Instead of the aggressive, abusive definition of masculinity, Joe proposes a new definition—that masculinity be defined by the loving relationships that men take part in. The ultimate questions for a man, according to Ehrmann, are, "What kind of brother were you? What kind of father were you? What kind of husband were you?" These questions show just how important the issue of masculinity is. Abusive men do not just hurt themselves, but abusive husbands hurt their wives and abusive fathers hurt their children.
Joe has made a dramatic change in his life. He now is a minister at Grace Fellowship Church in Baltimore, with over 3,000 members. To work with inner city children, he has created an organization called "The Door," that gives youth a place to go instead of becoming involved in gangs. Joe also is the defensive coordinator for the Gilman high school football team in Baltimore, Maryland. He teaches his team that winning is not important; it's the formation of character that is important. In huddles, Joe asks his players, "What's our job as coaches?" and they respond emphatically, "To love us!" Joe then asks, "What's your job?" and they respond, "To love each other!" Author Jeffrey Marx saw this remembers that "The words were spoken with the familiarity of a mantra, the commitment of an oath, the enthusiasm of a pep rally." He thought to himself, "This was football?" It is football, where the coaches surround the players with so much love that the players can not help but embody that love themselves.
In 2003, Pulitzer prize-winning author Jeffrey Marx took Ehrmann's story and wrote a remarkable book, A Season of Life. Marx recounts his own boyhood as a ball boy for the Baltimore Colts., which he spent getting to know Ehrmann. He then caught up with Ehrmann many years later, surprised to see that Ehrmann had changed his life so much. Ehrmann's message touched Marx so deeply that it led him to bridge a gap in his own life, between himself and his father. Even an old journalist like Marx can be touched by this message.
The event will be in Cameron Indoor Stadium May 3rd at 7:00 PM. All are invited to attend. Tickets are free—suggested donation is $10. All proceeds go to the Emily Krzyzewski Family Life Center, the Durham Eagles and the New Horizons School for at-risk youth.