United by their Differences: American Youth Learning to Work for Change – Together

5 April 2022

All around the world, young people are frustrated and hurt by broken and unjust systems. But contrary to what many people might assume, young people aren’t just sitting around and doing nothing. They are mobilizing to create change. They are also realizing that confrontational approaches such as aggressive protests and “canceling” people often fuel division and polarization, which prevents real change from happening.

In the United States, where polarization is high, wounds can be hard to heal. The resulting ‘us-versus-them’ mentality results in stress and damaged relationships and makes finding creative solutions much more difficult.

A Mosaic Instagram post

Moving Beyond Conflict

Thanks to the generosity of Ian, Victoria and Lucinda Watson, Myriad Canada is working with Search for Common Ground, an American organization that works to change the everyday interactions between groups of people in conflict, so they can work together to build up their community, choosing joint problem-solving over violence.

While historically Search for Common Ground (SFCG) has worked internationally, the need for a program to address the growing tensions at home became increasingly apparent. Enter Mosaic – a youth-led initiative that equips young people with the skills to take a ‘radically collaborative’ approach to finding solutions to divisive problems. Mosaic offers young people the resources and tools to learn how to work with their perceived adversaries to find win-win solutions – without compromising their values or beliefs. Using Mosaic tools and techniques, young people are learning to overcome pushback in their efforts to drive change by turning their adversaries into allies and catalyzing long-term systemic change – together.

With a focus on scalability, Mosaic operates through two channels: 1) by creating accessible, educational content through social media and 2) through online, skills-building experiences that young people use to guide themselves through a series of structured – and sometimes difficult – conversations with their peers. Having the program take place completely online not only answers any Covid/health related requirements, but it also greatly expands the reach and scalability of the program, as it keeps costs down and allows people to participate no matter where they are.

Participating in an online Mosaic skills-building session


Moving Mosaic Forward

The support that Myriad Canada’s donors generously provided for this first phase of the project helped lay the foundation for a truly incredible initiative. This important work must continue, and Search for Common Ground is seeking ways to sustain and scale this effort in order to reach and involve thousands of additional young people across the United States.