This surreal incident has taken a few days to digest. The Humanity Project is located in Dania Beach, Florida -- some two miles from Terminal 2 at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, known as FLL. Last Friday, a lone gunman inside that terminal killed five people and injured several others in the world's latest mass shooting. We could hear the sirens and see the helicopters out our office window, shortly after driving past the wild scene following a Humanity Project presentation. To experience mass violence within walking distance of a nonprofit dedicated to fostering respect, diversity and self-value ... yes, it was surreal.
The Humanity Project's work is "helping kids to help kids" of course. We are non-political by law and preference. But we also are members of the Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence because we believe that our children deserve to grow up in a safer, saner world. For this same reason, the Humanity Project on Saturday, January 14, will hold our first Respect Rocks event. We think of this as a "street teach," meaning a gathering that appears on the streets suddenly to make a statement to the public, then disappears. The statement we will make is simple, something we'll deliver through kids to adults: "Give us a better world! And start by treating each other with respect!" We think this message from children may influence adult thinking -- and we're hoping to spread the word about our event and our message through both traditional and social media.
If you're near South Florida this weekend, please join us on Las Olas Blvd. in downtown Fort Lauderdale from 12:30 - 2:30. on the corner of SE 8th Avenue. We plan to hold more Respect Rocks "street teach" events if this one is successful. It's something you can do in your own community. Just contact us for details and assistance. Meanwhile, we'll continue to grapple with the reality of the FLL shooting and continue to promote respect, diversity and self-value through Humanity Project programs and other materials. We think our Respect Rocks is an especially timely way to get across these ideas to the public.