The Mosaic Project

Peacing It Together!

Oakland, CA   |  www.mosaicproject.org

Mission

The Mosaic Project works toward a peaceful future by uniting children of diverse backgrounds, providing them with essential community-building skills, and empowering them to become peacemakers. Our complementary work with youth and adults not only supports our youngest peacemakers, but also enables us to reach wider communities through schools, community-based organizations, and the workplace. Together, we create microcosms of the just, diverse, inclusive world we envision, demonstrate that peace in our communities is possible, and inspire action.

Ruling year info

2000

Co-Founder/Executive Director

Lara Mendel

Chief Operating Officer

Brian Lowe

Main address

478 Santa Clara Avenue, Suite 200

Oakland, CA 94610 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

94-3367263

NTEE code info

Cultural, Ethnic Awareness (A23)

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

Intergroup/Race Relations (R30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

More than half a century after Brown v. the Board of Education declared segregation in public education unconstitutional, schools and communities in the United States are just as segregated as they ever were. Our children are growing up with little to no exposure to those different from themselves which leads to ignorance, fear, prejudice, violence, and more segregation. The Mosaic Project breaks this cycle by reaching youth before negative attitudes surrounding differences become entrenched and enabling them to live with, learn from, and befriend others with whom they would not normally interact. As recent events flooding the news have made abundantly clear, the need for the life-changing work of The Mosaic Project is pressing and profound.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Outdoor Project

The Outdoor Project, Mosaic’s principal program, brings together 4th and 5th grade classes from markedly different backgrounds for a profound weeklong experience in nature. Our dynamic, experiential curriculum, based on proven research in social-emotional learning, is designed to address issues of difference, build self-esteem, and inspire inclusion. Our five-minute video at www.mosaicproject.org/#video truly captures the music and magic of the Outdoor Project.

Population(s) Served

The In-School Project deepens and sustains the impact of Mosaic’s Outdoor Project by engaging all students, staff, and families in our partner schools to build equitable, inclusive, and healthy communities.

Population(s) Served

The Youth Leadership Project provides extensive training for young adults who form a vibrant cross-cultural community and serve as mentors for the younger students at Mosaic’s Outdoor Project. Our three-minute video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqD9ySA_CPM&t=3s captures some of its impact.

Population(s) Served

The Mosaic Consulting Project conducts experiential education programs for companies, organizations, and schools that want to invest in creating an inclusive, productive work environment. Proceeds from these trainings help to fund our youth programs.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Awards

The Rising Peacemaker Prize 2005

Agape Foundation

Parents' Choice Award 2004

Parents' Choice Foundation

Children's Music Web Awards 2004

Children's Music Web

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of youth who demonstrate that they have developed social skills (e.g., interpersonal communication, conflict resolution)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Outdoor Project

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of children who have a sense of their own feelings and an ability to express empathy for others

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Outdoor Project

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of children who have the ability to use language for expression and to communicate with others

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Outdoor Project

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of youth who have a positive adult role model

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Outdoor Project

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of youth who demonstrate that they have developed positive values

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Outdoor Project

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our primary goal is to work toward a more peaceful future by empowering a new generation of peacemakers with:

- fun, memorable, and transformative life experiences strategically set in a beautiful outdoor setting;
- a multitude of concrete skills to thrive and act justly in an increasingly diverse society (including the skills to work with others across difference, resolve conflicts peacefully, empathize, and be assertive);
- an understanding of the interconnectedness of everything;
- self-efficacy and commitment to caring for our world and creating positive social and environmental change

In everything we do, The Mosaic Project works to dismantle the pyramid of violence (segregation, ignorance & fear, prejudice, discrimination, violence, war & genocide) starting at its foundation. We give all participants in our programs the tools to build the pyramid of peace (connection, respect, recognition of others perspective, empathy, assertive communication & conflict resollution, peace).

Contact Theory supports our approach to building peace, stating that under the right conditions, contact between members of different groups can reduce conflicts and prejudices. However, simply placing a diverse group together is not enough to break down stereotypes and prejudice. The group needs prolonged exposure, equal treatment, common goals, and opportunities for cooperation and collaboration. This intermingling needs to be supported by mentors and authority figures. Additionally, issues of prejudice must be directly addressed in order for this model to be successful.

Research suggests that the more of these factors in place, the more likely people are to overcome their biases (Fiske, 2008; Van Laar, 2005). Effective communication and collaborative conflict resolution strategies also support healthy integration across communities of difference (Maznevski & DiStefano, 1996). The Mosaic Project’s Outdoor Project has every one of these factors in place.

The research at https://mosaicproject.org/about/approach/theory/research/ suggests that the following Mosaic strategies contribute to the successful realization of our organizational and curricular goals. Through our programs we:

- offer an intentional, safe space to discuss issues that separate and unite us as people and communities
- create positive, non-competitive opportunities for people from different backgrounds to connect and engage over a long period of time
- offer challenging but achievable goals that require diverse teams to work together
- cultivate a sense of shared purpose and identity among diverse student and staff participants
- address issues of prejudice and discrimination head on
- offer positive mentors who reflect the diversity of those we serve
- use experiential education to cater to a wide range of learning styles
- use music as an integral part of our curriculum, facilitating memory and recall of key lessons
- use imagination, fun, and magic to inspire our students
- provide a safe residential setting in a neutral environment for people to step outside their comfort zones, learn, and get to know each other
- work primarily with children, aiming to deconstruct prejudice before it becomes entrenched
- work primarily with 9-10 year-olds who are at a critical point in their development where they have the capacity to understand others’ perspective and empathize

Since 2000, we have served nearly 60,000 individuals in all our programs combined. Our three most senior staff have over 75 years of experience combined in working toward more just, inclusive communities. We have won the following awards:

- 2017 Warren Knight Distinguished Service Award, national award that recognizes the work of extraordinary individuals and organizations in advancing collaborative forms of dispute resolution and the peaceful resolution of conflict
- Oaklandish Nonprofit of the Month, January 2017
- Winner of 2016 Jaffe Awards, national award recognizing leaders making a difference in the lives of children
- eTown E-chievement Award 2014
- Association for Experiential Education’s Organization of the Year Award 2013
- Community Boards San Francisco Leadership Peacemaker Award 2013
- Exemplary Practices/Practitioner Award, Western Region of the Association of Experiential Education 2013
- Executive Director Lara Mendel received 10 Women Campaign Award 2009
- The Rising Peacemaker Prize, Agape Foundation, 2005
- Parents’ Choice Award 2004 – Musical CD The Mosaic Project Presents: Children’s songs for Peace and a Better World
- Empathy Song won a Children’s Music Web Award 2004

Since 2000, we have served over 65,000 individuals.
14,000 4th and 5th graders through our principal program, the Outdoor Project
2,000 high-school and college-aged students through the Youth Leadership Project
35,000 students through the In-School Project
14,000 adults through the Mosaic Consulting Project

The Mosaic Project was founded in June 2000 and began full-time, staffed operation in April 2001. We developed our curriculum with the assistance of a 4th and 5th-grade focus group and ran two pilot sessions of our Outdoor Project with 76 individually recruited students and four Youth Leaders in August 2001. We have grown each year. We released our musical curriculum on CD in 2003, expanded the Youth Leadership Project to run throughout the entire year in 2006, developed our comprehensive In-School Project in 2008, released our curriculum guide in 2010, and launched the Mosaic Consulting Project to work with adults in community-based organizations and corporations in 2011. We launched our new model, the Mosaic Experience, providing elements of our In-School Project to every one of our partner schools in 2014, and ran our first Family Camp in 2015. In addition to serving more than 14,000 4th and 5th graders in our Outdoor Program and more than 2,000 high school and college aged students through our Youth Leadership Project, we have run hundreds of our in-school workshops and Mosaic Consulting Project trainings for other organizations, serving more than 35,000 additional students and more than 14,000 adults.

We are currently at the most pivotal stage in our development since our founding. We are working tirelessly to secure our future by establishing a permanent home for our Outdoor Project. Our own local site will enable us to meet ever-increasing demands and opportunities for our programs in diversity, empathy, and conflict resolution.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection,

Financials

The Mosaic Project
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

The Mosaic Project

Board of directors
as of 10/19/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Sabrina Moyle

Hello!Lucky

Brett Dennen

Resident Rock Star

Tari Nicholson

Community Activist

Kristin Hull

Nia Impact Capital

Lawrence Shorter

Citrix

Albert Chan

Dash Energy at Schneider Electric Energy & Sustainability Services

Suzanne Lane

Graphic Designer

Hirni Amin

Community Activist

John Beltramo

Timshel

Erich Braun

KPMG LLP

Terry Britt

City Building, Inc.

Lia Barrow

Community Activist

Brett Tucker

Robert W. Baird & Co

Kara Murray-Badal

The Wharton School

Lynne Wander

Utility API

Grace Yuan

Strategy Consultant

Marisol Vela

Project Access

Chantal Bryne

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/19/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Jewish
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Asian American/Pacific Islanders/Asian
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 12/12/2019

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.