Memorial Day is coming up. It is a time when we honor those who fell while serving to protect our country and values, a sacrifice for which there is truly no equal. All gave some; some gave all.
On a much humbler scale, I’d like us to acknowledge and honor the service, courage, and compassion of several recently passing boys’ advocacy organizations and those who made them possible. I have been keeping track of many such groups over the last seven years since I first stumbled upon boys’ academic issues. Three of them are particularly noteworthy, and their websites have vanished in the last ~6 months.
- The Boys Initiative – http://www.theboysinitiative.org. View their old website via The Wayback Machine.
- Boys Learning – http://www.boyslearning.com.au (Wayback Machine link).
- Supporting Our Sons (not to be confused with Save our Sons) – http://www.supportingoursons.org (Wayback Machine link).
Although I am talking about disappearances that are recent, I would be remiss if I did not mention what I would perhaps call the “lost Titanic” of boys’ education advocacy. I refer of course to The Boys’ Project, which seemed to rise meteorically around 2008 before vanishing inexplicably. Its website used to exist at http://www.boysproject.net (Wayback Machine), and it boasted a full-blown team of academics, journalists, community stakeholders, and activists. It even appealed for $200k+ grant (big money in our line of work) to radically expand its operations.
It fell into inactivity, and eventually into obscurity in 2012, where it remains indefinitely. I think it a reasonable estimate that 95% of men’s advocates have never heard of its name, which is unfortunate.
For the record, several staff members of these organizations are still very active in other areas of men’s and boys’ advocacy. They have not all truly “vanished.” Some of these individuals are powerhouses in and of themselves, and their passion, experience, and knowledge are still very active in the world. I will refrain from naming them, but I do want to thank them.
I will not make any attempt to speculate here what the reasons were for their disappearance. I do not suspect foul play – unless we also include in the definition of foul play the apathy our society has for the needs of men and boys as a group, which I do strongly suspect played a large role, as it does in all men’s and boys’ advocacy groups.
I request that you explore the historical footprints of their websites via the Wayback Machine links I have provided above. Please view their contributions to creating a national discussion on men’s and boys’ education and well-being. Do a Google search or two if you feel intrigued. And then I recommend saying a thank you.
These groups put in a lot of work and fought a good fight in a world that was largely against them. They didn’t do it for money or fame. They didn’t do it because they were required to. They did it because they cared. They knew the road would be difficult, that their hard work would be seen by too few, and that their contributions would be disproportionate to the thanks they received.
It would be rewarding to explore their contributions (and others’) in greater detail in the future. But here, to them I say:
Thank you – for everything you’ve done (and that some continue to do) for men and boys.
For other noteworthy organizations and honorable mentions, please view the recently-restored links by scrolling down to the blue footer at the bottom of this website.