Beyond Differences’ mission is to end social isolation and make schools – particularly middle schools — more inclusive. Beyond Differences works directly with students in middle schools and high schools — with the support of their teachers and administrators – as the real agents of change to promote inclusion and kindness.
No One Eats Alone, our signature program, takes place during lunchtime at schools, designed to ensure that students “mix it up” by sitting with new friends and uses student-created games and prompts to start conversations and find new common interests among classmates. On February 13, 2015, National No One Eats Alone Day was held in over 700 schools in 38 and impacted nearly 400,000 middle school students and received widespread regional and national news coverage.
iKeepSafe is the national leader giving parents, educators, and policymakers the information and tools they need to teach children the safe and healthy use of technology and the internet. The simple yet powerful vision of iKeepSafe is to see generations of the world’s children grow up safely using technology and the internet.
On October 5, 2014, Beyond Differences and California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom rallied in San Rafael, California, with the goal of making being kind the norm online with the ImInPledge to be kind online not post anonymously. The campaign culminated in the first “National Be Kind Online Day” on October 23, 2014. Beyond Differences enlisted the support of high-profile figures to help drive the campaign, including Kelly Osborne, Anderson Cooper, the San Francisco Giants, Joe Montana, Ron Conway, CA Governor Jerry Brown, ESPN, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, Marc Benioff and CA Attorney General Kamala Harris. Twitter Reach: 15.41 million total impressions.
With great success from our 2014 online campaign, we are launching a more robust version of The Be Kind Online campaign, which will run throughout the full 2015-16 school year. The four components are:
#SUSI: Stand Up, Step In (January-February)
#SUSI inspires youth to be an "upstander" (not a bystander) and fight for a kinder internet. Students learn conflict management skills that encourage positive interaction and problem solving.
#BeTheOne: Maintaining Healthy Relationships Online & Offline (April)
BeTheOne asks teens to step up and commit to be inclusive and kind, and to spread positive behavior to their peers. By pledging to “Be The One,” teens are proudly and loudly serving as agents of change for a more inclusive middle school culture.
“Be The One Day” is a transformative experience for students in upper elementary and middle school in which they are asked to symbolically leave behind a particular behavior or action by walking through the “Be The One” Balloon Arch and declaring their intention to “Be The One” to include others, be kind and respectful to their peers and classmates.
#SummerKind: Stay Positive During The Summer (June)
Ask teens to take what they have learned all year about kindness and healthy relationships and take it with them over the summer break to vacations, camps, and other activities. With school out and more leisure time on their hands, we want teens to continue to Be Kind Online, encourage positive interaction and Be The One to act if they see or hear hurtful or negative communication.
#10DeepBreaths: Teens Communicating Effectively When Angry (October)
10DeepBreaths is an online and in-school campaign that teaches students to manage their anger online. They learn to take #10DeepBreaths before posting when angry and learn how to be a responsible digital citizen in the face of cruel behavior online.