The Global Minds Initiative is a for-youth, by-youth organization that inspires students of all backgrounds to form social bonds, intercultural friendships, and to consider global issues through youth-led extracurricular activities. Global Minds combats the issues of cultural intolerance, ignorance, and discrimination through a one-on-one after school tutoring program between English as a Second Language (ESL) students and Native English speaking (NES) students. The goal of these activities is to tackle issues of xenophobia and cultural intolerance head on. Instead of isolation and alienation, Global Minds links students together as a part of an after school program that encourages trust and friendship among teens from diverse backgrounds.
In our afterschool program, each week NES students provide one hour of homework help and conversational English practice, paired with an activity centered on diversity, human rights, sustainable development, and equality. Through group discussions, both NES and ESL students examine and tackle prejudice and stereotypes in order to achieve mutual respect. These ideas are then spread among the community through service projects, family engagement, and advocacy.
Since November of 2016, the Global Minds after school program has evolved from a program engaging 50 students, to a global movement of welcoming, kindness, and inclusivity. The Global Minds Initiative engages over 1,000 students across 22 schools and 2 countries, the USA, and Canada. Students of different nationalities sit together at lunch, go to the movies, and smile at one another in the hall. All of these small actions are so simple, but represent huge steps in the right direction. Our diverse student bodies engage in educated conversations about current events and plan community service projects to address their unique communities needs.
Global Minds has been featured in The New York Times, Today Show, Fox News, and Teen Vogue, emphasizing the importance of youth involvement in integration and cultural understanding.