CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Several hundred coaches from middle and high schools, colleges and universities, and community leagues across the Carolinas met on Thursday ( March 14) to learn how to develop young men of character. The Verizon Foundation and A CALL TO MEN – a leading national violence prevention organization – kicked off a series of training sessions entitled A Call To Coaches: Your Voice Counts. The half-day interactive seminar – which is designed to equip coaches with resources to prevent abusive behaviors by promoting respect, nonviolence and healthy relationships – debuted at the Sheraton Charlotte Airport Hotel. The seminar will also be held in Baltimore on April 16 and at one other location. The Charlotte session brought together several members of the NFL community, including Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera, Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman, Panthers operations manager Brandon Beane, former Panther Mark Carrier, former New York Giant Chris Canty and CBS Sportscaster James Brown. "A healthy relationship begins with respect," said Ted Bunch, co-founder of A CALL TO MEN, an organization that works nationally and internationally to galvanize a movement of men committed to ending violence and discrimination against women and girls. "Breaking down traditional stereotypes is essential, and that begins in the locker room. "For instance, it's not cool to demean a teammate by saying he throws like a girl. When a coach takes the lead and stops that kind of language, men and young men listen," said Bunch. The training session enabled coaches and mentors to learn about how to foster healthy manhood; available free resources on how to talk with athletes; and ways to help participants encourage healthy relationships and positive locker room talk. Participants will leave the training with a list of action items and resources to continue the conversation with their teams and in their communities.