Calling all Coaches Join Former Seahawks QB Jon Kitna and CBS Sportscaster James Brown to Devise Game Plan to Better Mentor Young Athletes

Verizon Foundation, A CALL TO MEN to Team With Leading Sports Figures to Help Coaches Develop Young Men of Character at Free Training Session on May 7

SEATTLE – Coaches from Seattle-area middle and high schools, colleges and universities, and community leagues are invited to attend a free training session on May 7 to learn how to develop, mentor and lead young men and help build their character.

The Verizon Foundation and A CALL TO MEN – a leading national violence prevention organization – will bring the final installment of their national training series, entitled A Call To Coaches: Your Voice Counts, to CenturyLink Field in Seattle from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 7.  Coaches as well as community leaders who work with youths can register for the session at http://acalltocoaches57.eventbrite.com/ Attendees will be capped at 300.

This half-day, interactive seminar is designed to equip coaches and community leaders with resources to prevent abusive behaviors by promoting respect, non-violence and healthy relationships. More than 700 coaches and community leaders at previous sessions in Charlotte, N.C., and Baltimore have pledged to use their power of authority and leadership to encourage boys and young men to have a healthy and respectful manhood.

The Seattle session will bring together several members of the NFL community and domestic violence prevention advocates, including Jon Kitna, former Seahawks quarterback; CBS Sportscaster James Brown; and Tony Porter and Ted Bunch, co-founders of A CALL TO MEN.

“Healthy relationships begin with respect,” said Bunch.  “Breaking down traditional stereotypes about manhood is essential, and that begins in the locker room.  Coaches need to take the lead and set the right examples and call players out when they are in the wrong.” 

At the session, coaches and community leaders will learn how to foster healthy manhood and get access to free resources for talking with their athletes and youths about healthy relationships. Participants will leave the training with a list of action items and resources to continue the conversation with their teams and in their own communities.

Brown, who has been an outspoken advocate for the importance of engaging men in domestic violence prevention, said: “Coaches play an extremely important role in shaping who young athletes will become – not only on the field, but in society and in their own relationships.  When coaches are positive mentors and role models they instill character, respect and other healthy qualities in their players or the youths they lead.  These coaches can take an active role in breaking the cycle of violence in our society, molding young men who will value women.

“We encourage Seattle-area coaches and community leaders to join us on May 7 for this important training session.”

Resources from the training will also incorporate elements of the Verizon Foundation’s Your Voice Counts awareness campaign, which features Brown and is designed to engage and empower men to speak up and be part of the solution to end domestic violence.          

The Verizon Foundation is focused on accelerating social change by using the company’s innovative technology to help solve pressing problems in education, healthcare and energy management. Since 2000, the Verizon Foundation has invested more than half a billion dollars to improve the communities where Verizon employees work and live. Verizon’s employees are generous with their donations and their time, having logged more than 6.65 million hours of service to make a positive difference in their communities. For more information about Verizon’s philanthropic work, visit www.verizonfoundation.org; or for regular updates, visit the Foundation on Facebook (www.facebook.com/verizonfoundation) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/verizongiving).

A CALL TO MEN works to create a world where all men and boys are loving and respectful and all women and girls are valued and safe. A CALL TO MEN (ACTMen) works nationally and internationally to galvanize a movement of men committed to ending violence and discrimination against women and girls. Previously, ACTMen partnered with the Verizon Foundation and the NFL Players Association on the Training Camps for Life initiative, teaching teens about healthy and respectful relationships. ACTMen is a founding partner of the Engaging Men Campaign and is contributing to the development and launch of the campaign, outreach efforts and educational resources. For more information about ACTMen visit www.acalltomen.org.

About Verizon
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with nearly 99 million retail connections nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America’s most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries, including all of the Fortune 500.  A Dow 30 company with nearly $116 billion in 2012 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of 181,900.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.


[To join this free coaching session on Tuesday (May 7) in Seattle, click here and RSVP by Friday (May 3).]