A few months ago in downtown Toronto, I sat down for a coffee chat with Jake Stika, who runs the non-profit Next Gen Men. Jake is doing the Lord’s work in trying to create positive masculinities, healthy relationships, and gender equity to help redefine what it means to be a man through his organization. He does this in many ways, one being through “Wolf Pack” men’s circles where they talk about issues facing men today. I happened to participate in one of these in Toronto on the topic of fatherhood, and it was truly impactful to be able to have such an open conversation with a group of men (and women) about topics that men never really talk about together.
Another endeavour for Next Gen Men is supporting a podcast hosted by German Villegas called Modern Manhood. With over 75 episodes now, German has explored a multitude of perspectives on masculinity in today’s society through interviews with men and women from a wide range of backgrounds.
Chatting with Jake in Toronto was another one of those “aha!” moments, where you see completely eye-to-eye with someone and are able to share stories and advice on how to move the needle on men’s involvement in gender equality. I am a huge supporter and believer in what Jake is doing.
As the conversation wrapped up, Jake thought I’d be a perfect fit for an upcoming podcast German is working on about fatherhood. So, in the most nontraditional “manly” way I can imagine, German and I got on the phone together during the second quarter of the Super Bowl while the Patriots held off the Rams, and we talked about parenting, fears, and finding new meaning as a caregiver (it was the only time we could connect!).
For me, this was my first time doing a podcast! So, I was a little nervous to hear the end result, but other than thinking I need to upgrade my internet connection and ensure I recognize my team members at Deloitte more, I was really happy with how it went.
Anyway, without further ado, take a listen and let me know what you think!