HARRISBURG—The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape(PCAR) recognized Philadelphia-based WOAR’s Project Coordinator Levone Cannady as its 2021 Vision of Hope Award winner for his work developing the Healthy Masculinity Initiative project.
The Vision of Hope Award is presented annually by PCAR to a person or organization who has demonstrated outstanding work in the anti-sexual violence field.
“I am thrilled and honored to be this year's recipient of the Vision of Hope Award,” Cannady said. “I am elated to be recognized for the impact and change I am striving for within the masculine culture. These types of conversations and discussions are long overdue. My hope is that through my work more men understand how detrimental and toxic upholding stereotypical molds of masculinity can be for everyone and think of ways we can commit to change."
The Healthy Masculinity Initiative (HMI) is an education and outreach program that facilitates guided discussions in safe spaces about masculinity, traditional male gender roles, and sexual violence prevention. HMI supports males in the development of emotional literacy as well as aligning males as allies to prevent sexual violence.
HMI also provides educational workshops to train males in sexual violence prevention strategies. HMI works with individuals and male servicing organizations throughout Philadelphia.
“Levone’s work in the Philadelphia community through the Healthy Masculinity project has made a dramatic impact on the lives of young men,” PCAR CEO Karen Baker said. “Levone’s commitment to providing culturally relevant and inclusive discussions provide an opportunity for men to discuss and analyze gender roles and their relationship to sexual harassment, abuse, and assault.”
Levone was hired at WOAR as an Education and Training Specialist and through vigorous work, networking, community partnership, and providing culturally relevant and inclusive trainings and programs to the city of Philadelphia, he was able to move through the ranks to Senior Education Specialist and now Project Coordinator of WOAR's Healthy Masculinity Initiative, a community mobilization and education platform that provides the opportunity for men to discuss and analyze gender roles and their relationship to sexual violence.
Levone has been involved with sexual violence work since he graduated college seven years ago. He started his journey by dedicating part of his time to a program titled Inclusive Basketball. The Inclusive Basketball program provides socialization, playing, and training opportunities for people of different abilities from the surrounding community and Shippensburg University. Levone felt a sense of purpose from connecting with those individuals and sought to involve himself in work where he could make a difference and be of value.
Levone routinely plans and coordinates many events for WOAR, including Sexual Assault Awareness Month events every April and is regularly invited to campuses to speak with fraternities, sororities, classrooms, and faculty. Levone is a grounding force at WOAR, a dedicated father and a supportive spouse.