Goodstock Rocked The House

Dear Kate with Silver Nightingale at Goodstock

If it had happened 50 years ago, we’d have used different words to describe our recent big Humanity Project music fest and fundraiser. Words such as “groovy” and “far out” would have flowed in the wake of Goodstock. But Goodstock happened in August 2019, not August 1969. So instead we’ll simply call our all-day music extravaganza “awesome.”

Goodstock also was inspiring, an appropriate tribute to Woodstock on the exact 50th anniversary of that remarkable hippie happening in upstate New York.

During our Goodstock festival at Kelly Brothers in Fort Lauderdale, everyone seemed to feel an uplifting vibe right from the opening act at 2 p.m., a blues band called Hat & Matching Suitcase, until the final performers wrapped things up about eight hours later, a classic rock group called Fifth Wheel Trio. In between we were treated to fine performances of jazz, hip-hop, R&B, folk — even a rendition on electrified flute of The Star-Spangled Banner, with distortions reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix.

We can’t adequately describe what happened. But if you watch the short video clip below and glance through some of the many photos, you’ll get a small taste. Goodstock was awesome indeed … and very far out!

The Humanity Project’s own Laura and David, our main Goodstock organizers, Great job!

The Humanity Project’s own Laura and David, our main Goodstock organizers, Great job!

Three of our favorite people taking Goodstock tickets

Wonderful news media coverage of Goodstock

Our founder telling the crowd more about the Humanity Project’s important mission

Swampcats were among the acts that really rocked the house at Kelly Brothers in Fort Lauderdale


Goodstock Is Groovy

Goodstock is gonna be very groovy, dude! Far out!

At the Humanity Project we are reliving the era of peace, love and music that came to its peak during Woodstock. That three-day music festival drew some 400,000 people without an incident of violence, despite no police working the venue.

On the exact 50th anniversary of that amazing event, the Humanity Project is holding a major fundraiser we’re calling “Goodstock.” Heh-heh, get it? If you’re in South Florida, mark your calendar for August 18th. An all-day ticket costs only $24 in advance, the same price as a three-day ticket to Woodstock in August 1969. At the door, festivalgoers will pay $30. All proceeds to benefit the Humanity Project. Buy your advance tickets safely through Eventbrite at this link.

Kelly Brothers Irish Pub in Fort Lauderdale, Florida is donating the venue for free, a popular spot for live music each week. Other major sponsors include State Farm, Our Fund, Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, Thompson Staffing and Yachtees Apparel Company.

Just take a look below at the lineup, a mix of jazz, hip-hop, blues, folk and more — diverse music in the spirit of Woodstock itself. Please come join the fun. Feel the peace, sway to the music … and help a very good cause doing it.

Kids Speak For Themselves

A very brief blog to suggest you spend just two minutes doing something else — watching our new video. It shows young girls offering their honest, unscripted, unprompted opinions of our Humanity Club after being in that Humanity Project program for one full year. Check it out! It’s sure to make you smile … and show you more of what the Humanity Project really does.

Garden Of Respect

Doesn't something called a "Garden of Respect" sound like a wonderful place to be? Well, the Humanity Project has created just such a place with lots of help from the kids at Morrow Elementary School ... and vital funding from our friends at Children's Services Council of Broward County. It's a permanent large garden that reminds children daily about the importance -- and the beauty -- of respectful behavior.

The idea came about through our innovative Humanity Club program, where the Humanity Project works with a core group of all-girl student leaders of color. These girls came up with the original design, including a birdbath. With our generous money from Children's Services Council of Broward County, the Humanity Project bought a huge amount of garden plants, decorative items, mulch and more — including that birdbath of course. And rocks. Hundreds of Morrow Elementary students then painted the rocks on the theme of respect and incorporated the decorative rocks into their Garden of Respect.

Just some of the Respect Rocks painted by the students at Morrow Elementary

Everyone at Morrow is so taken with the garden that the school administrators have expanded the plantings beyond the original concept … and decided to keep adding to the garden in the weeks ahead. Already stretching across much of the front of this school, the Garden of Respect will see additional student-painted rocks and more plants soon.

Take a look for yourself at a few more pics. A lovely enduring example of a partnership among a wonderful school, Children's Services Council of Broward County and the Humanity Project. We couldn’t have done it without everyone’s help.

Our Summer School

Some of our summertime Humanity Club student leaders

This is a very busy summer at the Humanity Project!

For the first time in our nearly 14-year history we’re running three full summer programs, each of them through the Broward County Parks & Recreation Department. On Tuesdays, we’re at Boulevard Gardens Community Center with one group of all-girl student leaders. On Wednesdays, we’re at Lafayette Hart Park with a second group of girls. And on Thursdays, the Humanity Project goes to Sunview Park for an all-boy club that’s working on our I Care program.

So rather than take up a lot more time with words just now, let us show you a few more pics you may enjoy!

Our great summer intern, Noel Murray, with one of the girls

We love working with these enthusiastic, very smart girls

The guys of our I Care Club, helping us teach others about #respectontheroads

An engaged group of young men who care

A Great Partner: Our Fund

It’s no secret. Money is the lifeblood of any nonprofit. We wish it weren’t so — but it is. Without money, the Humanity Project can’t work with kids, parents and other adults to inspire respect for the equal value of individuals and the unique value of humanity. We can’t provide our acclaimed antibullying program or our innovative Humanity Club. Our Fund understands this — and recently awarded the Humanity Project and 20 other fine nonprofits generous funding to continue our work.

We are deeply grateful to everyone at Our Fund, including the Board of Directors, the Grant Committee, and the great staff that includes Mark Blaylock and Obed Caballero. But we especially must thank Our Fund’s amazing CEO, David Jobin, who is an admired friend among the South Florida LGBTQ community and beyond. David works tirelessly to make this the most livable place in the United States for the LGBTQ population … and thereby, more enjoyable, more diverse and yes more livable for everyone. Our Fund is the third largest LGBTQ foundation in the country and we thank them for this important recent $10,000 in funding for the Humanity Project’s work.

So let us finish up this online acknowledgement and thank you by showing you something we believe you’ll like. This is a new 2-minute video we recently uploaded to the Humanity Project YouTube channel. It shows unscripted honest thoughts about our Humanity Club by a few of the girls who took part in the program at Morrow Elementary School in North Lauderdale, Florida from September 2018 through June 2019. These girls are future leaders who learned through the Humanity Club about the importance of respect for every human being, regardless of who that person loves, how they dress or anything else. They in turn helped their entire school understand these same lessons … and now will take their knowledge with them to spread among their peers in future years. This is how a community achieves equality. It should make you smile. And should make you appreciate the support of Our Fund all the more. That’s certainly our reaction here at the Humanity Project.

Thank you, Our Fund!! Here’s that video: Watch the new Humanity Project YouTube video!

Goodstock

You know about Woodstock, of course. Let us introduce you to Goodstock!

Exactly 50 years after the original three-day celebration of peace, love and music in the New York State countryside, the Humanity Project will hold our own festival in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It’s also a celebration of peace, love, music — and respect for every human being as well as humanity itself. We’re calling it, “Goodstock.” Or to be precise, “The Humanity Project Presents Goodstock.” The event begins at 2 p.m. on Sunday, August 18, serving as an important fundraiser for our acclaimed free programs. If you’ll be in South Florida then, or can make your way here, please join us!

We’ve already got many bands lined up, offering a diverse assortment of musical styles. With more acts coming on board all the time. The cost will be $24 in advance, which is the same price charged for a three-day ticket to the original Woodstock festival in August 1969. We’ll be setting up a page on Eventbrite soon for you to grab your Goodstock tickets. At the door, guests will pay $30. But whether you buy in advance or day-of, you’ll also get a free drink at the delightful Kelly Brothers Irish Pub, which hosts live music regularly on their stage. They are putting on Goodstock at no charge … and we’re deeply appreciative. (Visit the Kelly Brothers website.) Plus, you’ll be able to buy a t-shirt with our cool Goodstock logo, which you see above.

We anticipate a big turnout, with lots of excellent music and warm relaxed fellowship. As one of our Humanity Project organizers for Goodstock wrote in a social media post, “This is going to be epic!” Thanks, David (and Laura, who sits on our Board of Directors). We’re pretty sure you’re right.

Or maybe we should just say, “Right on!”

Thank You, Friends (& Voters)

We won! The Humanity Project was among three organizations chosen in an online voting contest held by Lucky’s Market. We’re grateful to them — and to you.

This means that starting today anyone who shops at the Lucky’s Market in Plantation, Florida can help our cause, easily and at no extra expense to the shopper. Just bring in your own reusable grocery bags. That’s it. Lucky’s will give you a dime to deposit in our name, ten cents that will be matched by Lucky’s. All the donations by shoppers and Lucky’s for the next three months will then be given to the Humanity Project to support our programs. We can really use these funds … and indeed we will use them wisely and very carefully.

Please consider helping us if you’re located in South Florida. Oh yes, and come to see us on June 29th at the same store between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., when the Humanity Project and the other two organizations will be there to meet you in person.

This wonderful Lucky’s Market program is called Bags for Change. It’s another example of the community spirit that’s an important part of the Lucky’s business model. And it’s just the latest way in which this fine company is there to help us help more kids. Thank you, Lucky’s Market!

Teaching Young Hearts Through The Arts

Morrow Elementary students creating posters about respect-for-all

At Morrow Elementary School, in North Lauderdale, Florida, the Humanity Project is teaching every student what respect for others really means. And the means to that meaning, our tool for teaching, is the arts.

That’s always the key to our acclaimed Humanity Project programs — teaching with play, teaching through the arts. As you see in the collage photo above, our kids this week and last week took part in drawing their own posters focused on respect for every person. Grades K - 5 were involved, from very young children to those just about ready for middle school. That art project is only one of many efforts the Humanity Project is heading up this entire school year at Morrow, even as we visit other schools with our Antibullying Through The Arts program. And continue promoting our I Care program as well, of course.

In the forefront of our work at Morrow is the Humanity Club, nine all-girl student leaders who have been part of our afterschool workshops throughout the school year. These fun but informative sessions taught the girls about respect-for-all, diversity and self-worth. Now our young leaders are helping us bring those ideas to their peers through the art project, through a three-week schoolwide respect contest (first prize: an iPad!) and finally through the construction of a Garden of Respect. (Funding for that garden was provided to the Humanity Project generously by Children’s Services Council of Broward County.)

The Humanity Project believes the best way to reach young hearts, and teach lessons that stick, is through the arts. The results over the nearly 14-year life of our nonprofit suggest that it’s a very good approach indeed.

"Beyond Me" - Finding Love At Humanity's Core

A Personal Blog

by Bob Knotts, Founder of the Humanity Project

This is highly unusual, to say the least. The Humanity Project does not exist to promote the work of me or any other individual. It exists to help others, especially to instill our three core values of respect for the equal value of every individual along with an appreciation of diversity and the need for self-worth. But we’re making an exception here — for a good reason. My new book deals directly with those very topics and others that relate to the Humanity Project’s work as well as my reasons for founding this nonprofit in the first place.

So we hope you may want to read my 25th and latest book: “Beyond Me: Dissecting Ego To Find The Innate Love At Humanity’s Core (A New Psychology As Philosophy).” Here’s a link to the Amazon book page offering “Beyond Me”: Visit the Amazon page for “Beyond Me.”

Let me give you a small sample of this highly unconventional and lengthy book. This is a short section from Chapter 1:

“ … Over the years I noticed that my self-doubts caused me many many many problems in the world. You will read about some of those too. Unhealthy relationships, destructive reactions, irrational judgments that bubbled up from my relentless confusions about Bob, the who and the what of me. I also observed that my problems frequently twisted themselves into problems for other people, from family to friends to colleagues to strangers. Things I said or didn’t say to them, things I did or didn’t do. My obsession with me created most of the damage that I inflicted upon both myself and my fellow human beings. The older I got, the clearer this became to me.

And over the years I noticed that you suffered precisely the same misery, whoever you were. The details didn’t matter much. As best I could surmise after travels on six continents, every other you on the planet also suffered from it. In this way you each were pretty much like me. Meaning it was all ‘me’ nearly all the time for everyone of us. The daily pursuit of immediate self-interest, the anxieties and fears and angers that emerged from our individual doubts, the desperation for outside appreciation, the harm to ourselves and others when the appreciation didn’t come. Every individual at the center of their personal universe.

Oh yes, I concluded, this is human nature. Clearly just the way we are.

Except that it isn’t.”

In a nutshell, this is the essence of “Beyond Me.” Over the course of 600 pages, the book argues that our destructive self-centered ways, our egocentrism, isn’t natural but rather learned — and can be unlearned. And untaught to our children. Instead, “Beyond Me” says, there is an innate core of love in human beings … but not the kind of love most people think about when they hear that word. The book explains in empirically based detail the what, why and how of all this. If you read it, you’ll see what I mean.

You can find another sample to read at this link, something a bit longer: Read the opening pages of “Beyond Me.”

Ultimately, “Beyond Me” is an enormously hopeful view of our humanity, offering new perspectives and new solutions to many of our problems. And much like the Humanity Project itself, the book stresses that each individual is equally valuable — and the human species is uniquely significant. By the time you read the whole book, I feel sure, you are likely to have a different, more optimistic view of yourself, others and our world.

Parents Saving Teens

The daughter? Or the mother? Parents greatly influence their teenager’s driving habits.

A brief post today. Just long enough to tell you about a new podcast you’ll want to hear, especially if you are the parent of a teenage driver. Click here to listen.

Like this blog, it’s called, “Parents Saving Teens” and features insightful discussion from two experts on safe teen driving: Jose Soto from State Farm and Melissa Branca from Florida SADD. The podcast’s focus is on parenting — ways that parents can instill in their young motorists a genuine respect for the dangers posed to their lives and the lives of other people on the roads. Research shows parental driving habits are the largest influence on the driving behavior of teens, who die from auto crashes far more than from any other cause in the United States.

We hope that you’ll take the time to listen carefully to our discussion — and that you’ll pass along the link to friends and family who may benefit as well.

Great Company, Great Neighbors

It's rare to find a major corporation that takes seriously the idea of aiding local communities. Especially a Fortune 500 company that's so well-known it's a household name. But after working with State Farm year in and year out since 2008, we can assure you: This company takes community improvement very seriously indeed. And State Farm invests much money, many volunteers and lots of other resources to make it happen.

We are extremely proud to announce that State Farm has once again renewed its generous sponsorship of the Humanity Project. This 2019 funding will allow us to teach many more teens and parents that respect on the roads means attentive driving. And to show these folks why and how they should practice respectful attentive driving to make everyone safer on the highways.

Our newest resource is “The Humanity Project 4 Parents” — a website with a difference. It’s a 20-minute online workshop that really is a workshop, not just a collection of loosely related web pages. You’ll find it here: Visit www.thp4parents.com … At thp4parents.com, we’ll walk you through a witty interactive step-by-step experience in distracted driving to show why attention to the road is so important when behind the wheel. And we explain to parents why their driving behavior is the biggest influence on the driving habits of their teens. We hope you’ll check it out.

Over the next year, the Humanity Project and State Farm will bring this new online resource to many families. We’ll also continue to use our other safe driving resources from the seven-year-old I Care program, including our books for teens and parents. (You can download those books for free on our website. Click here to visit our teen driver safety page.) Working together with State Farm, the Humanity Project takes a focus on respectful behavior to an arena where respectful behavior often seems in short supply — on our highways. Together, as a team, our organizations will work to inspire respect on the roads in order to reduce crashes, injuries and deaths. Thank you, State Farm! We couldn’t do this without you.