Learning Cohort

Male Allyship Cohort: Step into Community Building

Awareness, Growth & Action for Safer Homes, Workplaces, and Communities 

A learning cohort for men to build capacity for male allyship in family, work, and social situations. 

  • Learn how to speak up, be a mentor to other men and boys, model appropriate language and behaviors, ask questions, and be an advocate for transformational change.
  • Receive guidance from feminine and gender expansive perspectives and reflect unlearning and relearning with other men in community.
  • Navigate discomfort and conflict to break away from toxic masculinity expectations.
  • Build healthy norms and cultural conditions for men to support transformative justice and collective liberation.

This 6-week, online and interactive program includes facilitated dialogue and somatic experiencing, guest speakers, learning resources to support your self awareness growth edge, cultivating a shared understanding, and stepping into authentic action with accountability by building a male allyship practice in a supportive community.

Male Allyship Cohort

Link sent upon registration


January 31
February 7
February 21
February 28
March 13
March 20


6:00-8:00 pm EST

Meet the Facilitators
Mitch Pauley Vermont

Mitch Pauley (he/him) is a special education teacher, musician, and land steward. He facilitates men’s circles and programs with EmpowR and in his work in education. His 20 year career in mental health, special education, and human services integrates with his commitment to equity advocacy. He is especially passionate about transitioning from crisis intervention to creating educational systems that hold space for the wholeness, lived experiences, and assets of youth. Mitch is committed to an empathetic approach communicating with children, educators, and caregivers which transfers well to his role as a facilitator for community building for men and learning the practice of male allyship.

Rae Carter Vermont

Rae Carter (she/ki) is the founder of EmpowR Transformation, an equity consultant with The Creative Discourse Group. and a healing arts practitioner in the University of Vermont Integrative Practitioner Network. Rae weaves embodied antiracist culture building, experiential and nature-based learning, trauma-informed practices, holistic healing, and animist spirituality into capacity building work to shift limited perspectives, disrupt dominant patterns, navigate conflict, reimagine communication, and bridge micro and macro behavior change for transformative justice.
Rae will also be one of the speakers. 

Meet the Speakers
Shanda Williams

Shanda Williams (she/her) is a change maker, equity strategist, reparations activist, and BIPOC community advocate. She has a 20 year background in the insurance and banking industry and was recently awarded “Innovator of the Year” by Central Vermont Economic Development Corporation for her visionary work creating the Money Matters: Financial Liberation and Wellness series. Shanda is also a BIPOC facilitator for The Everything Space programs My Grandmother’s Hands: Unraveling Racialized Trauma and the Growing Resilience Trauma-Informed Course. Her interpersonal experience with people from all over the world has given her expertise in interacting and connecting with people of various diverse cultures and all socio- economic backgrounds.

Elliot Ruggles Vermont

Dr. Elliot Ruggles (he/they) is a sexuality professional and clinical social worker specializing in recovery from and prevention of sexual and gender-based harm. In his role at the University of Vermont, he works to coordinate university-wide efforts around the prevention of sexual violence. For fifteen years, they have been working in sexuality and gender research, education and therapy in diverse settings. Dr. Ruggles takes a holistic approach to preventing violence, seeking to create space for fulfilling expressions of gender sexuality and relationships for all people.  He is a fierce advocate for queer and trans people and strives for anti-racist practice.


What Is Male Allyship?

Male allyship is active promotion of gender equality and equity in men’s personal lives and in the workplace through supportive and collaborative relationships and public acts of sponsorship and advocacy intended to drive systemic improvements to the organizational culture. (Harvard Business Review).

Male allyship is a cultural mindshift. It is not an event or an experience, but a practice of increasing self awareness, improving gender intelligence, and advocating for women (Forte).

Male allyship also expands beyond women and workplace to include people with gender expansive identities and to consider intersectionalities with other marginalized identities, especially race and ethnicity; and goes beyond the workplace and can be practiced in the home, in family dynamics, and in community and broader cultural context (EmpowR Transformation).


Cohort Materials

The cohort is experienced in three sections for a total of six 2-hour Zooms. Live attendance of the first Zoom on January 31 is mandatory so the cohort can set the container together and we appreciate your understanding. As community building and shared learning with each other is the premise of the cohort, live attendance is inherent for participation. However, we understand conflicts arise and ask for you to communicate any conflicts ahead of time so we can make plans to record parts of sessions that do not break confidentiality and that are not conducted in break out groups.

Resources will be emailed prior to each section for review. Please plan for 1/2 hour of review time prior to each section. There is one week off between sections.

Wednesday, January 31 – 6:00-8:00 pm
Wednesday, February 7 – 6:00-8:00 pm

[skip Feb. 14]

Wednesday, February 21 – 6:00-8:00 pm
Wednesday, February 28 – 6:00-8:00 pm

[skip Mar 6]

Wednesday, March 13 – 6:00-8:00 pm
Wednesday, March 20 – 6:00-8:00 pm

EmpowR Zoom Norms
Please arrive on time. You are welcome to eat food and are encouraged to join from a comfortable space in your home.

Zoom link and additional information will be emailed upon registration.



All proceeds support the EmpowR Equity Fund to pay for program/session discounts and
EmpowR Web participation and speaker costs, and to cover operating costs to offer this program.
Tips are gratefully accepted. 

If you are in a socio-economically disadvantaged situation and the cost is prohibitive to you, please send a message to receive a discount code. 

If your organization is interested in sponsoring this program to increase accessibility and participation,
please send us a message.  

REGISTER for the Male Allyship Cohort

EmpowR Vermont Sunburst


Life happens! If you are unable to attend, please be respectful of our time and let us know/cancel your registration. You can pay the cost forward or request a refund up to 24 hours in advance. Cancellation refunds include a small fee to cover credit card costs. No refunds for cancellations within 24 hours of a program.