Posted By Bob Knotts on December 16, 2014
Short post today about a big topic: World peace. Followed by a question — can a song help bring about world peace? At the Humanity Project, we’re doing our part to contribute to a charming, and inspiring, effort to make a more peaceful world through music. Our Humanity Project Board of Directors just dropped our own version of John Lennon’s classic anthem, “Imagine.” You can hear and see us in this video: Watch the Humanity Project perform “Imagine.”
The THP Board Imagines!
As you’ll quickly learn, we don’t exactly sing as well as John Lennon, or have the filmmaking skills of Steven Spielberg for that matter. Not in this one-take iPhone video anyway. But you will find us most definitely in the proper spirit of the ongoing Imagine project, which is sanctioned by Yoko Ono. And UNICEF, which receives a $1 donation for every upload of “Imagine” using the TouchCast app. Please consider making your own version of “Imagine” by downloading TouchCast to your smartphone or tablet. The Humanity Project believes meaningful world peace really is possible, in some form, at some time … and we know we’re not the only ones.
Posted By Bob Knotts on December 9, 2014
Yes, indeed! The Humanity Project is now available anywhere in the world through the enormously popular iTunes by Apple. You can listen to our new podcasts, and many of our older ones too, by going to iTunes at this link: Visit the Humanity Project Podcast on iTunes. If you have an iPhone, just go to the iTunes store, search for “The Humanity Project Podcast” and subscribe. You can hear us right on your phone. Of course, since you’re on this website you can simply click on the Podcast link on our menu to hear even more of our insightful shows. But the iTunes posts allow many other folks to find us and hear our positive message. We have programs stretching back for years on a wide variety of topics related to our mission. Check them out.
Monarch High students present check for our I Care program
Our latest, “Teens Saving Teens,” is an interview with two of the high school students who are helping us to bring the Humanity Project’s unique I Care: Just Let Me Drive teen driver safety program to lots of their peers. That photo shows them handing us a check for I Care from the proceeds of a bake sale at their school, Monarch High School in Coconut Creek, Florida. Great school with some wonderfully involved students, including Rina and Kevin in that pic along with me in the recording studio. Thanks to them and to their teacher, Greg Kennedy.
And a big shoutout to our Humanity Project Board of Directors Vice President, Matt Corey, who is a greatly talented guy — and who got us up and running on iTunes. Matt is a classical musician, multiple award-winning sound designer for theater …. oh yes, and CEO of Insight for the Blind, which records talking books and magazine articles for the Library of Congress. That’s Matt’s studio you see in the background, by the way.
Finally, we also want to thank our major sponsors, State Farm and Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, for supporting these podcasts. You’ll find their logos and links on the podcast page. We couldn’t do it without them!
Posted By Bob Knotts on November 30, 2014
Have you heard about “Giving Tuesday”? It happens on December 2 — a day when nations and nonprofits, companies and individuals encourage giving back. We love the idea. It’s a relatively new thing, started in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y in New York as well as the United Nations Foundation. The basic concept is simple: Find a way to help others this Tuesday. And it’s catching on around the world, as this link helps explain: http://www.givingtuesday.org/global/. You can celebrate Giving Tuesday any way you like. Volunteer with a charity that’s doing good work in your community. Buy some sandwiches and hand them out to the homeless. Of course one of the big ways people give back is by donating money to worthy causes. We hope you may feel the Humanity Project is one of those. So we want to make it easy for you to give to our efforts on Giving Tuesday — or any other day. Here’s another link for you, our Join/Donate page on this website: Visit the Join/Donate page. It will tell you how to give to the Humanity Project if you want to, and what we can offer you as a way of saying thanks. Remember that 100% of our funding goes toward our programs. So your donation will be helping people in real ways. But whether you give to the Humanity Project or to another quality organization, whether you donate money or time, please do something. We have Black Friday and Cyber Monday to save you money. Now we also have Giving Tuesday to share what you have with others. It’s a meaningful way for all of us to express our gratitude during this holiday season.
Posted By Bob Knotts on November 24, 2014
We just turned 9-years-old …. well, a couple of weeks ago anyway. On November 3, the Humanity Project celebrated (quietly) our ninth birthday. In a world where nonprofits come and go quickly and often, that’s an accomplishment in itself. We’ve survived some very tough times too. The early days when our programs were just taking shape — and no one knew about us. Then came the Great Recession, which we think historians ultimately will judge a true depression. Most contributors stopped contributing. Most sponsors stopped sponsoring, taking away funds from not only us but other fine organizations. Nonprofits all over the world folded up and blew away for good. We didn’t. In fact, the Humanity Project grew, creating our now-acclaimed Anti-bullying Through The Arts program in 2008 and taking it to the schools the next year. We also held our big Thousand Youth March for Humanity just as the recession really gripped our nation: Nov. 16, 2008, with more than 2,100 kids and adults marching through downtown Fort Lauderdale streets to stop bullying. Since then, we’ve put together a great Board of Directors and wonderfully loyal sponsors, such as State Farm and Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital and Children’s Services Council of Broward County. We couldn’t do it without them. Please check out our sponsor page to visit their websites by clicking here: Go to our Sponsor page. We now have a unique and effective teen driver safety program as well as a very special website for socially isolated teens, with an emphasis on the LGBT community. We have free materials on bullying that are being used all over the United States and beyond. We have our PeacePage, a collaboration of nonprofits and individuals from all seven continents. I hope you’ll explore this website and our social media to learn more. At the Humanity Project, we’re very proud of the things we’ve done so far. But we know our best, most productive years are still ahead. That’s not a cliche in our case — it’s the truth. At 9, we’re only just getting warmed up.
Posted By Bob Knotts on November 16, 2014
Now there’s an odd equation for you: 2 + 2 = 1. But in this case, it makes sense. That’s because for the first time in Humanity Project history, we ran two programs in two different schools at the same time in one day. On Friday, November 14, our team gave two presentations of our acclaimed Anti-bullying Through The Arts program to children at Collins Elementary School in Dania Beach, Florida. At exactly the same time, students involved with our awesome I Care: Just Let Me Drive teen driver safety program presented two flash mobs for the 2,400-person student body at Monarch High School in Coconut Creek, Florida.
At Collins Elementary, 11/14/14
We think that’s pretty cool. Yes, much larger, better-funded nonprofits do this all the time, with several programs operating simultaneously. But the Humanity Project is different … in many ways. We’re small but with a national reach, sometimes even international. The Humanity Project offers several websites and lots of helpful materials used by thousands of people at no cost. Also 100% of Humanity Project funding goes toward our programs — few other nonprofits can make that same claim. As one police department administrator told us, “The Humanity Project does a lot with a little.” So indeed we’re quite pleased with this latest sign of growth for our group. You might enjoy checking out this short video, which shows one flash mob at Monarch High last week. It helped promote the I Care program to teens who will use our materials soon, learning to drive without distractions through our unique system. On Friday, though, it was all about having some fun as we reached out to teens at the same time we connected with young kids about bullying. Friday was a good day.
Posted By Bob Knotts on November 8, 2014
We hope you’ll take just a moment from your day to watch a new Humanity Project video. Honor student, Rina, gives a powerful speech to rally her peers behind the Humanity Project’s I Care: Just Let Me Drive program. Monarch High School in Coconut Creek, Florida is doing some great work for our program this school year — working to spread the I Care message within the student body as well as far beyond it. Rina is the leader of Monarch’s student team, supervised by their teacher, Mr. Greg Kennedy. The video is only a little more than four minutes long … and it offers more evidence, we believe, that I Care can make a difference for young drivers.
Posted By Bob Knotts on October 31, 2014
(Editor’s Note: This post was adapted from an article in the November 2014 edition of the Humanity Project newsletter. Our organization’s free newsletter comes out through email once a month. You can sign up for the newsletter in the right-hand column of this web page by clicking and providing us with your email address. No other information is requested.)
Dr. Laura Finley, Humanity Project Board of Directors VP
That’s our friend, colleague and Humanity Project Board VP, Dr. Laura Finley, smiling at you as we begin November. She just wrote a new book called, “School Violence,” published by ABC-CLIO. Laura very generously is donating all her royalties from the book to the Humanity Project. We are touched by her gesture — as she knows, we will use the money to help stop school violence and improve life for many kids.
“School Violence” is more than a book title to Laura Finley. It is a topic she understands well. Dr. Finley is a professor of sociology and criminology at Barry University, which recently was named among America’s Top Colleges by Forbes. She has taken a strong interest in issues related to dating violence and domestic violence. And she is a community and peace activist who, with her husband, Peter, is raising a delightful daughter of her own. We know Laura to be a smart, funny and genuinely caring person who puts great energy into her work toward a more peaceful world. Her newest book, “School Violence,” covers a broad range of issues related to that topic, including the history of school violence as well as controversies in the field and ideas for solving the problem. It also offers some outside perspectives on school violence, including a short section on bullying written by me as founder of the Humanity Project. We hope you may want to read Dr. Finley’s fine book, which you can buy directly from ABC-CLIO at this link: Visit the publisher’s page for “School Violence.” We highly recommend it for the detailed information Laura Finley has assembled on this important subject — and to help the Humanity Project fight bullying through Laura’s generous gift to us.
Posted By Bob Knotts on October 27, 2014
The Humanity Project by law is not a political organization. We don’t lobby for political causes, or religious ones for that matter. Our group has an IRS-recognized educational and literary mission, empirically based with a focus on kids. There’s nothing political about our support for some loyal friends at Children’s Services Council of Broward County. They are wonderful people who carry out their own important mission in this large South Florida region, home to the sixth largest school district in the United States. Their work includes vital financial support for a wide variety of programs for children, including the Humanity Project’s highly regarded Anti-bullying Through The Arts program.
Children’s Services Council of Broward County has just renewed its matching funding for the Humanity Project — for the 7th consecutive year. As a result, we’re able to reach more kids with our very effective program. That’s just one of many examples of the contributions made by CSC Broward. And we thank them. If you happen to live in Broward County, Florida, please vote to renew authorization for Children’s Services Council of Broward County. We know lots of our website visitors are from South Florida — as well as from other counties, other states, even many other countries. For Broward residents, though, this is an opportunity to help the Humanity Project express gratitude to CSC Broward in a meaningful way. With your vote to continue tax funding for this great organization.
One note to our voting friends: Look for the reauthorization question on Page 2, lower right corner of the ballot. It’s in an awkward spot and easy to miss. CSC Broward needs our help so they in turn can help tens of thousands of children in this area over the coming years … including the kids who gain so much from the Humanity Project. Children’s Services Council of Broward County isn’t political and neither is the community effort to make sure they stick around South Florida for a long time. That’s not politics. It’s just good sense.
Posted By Bob Knotts on October 16, 2014
Every week should be teen driver safety week. That’s what we believe at the Humanity Project. And it’s the reason we created I Care: Just Let Me Drive, our unique and, yes, innovative program for teenage drivers. But from October 19-25, we are stepping on the gas, as it were — moving forward even faster with our efforts to prevent teen traffic accidents. This Friday, a high school with 2,400 students will celebrate our I Care program at its big home football game. Next Tuesday, October 21, high school students will hold a major I Care rally, including student skits and readings taken from our I Care book. There’s more too, including flash mobs and contests and a variety of activities intended to let teens know about I Care. You might wonder why this is such a big issue. Here’s why: More teens die in car accidents than from any other cause. As the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports, almost half the teens involved in car crashes die. And while we’re at it, here’s another sobering statistic: Nearly 80% of teens believe they can safely text while driving — though university research consistently shows that neither teens nor adults can do this. Driving seems like such a simple and mindless activity, doesn’t it? Why pay attention? Except that unexpected things happen all the time on the roads. If we’re not paying attention, we won’t react in time. So we need to think about driving as an action that requires focus … in case. We remain prepared because things may take place that demand our full and clear-headed experience to avoid tragedy. New drivers need this reminder often. The Humanity Project thinks this message comes through for teens more effectively when delivered by their peers. Our great major sponsor for I Care, State Farm, agrees with us — as does our other I Care sponsor, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital as well as partners such as Florida SADD and Barry University. We are grateful for their support and their commitment to teen driver safety. National Teen Driver Safety Week is a chance for all of us to remember just how important that issue really is.
Posted By Bob Knotts on October 11, 2014
We work very hard at the Humanity Project to keep things constructive, hopeful and inspiring. That’s true in this blog, in our popular social media and in all our programs. In that spirit, then, we honor the memory of a lost friend.
Shelly Solomon was a champion of bullied children, a woman who genuinely cared about the scars caused by school bullying. She worked hard to eliminate bullying in Broward County, Florida and beyond as co-chair of the Anti-bullying Task Force that created an effective school policy — a policy that was imitated around Florida. I knew Shelly well through my work on that task force. I recognized a human being of great intelligence and compassion, someone who believed strongly that the time of bullying must end. It was in large part because of Shelly that I was asked to serve on that task force. Even more importantly, Shelly was a key reason the Humanity Project had the opportunity to create our own anti-bullying program and take it to young school children. That program, called Anti-bullying Through The Arts, now is widely acclaimed well beyond the borders of Broward County or the state of Florida. More than 15,000 elementary school kids have benefited from Anti-bullying Through The Arts to date in Broward County alone, the nation’s sixth largest school district. And elements of the program have been used by schools from California to Maine.
The Humanity Project owes Shelly Solomon a lot. And so it is with real gratitude that we remember her. She passed away two days ago as I write this blog, her death the result of a tragedy that does not require specifics here. We really do believe in the positive at the Humanity Project. This tribute can serve as one among many expressions of affection and appreciation for this remarkable woman. And it can inspire those of us who knew Shelly to work even harder to make this world a more compassionate and welcoming place for every person. Thank you, Shelly.