The Humanity Project was proud to be part of an event this weekend here in South Florida, where our national nonprofit organization is based. We helped to plan and then participated in the big “Above the Influence” march and rally in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Despite some heavy rain at times, more than 2,000 students and adults turned out on May 18 to show their support for smart, healthy decisionmaking by youths. Above the Influence means above bullying, above substance abuse … and more.
The march harkened back in some ways to our own Humanity Project “Thousand Youth March for Humanity,” the nation’s first mass children’s march against bullying. That event was held in November 2008, well before the bullying issue became topical across the United States and beyond. We were lucky enough to have had perfect cloudless weather for our march. Above the Influence saw some heavy tropical rain at times … but you know what? That turned out to be an inspiring opportunity for the student participants. As they walked in a cold, pelting downpour, some of these kids organized impromptu chants that showed their spirit would not be dampened by something as trivial as the weather. I found their enthusiasm was contagious — and I’ll always remember these kids as an example to the rest of us about how to turn a negative into a positive. They were terrific. Above the Influence was spearheaded by Broward County Public Schools, the 6th largest district in the country, as well as by the local United Way. Rain or not, it was memorable in many ways. The Humanity Project was glad to lend our support.