Wednesday, February 21, 2018

10+ Event Ideas Your Mpowerment Project Volunteers Can Make Happen


  • Why social Outreach Events?
  • List of event ideas.

Why Social Outreach Events?

In designing the Mpowerment Project (MP), we conducted extensive research into what accounts for high-risk sexual behavior among young gay and bisexual men. This research clearly shows that many young men are not sufficiently motivated by or interested in HIV prevention issues to seek help in changing risky sexual behavior (download Module 1: Overview). We learned, for example, that when community-based organizations offer safer sex/PrEP/HIV testing workshops and other HIV-prevention services, very few young gay and bisexual men attend.

In contrast to the lack of interest in HIV, social concerns are highly motivating for young men. They are very interested in opportunities to meet other men of their own age, and to find places besides bars and nightclubs where they can socialize. Many are seeking a sense of community and therefore desire stronger, more supportive social ties with other young men. It makes more sense to host a fun event than to offer a safer sex workshop. Once they have come together for a Social Outreach Event, the event provides an excellent opportunity to promote safer sex and testing and to recruit them into further involvement with the Project's activities. 
Social concerns are highly motivating for young bisexual/gay men, so attract them to your Project through addressing their social needs.

Take this list and use it as a brainstorming tool for your Core Group to inspire your own weekly events, outings or forums.  

Also, refer to the interests indicated by young men in your own community after conducting your own MP Community Assessment (Module 2 Community Assessment - Knowing Your Community). 

Many of these event ideas came directly from suggestions of young gay and bi men at weekly "Coffee Talk" chat sessions and form discussions generated in M-Groups (Link M-Groups). Keep a running list of topics, ideas, suggestions, concerns and interests around in the house for your Core Group and volunteers to periodically review and from which they may plan.

We suggest you look at the marketing materials other Mpowerment coordinators have used and "borrow and improve" on their event and design ideas. Click me: Mpowerment Flickr.

List of event ideas.
  1. Body image forum (i.e. The Body Beautiful)
  2. Physiological concomitants to homosexuality
  3. How to find true love in a man-eat-man world (relationship forum)
  4. Spirituality and the modern young gay man
  5. Print out any article from our British brothers FS Magazine.  Discuss.
  6. What the world religions have to say about homos and lesbos
  7. Leadership in the gay community. Invite your local gay and bi men and have them come in and talk about the issues 
    Mpowerment YVR | Vancouver BC
  8. Testicular cancer awareness. American Cancer Society
  9. PFLAG moms and their sons' coming out stories. Invite your local chapter
  10. Domestic violence awareness
  11. Geeks Out. Pop and gaming culture. Comic-cons and queer fandom
  12. Our trans brothers and sisters
  13. Homo for the Holidays (how to handle family issues over the holidays)
  14. Time Capsule. Have your volunteers and helpers write messages and leave cultural ephemera to be opened in 10 years. FB link
  15. Queer bike gang. Bicycle repair and maintenance
  16. Queer marketing. Ask participants to pick out advertising from gay-branded magazines and discuss what it says about companies and their marketing research
  17. Yoga (Yogay)
  18. Voter Registration Event (non partisan).
  19. Ask the doctor - gay men's health issues
  20. Making relationships work
  21. Gay parenting  
  22. Queer cinema / Movie night and discussion
  23. TV night and discussion
  24. Gay News from Around the World! - A host brings in the latest news and issues and passes out slips of paper with little snippets of trivia, information and news. See what issues take off.
  25. Creative writing 
  26. Mpowerment teach-back night. Share what you've learned
  27. Knowing Your Limit. Substance use and safety.
  28. Transgender news, events and issues.
  29. Healthy living
  30. Queers in television
  31. People living with HIV and telling their stories
  32. Martial Arts and self defense
    Project LOL, Mpowerment Newark NJ
  33. How to maintain meaningful friendships.  Get-to-Know-You night.
  34. Cosmos tv series. Watch a episode. Is there intelligent life among the stars? Discuss.
  35. Political awareness.  News and events. 
  36. Coping with stress. Resiliency best practices.
  37. Support recovery
  38. Civic participation. Voter registration drive (non partisan)
  39. Sci Fi / Fantasy cos-play night (Doctor Who, Star Trek, Harry Potter, Star Wars etc).
  40. Self esteem. 
  41. How to come out
  42. Forgiveness. 
  43. Gay slang and vocabulary 
    DENIM Mpowerment Washington DC
  44. Gay discrimination / out at work
  45. Community elder's stories
  46. Out and about volunteer events. Show up en masse in Project t-shirts to magically help a local non-profit organization.
  47. Car repair and maintenance
  48. The Celluloid Closet. Watch and discuss.
  49. Out and in the armed forces
  50. Invite local mayors, supervisors, congresspersons & LGBT friendly politicos.
  51. History of ACT - UP
  52. Media and the gays. How media portrays gay men. Discuss
  53. The Gays in History (local, national, global)
  54. Gay culture
  55. Poetry and more poetry
  56. Delete Grindr. Join Book Club.
  57. How to party as a verb (alcohol use, drinking and binge drinking awareness)
  58. Marriage Equality (state-by-state and local, national news updates)
  59. Bring in your local college and community college recruiters
  60. HIV medications and the latest treatments
    Vegas Mpowerment Project, NV
  61. Financial advice - How do you spend your gay dollars?
  62. Fashion past, present and future.
  63. Online sex and best practices of meet up / hook up apps
  64. Internet dating
  65. Agency Appreciation Night. Invite your Executive director and/or supervisor of your Project to come in for appreciation and Q and A.
  66. Tweet up. Meet and share social media best practices. Follow and like other Mpowerment Projects.
  67. Pop Up Gay Bar. Show up en masse in Project t-shirts and visit a straight-gay-friendly bar for a night.
  68. Millennial LGBTQ activism. Where we are at, where we are going.
  69. Happy lists.  Everyone create one.
  70. Community involvement 101. Best ways to enact lasting change.
  71. Sex toys 101 
  72. Ones attitudes and how they affect your present and future.
    Q Austin, Mpowerment Texas
  73. Shake that booty. Fitness classes.
  74. ASAP Science night. Watch a video by Mitchell and Gregory the ASAP Science guys 
  75. Sports.
  76. Learning to become a man.  
  77. Your Mpowerment Project. A year in review. (New Year's Event)
  78. Cruising, coupling and communication.
  79. Queer happiness and different ways to obtain it.
  80. State of your Mpowerment Project. Progress report on your community mobilization efforts
  81. Movie night BINGO.
  82. You are what you eat. Potluck and Foodie night!  Eat and be social. 
  83. Talk to your local pride event organizers
  84. Gay medical issues. Bring in a local gay and/or gay doctor.  
    tayf, Beirut Lebannon
  85. Out to Quit. Smoking awareness 
  86. Our lesbian sisters
  87. How to enjoy nature. The National Park Service
  88. Ted Talk discussion night.  Show a short clip.  Discuss.
  89. Humans vs. Zombies (take over a local park)
  90. Gay republicans
  91. The Crafty Queer - Arts and crafts 
  92. Wholesome queer communities; Radical Fairies, Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence 
  93. The Religious Right is neither
  94. Atheist & Gay = Gaythiest.  Non-belief in the queer community.
  95. The Epidemic of Gay Loneliness  - and ways to fight it.
  96. Spades Tournament 
  97. Park cruise n' games. Field games at the local park.  (tag football, obstacle courses, sack races, etc.)
  98. Near a national park?  Group tour!
  99. Gay roller skate / Gay ice skate events. 
  100. "Gay men in my 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's and beyond" panel discussion. Feature panelists from every decade answering the following questions:
  • Values I would like to instill in the next generation
  • Experiences I found to be most valuable or satisfying
  • My family plans and goals
  • Important decisions I must make
  • How I spend my time
  • How I spend my money
  • New skills and interests
  • My goals for the next ten years 

Being part of a supportive, health-promoting gay community, rather than only having a few gay friends, means that a young man can hear supportive messages about being gay, and about having safer sex and HIV testing from many people. 

Be sure to connect with the Mpowerment Project on Facebook and Twitter.

QUESTIONS?  Making high-impact HIV prevention possible for Community Based Organizations: Capacity Building Assistance (CBA) services available. via University California San Francisco Center for AIDS Prevention Studies.