Vision: To create world-wide acceptance of a science-based philosophy that teaches how cooperation and social connection can foster individual development and grassroots community improvement, with programs, writings and other materials available to all children and adults.
How We Do This: Through practical, hands-on applications of our science-based philosophy of “shared value,” an original concept created by the Humanity Project’s founder. These applications include our acclaimed Anti-bullying Through The Arts program for elementary school children.
What Is “Shared Value”? As children, we are taught at an early age about the importance of sharing. We learn that sharing doesn’t mean giving it all away but instead permits us to keep some for ourselves. When a girl shares a candy bar, she eats a portion and gives the rest to her brother. That’s what sharing is all about: mutual benefit. And it’s exactly what shared value has in mind too.
Our ideas don’t involve religious or New Age approaches — and they don’t conflict with any mainstream religious beliefs. They are based on psychological realities any of us can recognize in our own lives. Shared value is a practical, empirical system that teaches us to help others and help ourselves at the same time. These are not conflicting goals — it’s possible to accomplish both things through the very same action. And it’s also possible to do this quite consistently during normal everyday life. That’s the underlying lesson, for example, when we teach bystander students why bullying hurts them too and how they can help stop it. Shared value offers individuals a sensible win-win perspective that benefits everyone involved. We don’t think you’ll find anything just like shared value anywhere else.
Shared value’s philosophy is based on some deeper realities of the mind. Each of us searches for individual importance in some way, for self-value in a world that seems to constantly tell us we have little value. As the great psychologist and philosopher William James said, “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” Sigmund Freud called this the “desire to be great.” But this craving also creates conflict within us individually and among us as individuals and social groups. Shared value shows how we can better manage this “craving to be appreciated” by focusing our efforts throughout the day not on “me” alone but rather on “us.” A detailed philosophical paper carefully explains this concept and all of our programs apply the idea in practical ways. We firmly believe that any worthwhile philosophy must be helpful to real everyday people in the real everyday world. Helping ourselves, helping humanity. That’s the Humanity Project.
Read more about shared value, “What Can Shared Value Do For Me?”: http://thehumanityproject.com/programs/sharedvalue
- We are an IRS-recognized 501c3 nonprofit, meaning all contributions are tax-deductible. Every dollar raised goes for development and implementation of our programs, original writings and other materials as well as for free information about our ideas and work.
- We pay no administrative costs of any kind.
- We are a registered 501(c)3, founded in 2005 by Robert Spencer Knotts.
- Knotts is an accomplished author of 24 books for children and adults as well as five plays and many other writings. His biography appears in the respected Marquis reference books, “Who’s Who In America” and “Who’s Who In The World.” (www.rsknotts.com)
- We’ve posted more than 90 original free podcasts about our mission and work on our website, iTunes and other providers.
- Each podcast offers new original music appropriate to the program’s topic.
- Top sponsors include State Farm, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, Children’s Services Council of Broward County and Google, among others. Top community partner is Broward Sheriff’s Office.
- Our work has been featured in Time For Kids, Time magazine’s publication for children, in U.S., Japan and Korea editions.
- Founded in November 2005 and incorporated as a Florida nonprofit group to foster grassroots social improvement through programs and writings focused on individual growth.
- Awarded 501(c)3 IRS tax-exempt status as an educational/literary organization in September 2006.
- Created a website in 2006 with innovative interactive writings along with original blogs, podcasts and other information available for free.
- In 2006 – 2008, refined the mission, website and programs to reflect new scientific research into positive psychology suggesting that helping others contributes to personal growth.
- Joined Florida’s fledgling anti-bullying movement in early 2008 to promote in schools the idea that helping others is a powerful tool to help ourselves.
- Created an entirely original anti-bullying program in Spring 2008 aimed at elementary school bystander students. The program was approved by a panel of psychologists, educators and prevention specialists for use in the Broward County Public Schools, the nation’s fifth largest school district.
- In Spring 2008, proposed organizing and leading a large-scale anti-bullying march in downtown Fort Lauderdale as a kickoff to the Broward schools’ new anti-bullying policies.
- On November 16, 2008, led the “Thousand Youth March for Humanity.” The event was a major success that drew more than 1,300 K-12 students along with more than 800 adults – the first mass children’s march against bullying held in the United States.
- Presented first anti-bullying programs in early 2009. Pre/post testing showed dramatic improvement in student comprehension of basic anti-bullying concepts.
- In 2009 – 2010, created and taught 3½-hour workshops at the request of Children’s Services Council of Broward County to help other nonprofit groups attract teens to their afterschool programs.
- Created and taught writing program in Summer 2010 for at-risk middle school students. Two student teams wrote anti-bullying stories, rap poems and other materials for elementary school students. These writings now are given for free to all teachers in every school visited by the anti-bullying program. They also are being used in schools from California to Vermont, Montana to Pennsylvania.
- In 2010, the mission, programs and other materials continued to evolve to better serve the goal of improving society through grassroots individual change.
- Humanity Project founder created the original philosophy of shared value in 2010 as the group’s formal guiding principle – a practical win-win system that is rooted in empirical realities anyone can recognize in their own lives.
- In 2012, the Humanity Project created an innovative teen driver safety program called “I Care!” and a cutting-edge website for socially isolated middle school students, including many in the LGBT community.