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He can HEAL: A call for nominations
I'm working on a book for middle schoolers and need some inspiring examples, please help me out?
As you likely know by now, I’m borderline-obsessed with the need to get more men into HEAL jobs (health, education, administration and literacy). That includes teaching (especially in K-12), nursing, psychology and counseling, social work, and the literary arts. See my previous post “Men can HEAL”, or my piece in TIME magazine “Why America Needs More Men Working in Health Care and Education”, or, of course, the book Of Boys and Men. We’ve increased the share of women in STEM occupations (while still leaving much more to do on that front), but at the same time massively reduced the share of men in HEAL jobs. In fact there are now fewer men in HEAL than women in STEM:
As Corinne A. Moss-Racusin and her co-authors write in 2022 article in the Journal of Experimental Psychology:
Over the past half century, women have entered professions traditionally occupied by men to a much greater degree than men have entered those traditionally occupied by women. Unfortunately, people express less concern with men’s underrepresentation in HEED than with women’s underrepresentation in STEM.
(Their HEED category is essentially the same as HEAL).
The lack of concern with the falling share of men in occupations like teaching, psychology and social work is indeed unfortunate, and this will be an important theme for the work of the American Institute for Boys and Men, which officially launches this week (so, watch this space)!
Help me write a book
I’m delighted to be working on a book with Quarry Books (part of Quarto), aimed at middle schoolers, called He Can HEAL. This will accompany a similar one called She Can STEM. It is happening thanks to the vision and courage of editor Jonathan Simcosky. (For more of the background, see this article in Publishing Perspectives from Porter Anderson).
But I need your help. The book will feature profiles of 50 inspiring men working in these professions, either from the present or the past. So, please, send me your ideas. And as soon as possible, you might be shocked to hear I’m up against a deadline! So far I’ve got some wonderful men currently working in psychiatric social work, nursing and early education. But I need lots more, in lots of fields. Know any awesome male elementary school teachers, or counselors, or nursing assistants, or care workers? Can you think of men in these fields who were leaders or pioneers in the past?
I’m thinking of men like Hector Hugo Gonzalez, who became a nurse in Texas in 1962 and then served in that capacity in the Vietnam War before becoming president of the Hispanic Nurses Association in 1982. A mural honoring healthcare heroes was unveiled in 2021 at the University of Louisville (that’s Huge Gonzalez on the left):
Gonzalez funds a scholarship for male Hispanic nursing students, one of the very few such scholarships available to men seeking to enter HEAL professions.
Then there’s Jermar ‘Coach’ Rountree, finalist for National Teacher of the Year in 2023 who works with students from K through grade 8 as a health and physical educator and sports coach.
As he explains:
Teaching is where I belong. I love what I do and that will not change. I am dedicated to my kids, families, and colleagues. That is what pushes me along no matter what. I want to be that trusted person, that father figure, that coach that my students can rely on no matter what.
Or how about Edward Krise?
In the 1940s, Krise lived at Hull House in Chicago while studying for his Master’s in social work, before serving in Korea as a psychiatric social worker, and then pioneering the study and care of mental health challenges of veterans at Walter Reed hospital, then and leading efforts to desegregate the U.S. military—being awarded the Legion of Merit for his service to race relations, not once, but twice.
Please send me your nominations by Nov 20th! Thank you in advance for your help on this and for all your support in general. It is much appreciated.