Boyz N The Wood

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CJ Goulding

Co-Founder

 
CJ Goulding is a weaver, organizer, and storyteller who invests in the growth of people and connection between people. CJ co-founded Boyz N The Wood to use the power of the outdoors to help Black men restore and reignite the best versions of themselves, building brotherhood and strengthening their mental well-being.



What will the Stanley Creators Fund grant make possible for Boyz N The Wood?   

Our programming begins with immersive, nature-based retreats where we bring Black men outside of their daily routine and away from their traumatic experiences, giving them an opportunity to engage in their healing journey. Stanley’s funding will allow us to host a four-day restorative retreat for 30 Black men, complete with outdoor activities and daily workshops for mental health and personal growth. The participants become a cohort of connection and learning that continues beyond the retreat. 



Stanley Creators Fund celebrates the creators, builders, and inventors among us. What does it mean to you to be a creator, builder, and inventor? 

All three of those words signify someone who commits their energy to change. They imagine a different world, and then put forth the energy to make it possible. I often like to describe myself as a weaver, connecting people, ideas, and resources in ways that come together to form a tapestry that serves a greater purpose, larger and more beautiful than its individual parts.



What is something that you discovered about yourself through your work?  

I have learned that I am on a healing journey just as much as any participant. The transformation we hope to support in Black men and their communities is personal and starts with me. I sit in our workshops taking copious notes and have found myself using the mental health tools we provide on a frequent basis, understanding that as I develop personally and invest in my mental health, it has a ripple effect that spreads to my family, my team, the participants, their families, and ultimately our communities at large. 



What inspires you about Stanley Creators Fund?

I believe our work at Boyz N The Wood boldly creates the world we want our participants to live in instead of spending energy on being frustrated with the current state of our systems and communities. The Stanley Creators Fund shares this vision and provides the opportunity to learn from and connect with others doing bold and innovative work.

 

“I am a weaver, which is to say that one of my purposes in life is to make connections.”


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