Since 2000, Umoja has provided a 10-week class to reduce recidivism among men caught soliciting sex from a prostitute (“Johns”). Umoja’s curriculum allows its facilitators to guide class participants to critically evaluate their behavior and its sources and identify appropriate changes. Classes are interactive, with participants encouraged to share perspectives on how the topics relate to them personally.
Participants also complete homework assignments each week, which we discuss at the beginning of every class, to encourage introspection and change. Each class begins with a “feelings check-in”, which helps participants assess their reactions to life events, understand how those feelings impact their behavior, and develop skills to communicate them appropriately with others. The class operates under a set of ground rules, which all participants agree to follow.
||Week 1: Male Socialization
Purpose: to gain understanding of male socialization process and
its impact on male-female relationships.
Purpose: to identify
differences between male and female socialization; understand how
female socialization affects female relationship behavior; and gain
insight into personal treatment of women.
3: Sexual Messages
Purpose: to gain perspective
about how familial relations, upbringing, religion, peers, and the
media impact our sexual relationships and behavior.
Week 4: Prostitute Panel
Purpose 1: to dispel myths about why women prostitute and
educate about prostitution’s impact on women.
Purpose 2: to encourage class participants to evaluate their sexual
treatment of women and to recognize and respect their sexual
Weeks 5 and 6: Communication
Purpose: to make class participants aware of the relational impacts
of different communication styles and to introduce new interpersonal
Week 7: Anger
to help class participants identify the way they express anger and
the relational impact of their anger style; and increase awareness
of alternative anger management choices.
Healthy Intimate Relationships
differentiate between healthy and unhealthy interpersonal and
Week 9: HIV and Sexually
Transmitted Infection Prevention
decrease the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections
between prostitutes, johns and their partners.
Week 10: Personal Power
Purpose: to encourage class
participants to make healthier decisions about their lives.
“I appreciate the facilitators’ willingness to accept me as an individual and not condemn me for what I did.”
“There was no blame and no judgment; it was a lot different than what I expected.”
“The class gave me an opportunity to analyze and discuss some tough subjects. I liked the way the instructors let the class lead the discussion about the topic.”
“This class has given me the opportunity to take a new direction in my life.”
“I learned to look inside myself more and to look at things through others’ eyes.”
“I have a more positive outlook on having a relationship.”