2017 Providers Gathering in Review


On October 25th, 2017 The Adolescent Health Working Group hosted the 14th annual providers gathering, Moving toward Health and Justice: Transforming Masculinity and Showing Up for Young Men. 

Funded by the San Francisco Department of Public Health: Behavioral Health Services MHSA & MCAH and the Department of Children Youth & Families.

We had a full house, 200 providers showed up to explore the connections between sexual health, mental health, substance use, and masculinity. We had nearly a 50/50 split between clinical providers and non-clinical staff. We believe in the importance of cross-sector learning and collaboration and want to continue to service providers at all levels and will be exploring opportunities for more profession tailored learning as well.


Quotes from attendees:

“thank you for addressing this topic as it is usually overlooked and misunderstood. Thank you to all the presenters and representation of people of color contributing to transforming lives for all.”

“good start on the topic. need to include more socio-political reasons of why men invest in certain identities of masculinity”

“confirmed for me my program needs to do for young men would have liked more space for planning next steps.”

“longer breakout groups more experiential learning”

“I appreciate the attention the first panel brought (namely Adrian) to homophobia, transphobia, and patriarchy and the role those play in toxic masculinity and the disparities that stem from that.” 

“I wish there was more time for the first group of presenters. I did not see the direct connection between PrEP and masculinity made and deconstructed as I hoped it would be.”

From the feedback gathered from participants, we identified a number of areas where we can continue to build capacity within our network of providers as well as extend the impact of the conference. AHWG will be evaluating the format of our conference moving forward as there were many requests for opportunities for experiential learning, exposure to sociopolitical terminology, a deeper understanding of social determinants of health and designated space for providers the network with one another.


We hope to provide spaces in the coming year where this topic and its connection to the broader adolescent health landscape can be explored by our network of providers in the hopes that collectively we, as providers, can continue to move our systems towards health and justice. The AHWG will also be intentionally collaborating with youth and young adults to integrate their experiences and voices into these conversations and forward movement.


We want to thank our speakers for their time, energy and years of dedication to the health and wellness of boys and young men:

Opening: Shamann Walton – San Francisco Unified School District Board President

Keynote: Dr. Joseph Marshall Jr. – Author, lecturer, radio talk show host, and community activist; Executive Director at Alive & Free; featured in the documentary film, The Mask You Live In http://stayaliveandfree.org

The Representation Project: The Mask You Live in http://therepresentationproject.org

Ashanti Branch  – Teacher, community activist,  Founder and Executive Director at Ever Forward Club; featured in the documentary film, The Mask You Live In https://everforwardclub.org/#overview

Magaly Marques – Expert in gender- and sexual health-transformative interventions; NAMEN, Steering Committee member (North American MenEngage Network)

Maurice Byrd– Therapist at The Center for Harm Reduction Therapy

Shawn Taylor– Director of Gateway to College Program at Laney College; Lecturer, San Francisco State University; Former Probation Program Supervisor at Seneca Center

City Surf Project-Johnny Irwin http://citysurfproject.com/our-mission/

Erik Martinez – Program Manager, LGBTQ Support Services, San Francisco Unified School District
Victor Travis – Health Educator, San Francisco Department of Public Health

Panel on Sexual/Repro Health + PrEP: The San Francisco Getting to Zero Initiative – Aimed at eliminating new HIV infections, HIV-related deaths, and HIV stigma

Closing remarks: Adrian Acencion – Community Organizer and Policy Advocate, ACLU of Southern California

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