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Maggie Hureau and Brian O'Connor: Partnership between Harry's and Futures Without Violence

This week, we’re lucky to bring you double the interview content. Maggie Hureau works as the Head of Social Impact at Harry’s, a men's grooming brand that works with some pretty remarkable organizations. One of those lucky Harry’s partners is Brian O’Connor, the Director of Public Education at Futures Without Violence. Futures works to end violence against women and children around the world through policy, programs, and campaigns. 

Both of your careers are centered around helping those in need. What inspired you to want to pursue that path?

Maggie: Growing up in a family that worked in community facing roles, I thought that’s what “work” meant: helping others. I followed that same path and had my first real taste of service work when I joined an AmeriCorps program called City Year at 18. That experience was transformative, and introduced me to the real challenges of working in high-need communities, and also the amazing and diverse career paths I could potentially take. It opened my eyes in so many ways -- by helping me become more empathetic, more patient, etc. -- and gave me amazing visibility into how I could use my career to service others. 

When I started at Harry’s I was tasked with refocusing our social mission. During that process, my previous experience in helping vulnerable communities proved to be extremely useful, and led myself and my team to focus Harrys’ social mission on men’s mental health, an issue that affects the customers we serve everyday.

Brian: I believe that everyone has a role to play in helping to advance the health, safety, and wellbeing of ourselves, our neighbors, and the communities we live in. My work at Futures Without Violence is focused on ending and preventing various forms of violence that can destabilize families and debilitate society. Survivors of violence often suffer from negative short and long-term health, educational, and economic outcomes. Through our work with Harry’s, we will reach 100,000 young men and boys, providing them with the tools they need to lead a healthy and successful life. 

What exactly does your job entail, and what is your favorite part of it?

Maggie: In short, I get to think all day, everyday about how Harry’s, Inc. can make an impact in our communities. Through our 1% model, the more we grow as a business, the more we can donate to nonprofit partners and make a real difference. Our program has been an evolution since the beginning, but a couple of years ago we started to talk to nonprofit partners about the challenges about being a man today, and realized that there was a real need for men to have access to mental health care. So we set a big goal -- reach 500,000 men in 2 years by supporting programs and organizations that work every day to make mental health care more easily accessible for men. I’m happy to say that we’ve already hit our goal, and are looking to determine what our next milestone will be.

My favorite part of my job is collaborating directly with nonprofit partners like Futures Without Violence that are on the ground doing incredible work. We look forward to continuing our work together, and achieving our goal of reaching 100,000 young men and boys through this specific partnership. 

Brian: My job as Director of Public Education Campaigns and Programs is focused on developing communications and media messages that speak to diverse audiences about the importance of building healthy relationships and more specifically, that domestic and sexual violence are wrong and can be prevented. 

Similar to Maggie, one of my favorite parts of my job is collaborating with partners like Harry’s to craft national and international prevention campaigns. The work that Futures Without Violence has done has been locally adapted in over 90 communities around the world and we’ve partnered with major institutions such as UNICEF, the University of California, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the US Dept. of Justice to name a few.

Tell us more about Harry’s partnership with Futures Without Violence — how did your organizations find each other, and how do you help each other? 

Maggie: Futures Without Violence quickly rose to the top of our list when we were looking for reputable organizations in the men’s mental health space to partner with. Once we found them, we talked for months about how Harry’s could amplify the work they do. Through our conversations, we learned a lot about Futures Without Violence’s Coaching with Courage program, which gives thousands of young athletes and coaches the proper tools to talk about mental health and social-emotional development with their teammates and players. We really liked the idea of bringing mental health into more approachable spaces - sports teams, and classrooms - where adults were already building relationships with young people. 

Brian: As Maggie said, our partnership with Harry’s is focused primarily on reaching men and boys with positive mental health resources and information. We use two main strategies to do this: 1. we leverage sports as a platform to engage male-identified youth and adults; and 2. we work with caring and consistent adults to address childhood trauma in their professional capacity (e.g., educators, nurses, counselors, law enforcement). Harry’s insight and investment in this work is invaluable, and our ambitious goal is extremely inspiring. We’re grateful to be a part of Harry’s social mission work.

What advice do you have for young professionals who want to make a difference?

Maggie: My best advice for young professionals is to only work for organizations that you truly believe are making a difference in the world. This may seem obvious, but after working in nonprofit for over 15 years, I’ve seen so many people chase titles or roles at organizations that don’t truly believe in a greater mission or purpose, and many were left feeling unfulfilled. Working somewhere with a mission that moves you is incredibly inspiring, and makes the hard work a little easier, and extremely rewarding.

Brian: My three snippets of advice are to:

- Be patient in understanding how and where you can add value.

- Understand that your path may not always be clear, so be intentional and open to opportunities. What you want now, may not be the same in the year, months or weeks to come, and that is okay.

- Do more listening than talking.


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