Category Archives: Proud Boys

Michale Graves says he is a "proud western chauvinist" and a "proud boy" – Punknews.org

Posted: July 21, 2020 at 12:52 pm

In the past, Michale Graves, singer for the '90s version of The Misfits, has made it clear that he is both a punk and a conservative. To that end, he even appeared on the Daily Show and spoke about his views. It appears that Graves is now moving farther to the right. Yesterday, on his twitter account, Graves stated (in all caps): "I AM A PROUD WESTERN CHAUVINIST AND I REFUSE TO APOLOGIZE FOR BUILDING THE MODERN WORLD." Included in the post was an image of Graves flashing the "OK" sign, which, in recent years, has come to be a symbol of various far right groups. Graves then followed the statement with a series of hashtags that appeared to assert that Graves is a "proud boy" and supports Trump as well as Inforwars.

In earlier posts, Graves appeared to show support for Mel Gibson and Alex Jones; he also posted a brief statement that appeared to talk about mass killings by Stalin while including a image of the Black Lives Matter movement. As you probably know, Graves left the Misfits in 2000 and has not been connected with the band since.

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‘The Largest Terror Threat Facing the US’ – KNPR

Posted: at 12:52 pm

"Its undeniable that right-wing extremists are the largest terror threat facing the United States," said Howard Graves, a senior research analyst at the Southern Poverty Law Center.

As of the mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, in 2019, Graves said, right-wing extremists had killed more people on U.S. soil since 1911 than any other ideologicalcohort.

The question of right-wing extremism and its ties to Nevada has come up in the wake ofthe arrest of threeClark County menalleged subscribers of the boogaloo ideology who now face federal charges of plotting to firebomba Black Lives Matter protest in Las Vegas.

Graves told KNPR's State of Nevada the case mirrors onein Oakland, California where two men were also arrested for plotting to use a protest as cover for their own plans.

That is a similar dynamic to what we saw unfolding in Las Vegas where these individuals planned to hijack peaceful protests against police brutality and actually use them to bring about the larger ambition of the boogaloo movement, he said.

The larger boogaloo movement centers around the idea that not only is another civil war imminent but patriots should do what they can to bring it about, Graves said.

Leah Sottile is a freelance reporter, who has been covering extremism - especially in the West - for a number of years.

"The boogaloo is something a lot of people are still learning about," she said.

Sottile has read the grand jury transcript from the case of the Las Vegas men charged in the plot, identified asStephen T. Parshall, Andrew Lynam, and William L. Loomis.

She said their exact plan isn't completely outlined in court documents, but, according to an FBI informant, they wanted to take an action that would speed up their revolution.

According to Sottile, boogaloo believers were drawn to reopen rallies held in the spring. She said it gave them a chance to connect offline and begin talking about how to advance their plans.

When the anti-police brutalityprotests started at the end of May, the extremists saw another chance.

And at the core of the boogaloo ideology is really an anti-law enforcement perspective, she said.

Lynam told the informant they were anarcho-capitalist, which is the idea of eliminating centralized governmentsin favor ofindividual ownership,free markets and private property.

Sottile said she believes the men wanted to cause a disturbance big enough to start a riot, but that most of the protesters on the streets of Las Vegas weren't interested.

Samantha Kutner is an independent researcher and a fellow with the Khalifa Ihler Institute.

She has been studying another right-wing extremist group known as the Proud Boys. The group has asimilar ideology to the boogaloo. She agreed that groups like these use the Black Lives Matter protests with one thing in mind - raising awareness of their own causes.

It is important to understand that racist, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, ethno-nationalists, civic nationalists they dont start caring about Black lives overnight. They see a conflict to exploit so they can surf the Kali Yuga, more or less, she said.

The Kali Yuga is aHindi phrasefor the final dark stage of the world in which it collapses into the apocalypse and is reborn. Some right-wing groups use the phrasesurf the Kali Yuga as a way to refer to the predicted end of the world.

Kutner noted that the Proud Boys and other right-wing groups have lost strength since the Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville in 2017 and the New York Ten incident in 2018, which sent two Proud Boy members to jail for an attack on left-wing protesters.

She said they are now using the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests to ramp up recruiting.

Theyre really attempting to increase visibility and thats kind of the connection between how they adopt the boogaloo aesthetic," she said of the Proud Boys,"It is less about how they identify, because their views on Black Lives Matter differ from many self-identified boogaloo boys, but they will adopt the boogaloo aesthetic if it helps them maximize their visibility.

The Proud Boys and boogalooare not, of course, the first anti-federal governmentextremists to emerge from Nevada. That movement goes back to the 1970s and the sagebrush rebellion, which bred current protesters such as theBundysofBunkerville.

Sottile thinks much of the anti-government sentiment in Nevada, and around the West, is tied in some ways to the amount of land the federal government manages.

Sometimes that feels like theyve got their hands in the pockets of the people who are trying to live off the land or even just be a little bit further away from the establishment and the government, she said.

She also points to the alleged safety of nuclear testing in Nevada during the 50s and 60s as a deception that fosteredgeneral distrust of the government.

While it seems as if there are more extremist groups now than in years past, Graves said there is actually an ebb and flow to extremism. He said the sagebrush rebellion cooled off when Ronald Reagan, who seemed to be an ally to the cause, was elected. The same thing happened in the late 90s and early 2000s when militia groups dissipatedwhen George W. Bush was elected.

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Extremist Proud Boys have been trying to ally themselves with Philadelphia police and showed up at a local FOP event: report – AlterNet

Posted: at 12:52 pm

Philadelphia is a Democrat-dominated city with a decidedly left-of-center district attorney (Larry Krasner, an ally of Sen. Bernie Sanders) and Black female police commissioner (former Portland, Oregon Police Chief Danielle Outlaw) who was quick to speak out about the death of George Floyd and stress that she encouraged nonviolent protests. But its also the city where the infamous Frank Rizzo, who was often accused of police overreach, once served as police commissioner and later, mayor. The far right doesnt have a lot of influence in Philly, yet in a July 16 article for the Daily Beast, reporter Kelly Weill discusses the efforts of extremist Proud Boys to ally themselves with Philly police officers.

When the president of Philadelphias police union disavowed a far-right group whose members were photographed at a union party this weekend, Weill reports, it was at least the third time in recent weeks that local cops had been accused of canoodling with violent groups on the fringe. Members of the Proud Boys, an ultra-nationalist group that frequently mingles with white supremacists, were hard to miss when they showed up for a party at the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police headquarters Thursday night, (July 9).

Weill notes that according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, around ten members of the Proud Boys showed up at that FOP event and chanted all lives matters at protesters. Philadelphia police union president John McNesby, however, spoke out against the extremist group.

In an official statement, McNesby wrote, We have recently been informed that members of the Proud Boys were present outside the FOP headquarters this week following a visit by the vice president (Mike Pence). If we were aware of their presence, we would have immediately escorted them off our property. At no time were these individuals allowed inside of our building. Philadelphia police officers, FOP leadership and members condemn their hateful and discriminatory speech in any form.

But Weill reports that even the Proud Boys called elements of McNesbys statement into question.

According to Weill, In a public chat channel, the group posted a picture of what appeared to be the bar inside the FOP headquarters. On Twitter, the group claimed to have spent $1000 at the headquarters that night.

A Philly police officer who spoke on condition of anonymity was highly critical of the Proud Boys, telling the Beast, Nobody wants them there. I sure as hell dont want them there. Its weird. Who wants them there? Who wants their support?

Steven Windisch, an assistant professor who focuses on criminal justice at Phillys Temple University, told the Beast that the Proud Boys efforts to ally themselves with police officers serve two purposes. One, its a form of recruitment lets get into these institutions, get buddy-buddy with them, and maybe we can recruit them. Two, its also a product of their identity. The Proud Boys, in particular, see themselves as a kind of security force for Republican elites. Theres an unofficial brotherhood that I think they project onto law enforcement that theyre one and the same, fighting the same battle.

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Workplace Inclusion Study Highlights Need for Change – Oregon Business

Posted: at 12:52 pm

Last year Partners in Diversity, an organization dedicated to attracting and retaining diverse talent, commissioned the Workforce Diversity Retention Project, a scientific study on the experiences and outcomes of people of color at Oregon companies.

The study, conducted by Martinez Organizational Consulting, surveyed nearly 300 professionals of color from across the state, 45% of whom held management positions. It also conducted 30 in-depth qualitative interviews.

While the study was conducted before the national protests over the death of George Floyd on May 25, the report found widespread racial prejudice in the workplace, a lack of broad diversity and a culture of isolation that punishes employees of color who spoke up to management.

RELATED STORY: Black Lives Matter: Improving Racial Justice In the Workplace

Below are five takeaways from the study:

1. Most employees of color face discrimination at work

Nearly three in four respondents (74%) reported facing discrimination at their place of work, and only 27% of employees said they felt satisfied with their job.

Coming from the South, my friends and family thought I was escaping much of the racism we experienced, said one respondent. We now know that racism, xenophobia, and prejudice all live here too, but in less overt forms. White liberals often are at this intersection in my experience.

These experiences ranged from social exclusion and unintentionally hurtful comments to overt racist remarks from co-workers.

One respondent reported how they were accosted by a fellow employee who was an outspoken member of the Proud Boys, a far-right, neofacist organization. After the incident, managers did not respond with disciplinary action.

Only 17% of respondents said they felt supported by their organizations upper level of management. Partners in Diversity says that having management and human resource divisions well-versed in diversity, equity and inclusion practices can help to mitigate these situations.

2. Companies employ few people of color

Only 12% of respondents reported their workplace was diverse. Most employees of color (70%) said they experience tokenism, in which they are the sole spokesperson for their ethnic group at their organization.

Curtis Robinhold, executive director of the Port of Portland,recommended in an online panel about the findings of the study that managers organize affinity groups for employees of color to help them find community within the organization.

Building community for employees of color is crucial to solving issues of tokenism. Mari Watanabe, executive director of Partners in Diversity, says that events in which employees of color can meet and network with one another, such at her organizations annual Say Hey events, can help connect employees facing similar situations.

Related Story: Why Business Owners of Color Are More Impacted By Covid-19.

3. Employees who speak up face retaliation

While employers are legally unable to punish employees for speaking out about discrimination, respondents who brought up racist incidents experienced retailation of a different kind: respondents reported co-workers kept their distance after such incidents.

Some respondents referred to the attitudes of white co-workers as Portland nice, meaning that while a co-worker might present a veneer of being liberal and accepting, when conflict around race arose, they would punish the employee of color who spoke up by not speaking to them or by being brief and curt instead of warm and friendly.

This is a very passive-aggressive place, said one respondent.

Humans naturally punish each other with isolation, says Larry Martinez, lead researcher of the study. If we do something bad, we get sent to jail to be isolated. If we do something bad in jail, we get sent to solitary confinement.

Partners in Diversity recommends employers put anti-retaliation policies in place, and that managers should offer praise and public thanks to employees who make their grievances known.

4. Companies pay lip service to inclusion practices

While many respondents reported their companies attempt to earn brownie points by holding diversity and inclusion events, they did little to improve the employee experience. Respondents reported their views and opinions were heard and politely received, but lacked implementation.

Culture is more important than strategy, said Patrick Criteser, president and CEO ofTillamook County Creamery Association. Unless inclusion practices are woven into a companys DNA and mission statement, one-off events do not have a positive effect.

5. Employees of color cannot solve these issues on their own

White employees and white managers play a large role in ending racist and discriminatory practices in the workplace. Since there is little employers can do to stop employees from shunning one another, Jeremy Barnicle, executive director of Ecotrust, says that white employees understanding of racial prejudice is vital.

We now have antiracism learning groups where white folks can get together and read up on the topic, he says. Additionally, Ecotrust employees have signed shared agreements in which employees commit to honoring anti-racist practices.

Understanding Oregons racist past is essential in understanding the plight of employees of color, he says.

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Simply Healthcare Foundation Directs More Than $125000 to Support Boys & Girls Clubs throughout Florida during the COVID-19 Pandemic – Business…

Posted: at 12:52 pm

MIAMI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Simply Healthcare Foundation is directing more than $125,000 to several Boys & Girls Clubs across Florida to address needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding will support initiatives such as transportation, healthy eating and access to healthy food options, the Triple Play program and summer childcare services.

The Simply Healthcare Foundation is a philanthropic arm of the Anthem Foundation, which has committed to provide more than $50 million to support COVID-19 relief efforts across the country.

There is an unprecedented need for support in our local communities and Simply Healthcare is committed to supporting local organizations as we all grapple with the challenges brought on by this pandemic, said Holly Prince, Simply Healthcare Medicaid Plan President. To help address the needs of Floridians, we are proud to be working with the Boys & Girls Clubs to support initiatives that will have a direct, positive impact on the health and well-being of people and communities that have been adversely impacted by the pandemic.

Simply Healthcare Foundations $125,000 contribution will support nine Boys & Girls Clubs as they work to urgently address specific COVID-19 relief efforts. The funds will support Triple Play, virtual learning efforts, programs to promote healthy eating and fitness and food distribution efforts to local communities. The funding will support the Boys & Girls Clubs in Hernando, Polk, Citrus, Broward and Manatee Counties, as well as the Tampa Bay, Northeast Florida, Suncoast and Miami-Dade clubs.

The Boys & Girls Clubs are working tirelessly to support our communities during the pandemic, said Alex Rodriguez-Roig, President of Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade. We are grateful to Simply Healthcare Foundation for their generous grant for the Project Learn program to support great futures. With their support, Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade can continue to offer in-person and virtual summer programs to our area youth in a safe and structured environment. These positive programs are very important to keeping our youth members engaged during this critical time.

In 2020, the Simply Healthcare Foundation has contributed more than $600,000 to support COVID-19 relief efforts across Florida to address food insecurity, basic human services, personal protective equipment and medical supplies, technology and social and emotional wellness.

ABOUT SIMPLY HEALTHCARE FOUNDATION

Simply Healthcare Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Anthem, Inc. Together, with local, regional and national organizations, Simply Healthcare Foundation works to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that Anthem and its affiliated health plans serve. Simply Healthcare Foundation funding is focused on strategic initiatives working to address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative with six areas of focus: Healthy Heart, Cancer Prevention, Healthy Maternal Practices, Type 2 Diabetes Prevention, Healthy Active Lifestyles and Mental Health. These disease states and medical conditions include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation.

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‘They’re really good men’: Victoria Beckham is proud of her sons – FOX 11 and FOX 41

Posted: at 12:52 pm

Victoria Beckham feels really proud of her sons.

The 46-year-old designer has Brooklyn, 21, Romeo, 17, and Cruz, 15, with her husband David Beckham with whom she also has nine-year-old daughter Harper and has said she couldnt be happier with the way her sons are growing up, as theyre turning out to be really good men.

She said: I feel really proud of our boys because they are turning out to be really good men. They work hard and theyre kind, and being kind is key now. I think everybody should be kind there are so many horrible things going on in the world. With regards to the boys they always have to have respect for themselves, for others, for girls. Our boys have always had the utmost respect for everyone. They have always been like that.

And for the former Spice Girls star, motherhood is her greatest achievement.

She added during an interview with photographer Alexi Lubimorski for his YouTube series: Being a mum is the most important job in the world. I love what I do professionally and I take it very seriously but there is nothing more serious than having children. Its your responsibility to bring up really good, good people so I take that responsibility seriously. I try to be the best mum, I try to be the best wife, and I try and be the best professional.

Victoria has been staying at home with her family amid the coronavirus pandemic, and recently said her time in lockdown has been precious.

She explained: While working from home, weve been on walks every day as a family. How often would we all go on a walk together normally? Usually theres a conference call or a work meeting or someone is travelling abroad. These times are precious.

Yesterday, David and I were walking ahead of Cruz and Harper. We could hear them laughing so loudly and we just turned to each other and said, How lovely is that to hear and to see? The fact that they were just laughing and talking and having fun together was such a special moment. I feel like Ive become quite philosophical through all of this, noticing these moments and how incredible Mother Nature is. Not only do we have a responsibility to be kind to ourselves and one another, but also the environment and the planet.

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From Portland to Palestine to the Southern Cone: The Reappearance of the Disappeared – Palestine Chronicle

Posted: at 12:52 pm

Federal agents in Portland, Oregon. (Photo: via Social Media)

By Benay Blend

What was old has become new again, wrote local activist Lee Einer in a Facebook post this morning. Einer is referring to Donald Trumps use of federal law enforcement officers, dressed in camouflage but with no identification, riding in unmarked cars, rounding up Black Lives Matter protesters in Portland, Oregon. Since July 14th multiple videos have documented officers whisking people off in cars with no explanation as to why they are being detained.

Reporting for The Nation, Jeet Heer contends that these actions are illegal and unconstitutional. Nevertheless, it is likely that they are operating under the aegis of Barack Obamas approval of the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act which permits the detention of Americans if suspected of being terrorists.

Portland seems to be the epicenter of attention. This is partly because it is home to a large contingent of right-wing groups like the Proud Boys as well as left-wing activists grouped under the Antifa (anti-Fascist) label. Trump has recently announced that he plans to designate the latter a terrorist organization, a move that Sahar Aziz says might allow the President to quash any group that he feels opposes him in the days leading up to the ballot.

There is every indication that Trump will continue escalating tension under the guise of law and order until the November election. Nevertheless, as All African Peoples Revolutionary Party (AAPRP) organizer Onyesonwu Chatoyer notes, Portland is not the test case. Instead, she claims, that distinction goes to Homan Square in Chicago and the past 10+ years of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). Looking back, people have been snatched off of city streets and disappeared in the U.S. for years.

Journalist Myles Hoenig places the origins even earlier. Obama set the stage for pinocheting in Portland when he crushed Occupy, Hoenig observed, referring here to Augusto Pinochet, the U.S. backed dictator of Chile. After a 1973 military coup that toppled the duly elected government of Salvador Allende, Pinochet was responsible for the disappearance and/or execution of more than 3200 people, along with thousands more who were detained, tortured, or exiled.

By expanding the breadth of this article beyond the United States, as Chatoyer suggests to do, it is possible to draw attention to Israels role in snatching and disappearing people all over the world, but in particular the Southern Cone, Palestine, and now in the United States.

In the article Israels Sordid History of Supporting Dictatorships, Eitay Mack traces both the Rabin and Begin governments involvement with military juntas in Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, and Guatemala. During the years that dictatorships were in power (1970s-1980s), the Israelis sold weapons and offered military training to these governments that committed crimes against humanity, disappeared thousands, and tortured tens of thousands. All was done in the name of law and order, much like Trumps regime today.

In Palestine, children who are kidnapped by Israeli soldiers are held in indefinite detention in the hopes of pressuring their parents into silence. According to Salwa Sadek, each year approximately 500-700 Palestinian children, some as young as 12, are detained by this system. Mistreatment of Palestinian children as consequences for rock-throwing, Sadek says, is becoming increasingly normalized, as Israel tightens its hold on the Occupation.

What ties all of these examples together are the tentacles that Israel spreads throughout the world. By selling arms, surveillance and police training to various countries, the regime contributes to the militarization of police in many countries.

Thanks to the Jewish Voice for Peace campaign Deadly Exchange, this information has been accessible for several years. But it is only recently with the police killing of George Floyd that the issue has gained attention.

As noted by Gary Fields, Black people in American and Palestinians under the Occupation share a similar fate at the hands of the police. Nevertheless, when Presidential hopeful Joe Biden says that the relationship between Israel and the United States goes beyond arms and surveillance, he is not far from the truth. Its about the shared soul that unites our countries, he continues, generation upon generation.

Of course, Biden meant that as a compliment, for he admires the Zionist state. Looking closer, there is much to be wary of in this statement. In Bidens words:

The conditions under which the Israeli people live, the sense of vulnerability, the constant fear of attack is real. It is not imagined. Its real. And the people of Israel have lived under siege since the beginning.Theyve built a nation in defiance of relentless threats from their neighbors. They sustain that nation in the face of rocket attacks, terrorist tunnels, and now this unconscionable spate of stabbingsIsrael is a nation of uncommon courage.

Bidens words are clearly propaganda, straight out of the Zionist playbook. But they eerily match Trumps own view of internal threats in the United States.

On July 3, speaking before Mount Rushmore, in South Dakota, the President painted a similar picture of a nation under attack, only this time from within. Speaking of the growing movement to take down the countrys monuments to racism, he declared: Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children. Comparing this new far-left fascism to totalitarianism, he harked back to the 1950s Red Scare by warning that the enemy is everywhere, even our corporate boardrooms.

At this point, Trump announced that he would be deploying federal law enforcement to protect our monuments, arrest the rioters, and prosecute offenders to the fullest extent of the law. In short, he announced what was going to happen in Portland.

When Biden praises the values that America shares with Israel, this is in reality what connects these countries. Since its inception, writes Gary Fields, the state of Israel has adopted a militaristic approach to policing its Palestinian population. This has been true of American, too, though in the past it has been people of color, the poor and the Indigenous were the targets.

In his novel 1984, George Orwell predicted what would become the American credo: War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. In 2020 this brand of gaslighting is around again, though it has been around for many years.

In closing, Onyesonwu Chatoyer reflects that the Disappeared in Portland reminds her of that and then they came for me and no one was around to speak out poem. The difference is that now, however, they are coming for the rest of us, the complacent who looked away too long.

Benay Blend earned her doctorate in American Studies from the University of New Mexico. Her scholarly works include Douglas Vakoch and Sam Mickey, Eds. (2017), Neither Homeland Nor Exile are Words: Situated Knowledge in the Works of Palestinian and Native American Writers. She contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

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Self Care Revolution, Mayor Asks Advisory Board Member to Resign, Nebraska Files Lawsuit Against Stem Cell Clinics and more Top Local News for Friday,…

Posted: at 12:52 pm

7/17/20 Day 26 ofPhase IIINationwide case trends

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New Legal Options Coming for Protestors Arrested for Breaking Curfew

What are we saying about Omaha if we begin to criminalize the act of expressing a constitutional right? says activist, JaKeen Fox.

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Good morning,

Today we have stories self care being a revolutionary act forindividuals resisting oppression, Mayor Jean Stothert asking a member of the citys LGBTQ+AdvisoryBoard to resign and Nebraskasattorney general filing a lawsuit against Omaha stem cell therapy clinics.

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Boys & Girls Club of Ridgefield Wins Two National Awards, Totaling Seven National Awards in Six Years – HamletHub

Posted: at 12:52 pm

Among 4,600 Boys & Girls Clubs across the country, the Boys & Girls Club of Ridgefield received a National Honor Award for Best Overall Education Program and a National Merit Award for Program Excellence in the core area of Health and Life Skills at Boys & Girls Clubs of Americas Virtual National Conference.

The organization received a $5,000 award and a $2,500 award from MetLife Foundation, sponsor of the annual recognition program, which honors local Clubs for innovative, effective programming leading youth to great futures. Hundreds of entries were submitted in the five core program areas: Leadership & Service; Education; Health & Wellness; the Arts; and Sports & Recreation.

The National Honor Award for Best Overall Education Program recognizes Clubs that develop education programs which complement and reinforce what youth learn during the school day by providing opportunities to practice skills for academic and post-secondary success. These programs allow youth to practice, plan and prepare for their futures. BGCR was specifically recognized for their ongoing efforts to develop and implement education programs that are rooted in social-emotional development practices, enable all youth to be effective, engaged, and adaptive learners who are on track to a great future, and create experiences that invite all youth to fall in love with learning.

We have worked really hard over the past decade to ensure that our programs are inclusive of all types of learners. We view our programs as an extension of the school day, particularly our after-school program. As an informal learning space, the Club has a unique ability to use a hands-on and minds-on approach to learning and enrichment, which provides our Club members with the opportunity to discover and pursue passions that connect to future experiences explained Kristin Goncalves, Associate Executive Director at the Club. We truly value ourselves as partners of the Ridgefield Public School System, and work side-by-side with school administration, support professionals, teachers, and parents to help our Club members succeed academically.

The Merit Award for Program Excellence in Health & Wellness recognizes programs that focus on building the physical, social and emotional wellness of youth. These programs provide opportunities for youth to practice skills for building healthy relationships, regulating emotions, decision-making and solving problems. The Ridgefield Club was recognized for their Positive Sprouts Gardening and SMART Cooking programs, which teach Club members valuable life skills, like sustainability and self-reliance through food preparation and cooking, garden preparation and maintenance, food safety, the importance of feeding your body with nutritious and delicious food.

These programs aid members in discovering their self-worth, being confident in that discovery, and honoring who they are. In a world of technology, it is so important to connect children and teens to the beauty and benefits of living simply, along with providing them with all of the resources necessary to empower their young minds and allow them to realize their full potential, explained Jess Podrazky, Senior Program Director at the Club.

The Honor and Merit Awards for Program Excellence are Boys & Girls Clubs of America's (BGCA) most coveted and prestigious program awards. These awards recognize local Clubs from throughout the Movement for their achievements in outstanding local program development. Award-winning programs are fun, demonstrate imagination and are linked to observable youth development outcomes that lead youth to great futures at Boys & Girls Clubs across the country. With the addition of these two awards, the Ridgefield Club has now been recognized a total of seven times in the past six years. Previously, the Club was the recipient of the National Honor Award for Best Overall Program in 2015, the National Merit Award for Character and Leadership Development in 2016, the National Merit Award for The Arts in 2017, The National Merit Award for Health and Life Skills in 2018, and the National Honor Award for Best Character & Leadership Development Program in 2019.

We are so honored and proud to be recognized by BGCA. Our Club continues to grow and improve year after year, and we have been able to impact more young lives as a result. We are fortunate to have one of the most talented youth development staff in the country, and it is with the help of our donors and supporters that allows us to employ the best of the best. These awards really go to the people of Ridgefield. Their belief and support is what allows us to thrive, stated Mike Flynn, Chief Executive Officer at the Club.

The Boys & Girls Club of Ridgefields mission is to inspire and enable all youth to reach their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. The Club builds programing around priority outcome areas: academic success, healthy lifestyles, and good character and leadership, providing program opportunities for 2,300 members and more than 5,100 young people each year. In communities nationwide, Boys & Girls Clubs play a vital role in providing young people with safe places to learn and grow, said Dennis White, president and CEO of MetLife Foundation. We are pleased to recognize the Boys & Girls Club of Ridgefield, CT for providing exemplary programs and making a positive difference in the lives of local young people.

For more information on the Club or ways to support the mission, please contact Mike Flynn, Chief Executive Officer, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 203-438-8821 ex. 15.

The Merit Awards for Program Excellence are sponsored by Metlife Foundation, and as an honoree we will also receive a $2,500 award. There are over 4,300 Boys & Girls Club Nationwide and Overseas and we are proud to once again be recognized for our amazing locally developed programs. We couldn't do it without all of our donors, supporters, and amazing staff - thank you for helping us continue to provide our members with award winning programs.

About the Boys & Girls Club of Ridgefield

The Boys & Girls Club of Ridgefield is a fully dedicated youth development facility. The mission of the Boys & Girls Club of Ridgefield is to inspire and enable all young people to reach their full potential as caring, productive, and responsible citizens. The Ridgefield Club has been serving the community since 1936.

Each day at the Club we provide youth development programming in five core areas: Sports, Fitness & Recreation, the Arts, Education & Career Preparation, Health & Life Skills, and Character & Leadership Development. Members of the Club participate in activities in our five core areas that encourage increased learning, improved fitness, positive decision making, creativity, leadership, and community service. As part of the National Boys & Girls Club movement, we are able to utilize high quality programs grounded in years of research. Programming activities are scheduled each day and are free to all Club members.

About MetLife Foundation

MetLife Foundation was established in 1976 to continue MetLifes longstanding tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Since it was established, MetLife Foundation has provided more than $600 million in grants to nonprofit organizations addressing issues that have a positive impact in their communities. For more information visit http://www.metlife.org.

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Boys & Girls Club of Ridgefield Wins Two National Awards, Totaling Seven National Awards in Six Years - HamletHub

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Brad Paisley and Kimberly Williams Are Proud Parents of 2 Boys Discover Their Family – AmoMama

Posted: at 12:52 pm

For seventeen years, musician Brad Paisley and his wife, actress Kimberly Williams have sustained their relationship without scandal. Together, the pair are parents to two amazing sons, making up their adorable family of four.

The country music artist,Brad Paisleyand his wife of seventeen years, Kimberly Williams, are proud parents of two boys. Since starting a family, the pair has proven to be the ideal power couple, who have undoubtedly done a good parenting job.

KIMBERLY WILLIAMS AND BRAD PAISLEY'S FAMILY

The pair tied the knot in 2003, years after their first hookup. Four years into theirmarriage, on February 22, 2007, they welcomed their first son.

Two years later, theywelcomedanother son, Jasper Warren, on April 17, 2009. They named their second son after Paisley's grandfather, who spurred the country singer's career by gifting him his first guitar.

Brad Paisley's children, Huck and Jasper, now aged 13 and 10 respectively, have grown up away from prying eyes. This was partly due to their parent'sdecisionto keep their kids' lives as "normal" as possible.

RAISING TWO BOYS AMID THE FAME

Paisley and his wife have been open about how theyraisetheir kids. Sharing some of his parenting tips, the singer once revealed they raised the boys to be humble and kind. He acknowledged that every parent needs to actively take that approach before kids would embrace the two virtues.

In addition to encouraging the kids to adopt good behaviors, Brad Paisley and Kimberly Williams allow them limited screen time.

Brad Paisley's kids got to watch the TV mostly on weekends while keeping busy with other essential things on school days. The singer admittedly appreciates how Huck and Jasper have turned out so far.

Despite his seemingly firm parenting approach, Paisley allowed his children room to express themselves and offered assurance that their opinions were valued.

Headmittedto relying on the boys as the first sources of public reaction to his music. The music icon explained how, before releasing a new song, he ran it by his family. Once they loved it, he knew it was okay to share with the world.

BRAD PAISLEY'S KIDS INSPIRED HIS NASHVILLE NON-PROFIT

In a bid to foster kindness and humility in their kids, Brad Paisley and Kimberly Williams discovered a new passion. In 2019, the duo launched a new non-profit called "The Store" in Nashville.

Explaining the concept, the couple related the project to the Unity Shoppe in Santa Barbara. Going further, they revealed how discovering Unity Shoppe during their parenting journey gave them the idea to start up the non-profit. Paisleyrecalled:

"It was one Thanksgiving when Kim said, 'These kids are spoiled. They need to understand there's hungry people out there. And where should we go?'"

On a friend's suggestion, they took the kids to Unity Shoppe and made them volunteer. After helping out a couple of times, the kids finally realized the importance of charity.

After several visits, Huck, then aged seven, admitted it felt great helping others. That admittedly inspired his parents' determination to continue the good work and create their own avenue to render help.

KIMBERLY AND BRAD'S LOVE STORY

Before becoming Kimberly Williams' husband, Paisley lived through his bout of heartbreak, and phases of uncertainty. His interest in the actressdevelopedfrom the first time he spotted her in her debut movie, "Father Of the Bride," at nineteen.

Again, at 23, after suffering a breakup, he watched Williams in the movie's sequel and realized she possessed many qualities he admired and considered rare. However, their paths never crossed in real life until five years later, when Paisley's career was taking off.

Brad Paisley wrote a song about his ex-girlfriend as well as the movie, "Father Of The Bride." He considered it ideal to cast Kim as the female figure in the music video.

She took the offer, leading to their first meeting. They kept in touch for several weeks after the video, before eventually going on a first date.

Months later, they officially became a couple. Paisleyproposedto Williams on the Venice Beach Pier, the same spot they first professed their love for each other. On March 15, 2003, six months after their engagement, the pair got married.

Kimberly and Brad Paisley's family flourished over the years, as the foursome live happily together in their little Tennessee neighborhood.

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Brad Paisley and Kimberly Williams Are Proud Parents of 2 Boys Discover Their Family - AmoMama

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