Our one-year-old Humanity Club now has reached more than 600 middle school students at Gulfstream Academy in Hallandale Beach, Florida, teaching a peer-to-peer message of respect, diversity and self-worth. Handpicked student leaders have worked hard for the past 12 months to understand these core Humanity Project values at a deep level. Together with our adult creative team, they have assembled an original and powerful program called "Respect Rocks." (And yes, we've taken that same name for our new street campaign, with kids asking adults to treat each other with respect. The Respect Rocks street campaign is a real world extension of the school program.)
Look at those kids listening to one of our Humanity Club leaders -- all girl leaders, by the way. We believe this strengthens their message by promoting gender equality, showing young people that females can make powerful leaders. As a result of these sessions with the 6th, 7th and 8th graders at Gulfstream Academy, 346 students signed pledges to treat every Gulfstream student with respect, in and out of school. By doing this, they joined the Humanity Club at Gulfstream ... and earned a cool "Respect Rocks!" bracelet of their own.
In future weeks, we'll reinforce this message of respect, diversity and self-worth through classroom projects, contests and more. We also plan to bring the program to new schools starting in the fall. Meanwhile, our Respect Rocks street campaign is gathering steam too. It's part of the Humanity Project's work to build a society of greater respect for everyone, a place that celebrates diversity and encourages self-worth. We think our Humanity Club kids have taken an important step in that direction.