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Davis, California

Friday, February 23, 2024

Men share feelings, wisdom in new community group

Sometimes men just need someone to talk to — a group much like themselves that understands them. The Davis Community Men’s Talk and Drum Circle seeks to provide exactly that.

Male residents 18 and over are invited to attend weekly gatherings of the Circle, held the first Tuesday of every month from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Families First on Fifth Street in downtown Davis.

The Circle can be used as an opportunity for males to meet new friends, share their most intellectual thoughts and feelings and simply sit beside other men.

The group’s founders, five men from the Davis area, Gregory Guss, Dean Dickerson, Chas Ehrlich, Michael Patch and Davis Hafter, want everyone to know this isn’t simply a “men’s group.”

“We are not a men’s group. Instead, it is a structured forum to build community, where men can address that which holds meaning, as they feel ready. In other words, men can attend and just listen,” Hafter said.

For someone who has never attended a group of this sort, it can be intimidating to speak up in front of complete strangers. According to the group, however, this is the last thing men should be worrying about.

The five men would also like to point out the privacy and confidentiality of the Talk Circle.

Guss, Dickerson, Ehrlich, Patch and Hafter also work to break through the generational gaps between the men in attendance at these monthly meetings.

The Talk Circle appreciates the different ages of men for the different views and aspects of life they bring to the Talk.

“The Talk Circles are also a forum for men of our different generations, to collectively share wisdom, perspectives and offer acceptance, to our wonderful and eclectic differences,” Dickerson said.

Currently, their following is small. Members include only Guss and Shawn Ryan, who was new to the area and looking for ways to meet new people.

On their website, they refer to the younger men as the ones who carry the ideals and dreams, the middle-aged men as the ones who quietly carry the burden of life and the older men as the ones whose wisdom leads them inward.

By inviting men of different ages, the men of the Circle are hoping to relate experiences to one another and build a deepened relationship with one’s self.

“As one man speaks, his honesty may touch another man’s experience. Great courage and integrity has been shown, as men often discover how much they have held back, and now feel a permission, to speak to their core and vital concerns,” Guss said.

According to their public service announcement, students are almost guaranteed to stumble across a topic within the Talk Circle that catches their interest.

The types of themes that have been discussed in the Circle include father and son relationships, how competency and incompetency were portrayed and expressions of male vulnerability.

According to the committee, they are hoping to add students and faculty from the UC Davis campus to their monthly Circles.

“We are very much wanting to have students and faculty know of our monthly gatherings,” Guss said.

There is also no worry of having to attend the meetings on a monthly basis. The men ask you to join whenever there is a month that you can.

“There is no charge for these events and all men 18 and older are welcome,” Guss said.

The Circle has their own Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Davis-Community-Mens-Talk-and-Drum-Circle/100634259996632, that provides further information about upcoming meetings and allows men to pursue their friendships outside of the group.

MICHELLE STAUFFER can be reached at features@theaggie.org.


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