Our Fund

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!

Our Fund: A Cause For Hope

Some hope is much needed at the moment. Many days the world can appear in utter chaos. And here at home our nation struggles with deep political divisions: we witness attacks on LGBTQ rights, we watch authorities separating children from immigrant parents, we hear politicians raising serious doubts about news accounts that are highly accurate. And much more. It's easy to wonder if there are as many good people as in the past, the folks who are truly focused on making our society more compassionate and just. 

There are. That's the good news -- and yes, you can believe us.

A case in point is the amazing LGBTQ community foundation, Our Fund. This fine organization works daily to get adequate funding for important causes that benefit the LGBTQ community. These causes include the Humanity Project. Our Antibullying Through The Arts and Humanity Club programs directly help LGBTQ youth by preventing bullying in and out of school. You see, LGBTQ youth are disproportionately bullied, far more as a group than most other populations of kids. And this emotional and physical violence has an enormous effect on those children later in life, as studies repeatedly have shown. 

Our Fund's great CEO, David Jobin, and his talented team are working with the Humanity Project to help change this situation, improving life for many LGBTQ youth. Indeed Our Fund is among the Humanity Project's major sponsors and just renewed its commitment to our kids through a generous new grant. We are deeply grateful! Because we cooperate so closely with Our Fund we know how dedicated this community foundation is to causes that matter, finding significant financial support for those causes from people who care about a better world. We are, as always, honored to be part of the Our Fund family -- a remarkable group of agencies, staffers, volunteers and philanthropists. We hope you may consider joining all of us. Our Fund is, truly, a cause for hope. 

Respect, Pride and Beyond

The Humanity Project at Westwood Heights Elementary as our Anti-bullying Through The Arts program begins ...

The Humanity Project is tackling the largest, most ambitious campaign in our 12-year history. And we've already begun ... Through at least the full 2017-18 school year, and perhaps longer, our nonprofit will work intensively at Westwood Heights Elementary School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In the very recent past, Westwood Heights was an F-grade school, rising now to a C-grade school through the efforts of their amazing principal, Jodi Washington, and her fine staff. But Mrs. Washington tells us much remains to be done in the school and in the neighborhood. 

Bullying is a major problem, affecting many students including LGBTQ children and others who may stand out as potential targets of hostility. Most of the school's kids struggle with inadequate food when not in school for free meals. Even school supplies such as backpacks are scarce. And the surrounding neighborhood is impoverished, rundown and struggling with crime and other problems. The school itself is sometimes a victim of these crimes. The Humanity Project hopes to change things. 

The Humanity Project delivers 315 backpacks to Westwood Heights Elementary, August 24, 2017 

We began by arranging a major donation of nearly 400 backpacks. More than 300 of these came from a generous contribution by our friends at Costco, others came through Trinity Lutheran Church, the New River Orchestra and members of the Humanity Project Board of Directors and Leadership Council. So far this year, every child who's needed a backpack has received one. Then we presented our acclaimed Anti-bullying Through The Arts program to the entire student population, grades K - 5. It went well. Next week, we begin our Humanity Club at Westwood Heights, teaching several handpicked all-girl student leaders about our Humanity Project core values of respect, diversity and self-worth ... then helping them create and present their own program about these values to the entire school. Every student will be asked to sign a pledge to treat all other students with respect for the full academic year, in and out of school. We'll follow up with contests, games, art projects, a planned Garden of Respect and much more. 

This is where our campaign will far exceed any previous work by the Humanity Project: We plan to hold parent workshops to teach good parenting skills and involve parents in their child's education. We will also approach local community leaders, including gang members, to bring them into our efforts with the goal of making Westwood Heights a focal point of neighborhood pride. We'll need lots of help from everyone at Westwood Heights and our South Florida friends, including additional funding from sponsors. As always, our programs are free to the schools. But we're already fortunate to have partners such as Our Fund, Lucky's Market, New River Orchestra, Children's Services Council of Broward County and others helping us in this sweeping project. As the year goes along, we'll keep you updated on our progress. And of course, we'll continue providing our anti-bullying, Humanity Club and unique I Care teen driver safety programs to the community at the same time. All for free. 

As we said, it's an ambitious campaign. But we are confident that with lots of committed assistance by our friends and colleagues, we can make a significant difference in both this school and in this community. 

Our Fund: Making A Difference

By Bob Knotts, Humanity Project Founder

I wanted to offer a more personal blog to our readers today. It's about bullying, about disrespect as a social issue ... and about an important partner that helps the Humanity Project to diminish these problems. 

Our Fund is an LGBT community foundation based in Wilton Manors, Florida, one of the nation's premier LGBT-friendly cities. This extraordinary organization has just partnered with the Humanity Project for a second consecutive year in our continuing efforts to stem school bullying and to encourage greater respect among both students and adults, whether in school or out in the world. Toward that end, Our Fund has awarded the Humanity Project $10,000 for 2017, part of $106,000 handed out to many fine nonprofits at a special presentation this week. We can't thank Our Fund enough for this assistance. 

At the Our Fund 2017 Spring check presentation, New River Fine Art Gallery

At the Our Fund 2017 Spring check presentation, New River Fine Art Gallery

Because we take this sponsorship money, and this cause, very seriously. At a time when bullying is on the rise again, in a period of history when disrespect is rampant in our society and right-wing ideas are regaining traction among a broad swath of people around the world, effective and innovative anti-bullying programs are more necessary than ever. Bullying, disrespectful behavior of all kinds -- they leave scars on children's psyches that never go away. The LGBT community is disproportionately affected by this problem. So Humanity Project programs do more than simply fight bullying. They also teach respect for all, the importance of diversity and the value of self-worth to young students, helping them to appreciate the humanity of every person.

And this is where a more personal story comes in. As a child, I was bullied in ways that I feel to this day. I was harassed, hit, humiliated ... and harmed emotionally. I felt alone. I felt something was wrong with me. I liked the other kids, so why didn't they all like me? I couldn't understand and, not understanding, I blamed myself. Remember, this was long before cyberbullying, decades before weapons in school became sadly common. It is much worse today. As a result of my childhood trauma, I carry personal experience with the pain of bullying and disrespect by my peers. These memories help to motivate me to fight ever harder, with even more innovative and effective methods, as the Humanity Project works with Our Fund to help build a more respectful society. I know the entire Humanity Project Board of Directors, Leadership Council and our volunteers feel the same way. We are committed to doing all we can to make sure every child feels he or she is valuable. In that work, we couldn't ask for a better partner than our remarkable friends at Our Fund. 

Our Fund (and Our New Friends)

POSTED BY: BOB KNOTTS

This week we very proudly announce a major new sponsor for the Humanity Project. We welcome Our Fund to the distinguished list of community partners that you’ll find on our Sponsor page. Our Fund is a foundation that connects the LGBT community in South Florida. They support organizations that improve the lives for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

Our Fund is a foundation that connects the LGBT community in South Florida. They support organizations that improve the lives of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender: Visit the Our Fund website. That includes a $5,000 grant to the Humanity Project because we have a nationally acclaimed anti-bullying program, a website created by Gay-Straight Alliance students for socially isolated teens … and now the Humanity Club, which works with middle school student leaders to create an environment of respect for every kid on campus, making their school into a place that welcomes diversity.

Our Fund check presentation to new winners - May 2016

Our Fund check presentation to new winners - May 2016

This type of work is nothing different for the Humanity Project, of course. What’s different is the partnership with Our Fund under their dynamic new leader, David Jobin. David, along with Our Fund’s Grants Committee and Board of Directors, recognizes that the LGBT community benefits enormously from allies such as the Humanity Project, which deliver programs and foster goals that make the world much more welcoming for all. Take our Anti-bullying Through The Arts program, for instance. LGBT students are disproportionately targets of bullying, suffering in large numbers. Eight years of our pre-post testing shows that the Humanity Project program effectively teaches bystander students to help stop school bullying – thereby also reducing the bullying of LGBT students.

The Humanity Project is very proud that we have stood alongside the LGBT community throughout our nearly 11-year history, with or without funding. If you look back at our blogs or social media over that period, you’ll find many posts about the importance of respect for people of all sexual preferences and identities. Even our PeacePage’s introductory animated video mentions this, something we created several years ago: Visit the PeacePage. We were working with Gay-Straight Alliance students for more than a year before winning a large State Farm grant to complete our website for teens, “The Humanity Project 4 Kids”: Visit The Humanity Project 4 Kids.  To the Humanity Project, LGBT equality is the great human rights issue of this era in American history. We are honored to be part of it.

And just as much, we’re honored by Our Fund’s belief in our role within that fight. The LGBT community foundation now joins our other sponsors, including major sponsors, State Farm and Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital … along with Children’s Services Council of Broward County; Google; Barry University; Monarch High School; Dr. David Sharaf and Skin and Cancer Associates and the Center for Cosmetic Enhancement; Blue Gallery and First Impression Printing. We thank them all.

And we know each of these amazing, community-minded organizations will welcome Our Fund to the Humanity Project family, as we do today.