Earlier this morning, we followed Deadspin and other sites in examining the curious connection between Ricky Williams' charitable organization, the Ricky Williams Foundation, and Access Consciousness, a self-help group.
Ricky got in touch after the post went up to argue that despite the reports, Access is not bankrolling the Ricky Williams Foundation. Instead, the group merely held a question-and-answer session streamed online as a fundraiser. Williams defends Access, which he says teaches kids "limitless life-skills."
"I was talking to Gary (Douglas, Access founder) about my foundation and what we were doing, and when we were talking, he said he's been working with kids, and we decided that we would do a camp for the kids to let them know they have more choice in their lives," Williams tells Riptide. "They just agreed to do a fundraiser and let all the proceeds for this class come to the foundation."
The fundraiser consisted of a 45-minute talk, with parents present, in which Williams and Douglas encouraged kids to ask questions about anything they wanted. The kids asked Williams and Douglas how to achieve their goals and dreams. The response: Forget about your limitations.
"It was really just about clearing all the thoughts and emotions that limit these kids," Williams says. "The way I sold it to the kids and the parents, I called it a 'limitless life-skills camp.' They don't have to buy into the limitations."
For Williams, who has been involved with Access since February, the session also encouraged the kids to question virtually everything and not accept constraints.
"The first thing we taught the kids was don't believe anything anyone tells you," Williams says. "Ask a question. That's what Access is about, not answers, but questions. We don't actually teach anything."
As to the connection between the foundation and Access, Williams says he doesn't know whether the two will work together again, but would welcome more interaction.
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He also says that, despite losing out on a $32 million investment, the foundation isn't in financial trouble.
"We already have enough money for the whole year," he says. "[Douglas] just wanted to contribute."