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|National Coalition of
Greater New York Chapter
New Voice For Men
In The Tri-State Area
|NCFM, GNY BIOs|
NATIONAL COALITION OF FREE MEN,
Edward M. Stephens, M.D.
After 30 years' practice as a general psychiatrist, Edward M. Stephens, M.D., has come to see a crushing need to understand men in their own right -- which has led him to commit himself to fostering men's mental health. Males have special needs, Dr. Stephens believes, beginning as boys and adolescents -- to develop a solid core of male identity which will enable them to define themselves as adults in a culture which has changed dramatically over the past several decades and which no longer supports the old paradigms of the male role. Undiagnosed depression in men as a result of cultural pressures and the loss of families and children in divorce are of particular interest to Dr. Stephens, and he is the originator of the concept of the Paternal Instinct and the Paternal Grief Syndrome. Dr. Stephens plans to bring a broad range of men's mental health issues into the open -- including the tragedy of reduced life expectancy for men and the soaring rate of men's suicide -- at the first World Congress on Men's Mental Health, to take place in New York City in 2005.
Dr. Stephens believes that the wonderful advances that have been made in women's health and women's liberation can be the model for a surge of effort on behalf of men to improve their physical and emotional health.
In addition to serving as President of NCFM's Greater New York Chapter, Dr. Stephens is a Board-certified psychiatrist, a member of the American Psychiatric Association, a member of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Director of the American Association of Practicing Psychiatrists and a Director of the On Step Institute for Mental Health Research.
Peter Allemano was born in 1955 in San Salvador, and he has dual U.S./El Salvadoran citizenship. He grew up half the time in various Latin American countries and half in Washington, D.C. Despite the potent "minuses" of this rootless lifestyle, Mr. Allemano nevertheless feels it had enormous benefits as well -- one of the most important being an intimate, years-long exposure to numerous cultures, which imbued his way of thinking about life with a visceral understanding that there are many perspectives about "the way things are and the way they're s'pozed to be." None of these perspectives, Mr. Allemano feels, should be taken for granted.
Mr. Allemano graduated in 1977 from The George Washington University with a B.A. in Dramatic Art and spent the next 15 years pursuing theatrical and modeling careers in New York, various European cities and São Paulo, Brazil. Today these are sideline endeavors for Mr. Allemano, and he works full-time as a legal secretary -- a profession, he notes, which, traditionally was exclusively male but today is overwhelmingly female. Being a "minority" in his workplace, Mr. Allemano feels, provides him with an invaluable, experiential perspective on gender roles as they are manifested in our society.
Mr. Allemano joined NCFM in 1993 and is a founding member of NCFM's Greater New York Chapter. In addition to serving as the chapter's Secretary/Treasurer, Mr. Allemano is NCFM-national's New York State Representative. His highest hope for the men's movement is that it will not only generate greater understanding and compassion for men but will also promote empathy between men and women, each for the other.
Gary Costanza was born in 1957 and was raised in West Babylon, a Long Island suburb of New York. He is the proud father of a 22-year-old daughter, for whom he became a non-custodial parent when he was divorced in 1988. Mr. Costanza works full time for the U.S.P.S. as a letter carrier. With the help of volunteers from NCFM's Greater New York Chapter and elsewhere, he produces and hosts the cable TV show "The Men's Forum," which features discussions of any and all issues related to men's rights.
Mr. Costanza became active with NCFM's Greater New York Chapter because it addresses the various issues that oppress men and boys in modern society. As a member, he knows that he is not alone in feeling that men's problems are not being addressed in society at large -- both nationally and locally -- and he believes that by working together it will be possible to effect the changes needed to help all males.
Mr. Costanza believes that some of the biggest problems affecting males today are custody and visitation issues, the lack of reproductive rights for men, the male-only Selective Service registration requirement and circumcision. Moreover, Mr. Costanza affirms that the enormous burdens of being providers and protectors --presently carried overwhelmingly by men -- should be borne equally by men and women.
William B. Hess was born in 1940 in Newark, the oldest of five children, and grew up in Morris County, NJ. He put himself through college, earning a B.S. in Architecture at the University of Cincinnati in 1965. Mr. Hess was married for over 30 years and has three sons and four grandchildren. He was divorced in 1995, following a protracted five-year proceeding during which he was subjected to numerous nasty legal maneuvers designed by the legal system to benefit women and remove fathers from their children's lives. The divorce revealed the unacceptable workings of the legal system to Mr. Hess and made him a permanent enemy of those who perpetuate this corrupt, anti-male-parent system.
Mr. Hess's experience motivated him to become an active member of the New Jersey Chapter of the Children's Rights Council, where he received significant assistance and support from individual members that enabled him to represent himself throughout the last three years of his divorce. Mr. Hess has worked to support many others involved in similar divorce proceedings, assisted in founding a New York City Chapter of the Children's Rights Council, and is a member of many other fathers' rights, men's rights and anti-legal establishment organizations. Mr. Hess has been a member of NCFM since the early '90s and is a founding member of its Greater New York Chapter.
Mark W. Sutton was born in 1970, grew up in Minneapolis, MN, and became interested in gender politics while attending Williams College in Massachusetts. Working as a commercial musician in New York, Mr. Sutton sees the divide created by certain elements of the feminist movement as one of the largest barriers to happiness in the United States today. Mr. Sutton hopes that his work with NCFM and its Greater New York Chapter will help end "the battle of the sexes" -- by reforming the legal system so it does not discriminate on the basis of sex and by encouraging men and women to find compassion for one another.
Robert C. Wells, Jr. was born in 1947 and lives on Long Island. He was divorced in 1996 and is the father of three children. He has been a member of NCFM since 2001.
Mr. Wells was inspired to become more deeply involved with NCFM both by reading its bimonthly newsletter Transitions and through participating in its members-only on-line discussion group. This led to his joining NCFM's Greater New York Chapter, where he enjoys discussions with like-minded individuals and planning strategies for bringing NCFM's educational mission to a larger audience.
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