Boyhood and Masculinity: A Film and Conversation with Ashanti Branch

June 26, 2020


Many boys are taught to never show their emotions, and that they must win at all costs. In addition, teenaged boys today often lack access to loving, reliable adult men who can accompany their own journey towards adulthood. As a result, adolescent boys in America today are at increased risks for depression, anxiety, suicide, and acting out in violent ways. All of these problems are compounded by other factors in Tucson, such as poverty, trauma, and intergenerational cycles of violence.

For our third and final 2019-2020 Speakers Series event, we partnered with Boys to Men Tucson (along with The Loft Cinema, Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse, Pima County School Superintendent’s Office, and Healthy Pima) to host a FREE film screening and critical conversation via Zoom. This three-part event began with a screening of the powerful documentary, “The Mask You Live In,” which follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating America’s narrow definition of masculinity. The second part of the event was a facilitated conversation with Ashanti Branch, whose groundbreaking work is featured in the film, during which he discussed how we can raise a healthier generation of boys and young men across Southern Arizona and break cycles of violence. The event concluded with a panel discussion between Mr. Branch and local leaders from Tucson whose work focuses on encouraging and fostering healthy masculinity.