Meet MVP Bob Brinker
The Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh–in partnership with FISA Foundation and the Heinz Endowments–has been pleased to offer Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP), a leadership training program for men committed to integrating domestic and sexual violence prevention strategies into their organizations’ work. This post is part of a series of articles showcasing the members and their work in their communities.
Frederick Douglass wrote that “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” Those words inspire Bob Brinker every day as he works to strengthen young men in our region. As a coordinator for the ParentWISE Program of Family Services of Western PA, Bob engages groups of men – of all ages – to teach and encourage nonviolence. Bob takes Douglass’ maxim to heart, recognizing the importance of communicating nonviolent messages to children that will stick with them as they grow older.
Having worked in the field for more than four decades and with a diverse range of groups from preschoolers to prisoners, Bob has noticed a difference as attitudes have shifted. He now notices more men reaching a point where they are looking at their behaviors and contemplating change in their lives.
“Equipping people and parents with the skills to nurture healthy attitudes will make each generation more enlightened than the last,” explains Bob. “We need to get across the impact that hurtful behavior has on people. It may be a gradual, slow process, but we can get there if we believe in the message.”
Photography by Brian Cohen