granted by the Lubbock City Council(YWCA of Lubbock)

Editorial note: KCBD’s Matt Ernst serves as an AMEND Together Ambassador, helping spread awareness. See others involved as an Ambassador here.