Racism takes many forms and has many faces. Most often it tends to demonize the “other”, to ‘generalize’ that a person of a specific race, ethnicity or religion is part of a group of people who have negative tendencies or characteristics, rather than seeing each person as an individual. If we become conscious of our thoughts of bias against an entire group or verbalize them, the tendency then is to justify those beliefs to ourselves and to others. Rather than seeing others as individuals, we group ‘those people’ as different than ourselves, that they are not worthy, and/or are inherently dangerous, which, at its root, is fear.

For the first time in our history we may be at a cross-roads to consider what it will take for real change. Re-imagining our law enforcement and criminal justice systems is a critical start and a necessity in the short-term. Examining equity and the assumptions of our healthcare, education, and other systemic institutions are medium and long term goals that must also be addressed.

Transformation begins with the individual. In-grained deep-seated stereotypes and bias demands an honest look at ourselves. Do we have the desire to see clearly and willing to change our opinions and beliefs? Do we even think we might be looking at others and society at large through a distorted lens? Real change takes honesty, time, sustained effort, vulnerability, a willingness to listen to others, rather than a platform to only expound on our own opinions, our own beliefs.

“To say we must gather and meet and communicate is an obvious truth. But what are the tools that will be used to guide the communication, the remedies that will heal? As scientists search for better treatments and a vaccine for combating COVID19, we still need billions of dollars to find the treatment and vaccine that will heal the wounds of hundreds of years of prejudice, hate, and fear and to prevent further outbreaks of the deadly disease of bigotry, these character flaws and ignorance that morally plague our nation(s)”. J.E. Rash, Founder & President; Legacy website statement ‘An Affirmation for Peace and Justice’ 

We have seen transformation of youths through Legacy’s various programs because the key elements that enable the possibility of transformation are the foundation of our LivingSidebySide® training for young people in middle school through university ages, our Global Youth Village, and other social cohesion elements embedded in our programming.

Lorraine Warren, LivingSidebySide® instructor for 20 years, shares her views about the curriculum:

LivingSidebySide® Offerings:

  1. Facilitating Change in our Communities: for community leaders, activists, law enforcement, religious and youth leaders
  2. Half day and One day workshops:
    • “Facilitating Difficult Conversations”
    • “Conflict Prevention and Resolution”
    • “Youth -designed and led school and community projects”
  3. Full 36 hour transformative LSBS program – middle school age through high school-  Afterschool or in school options
  4. Nine hour Dialogue training for university students
  5. Global Youth Village

LivingSidebySide® (LSBS) transforms attitudes and behavior in the classroom, school, and community laying a foundation for success. The program utilizes a strategic combination of professional development for teachers and youth workers, interactive modules for youths, and a values-based approach through which small changes can create a “safe space” and yield significant results.

Legacy’s methodology supports a wide range of social/emotional learning competencies in a unified fashion to build character, provide tools for preventing and resolving conflict, diffuse difficult behaviors, promote inclusivity, and promote civic engagement. These complimentary elements target a single aim – turning classrooms and communities into safer places for academic performance, social/emotional learning, and productive interaction.

To bring LivingSidebySide® to your city, school district, or country, please contact Marlene Ginsberg marlene@legacyintl.org for more information.

Are you ready to take the next step? 

Developed and tested over three decades, LivingSidebySide® has been implemented with various racial, ethnic, religious, and economically diverse populations in the US, and with Israelis and Palestinians, Northern Irish Protestants and Catholics, Croats, Muslims, and Serbs from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and various groups from Russia, Nigeria, and Indonesia. It has also been implemented in 125 schools in New York City, 10 schools in the Kyrgyz Republic, yearly at Legacy’s Global Youth Village, and at Virginia Tech.

Its flexible training models include complete manuals for facilitators, worksheets for participants, and custom training and certification services.

Professional Development for Teachers and Youth Workers

LivingSidebySide® for Adults or Organizations include: One Day Workshops and/or Train the Trainers (TOT) for teachers, youth workers, or trainers;

TRAINING MODULES can be presented to schools and after-school programs, summer camps, youth clubs, weekend workshops. Most packages involve 32 – 40 hours of workshops. Target audience is ages 15 – 18; the program is easily modified for adult audiences.


  • Basic Training– enables practitioners to deliver the program to youth and young adult groups.
  • Advanced Training– enables practitioners to train other adult facilitators for certification.

On-site Program Development, Monitoring,Coaching, and Capacity-Building support for participating organizations

Choice of Training Locations at client’s site or at Legacy’s Global Youth Village (GYV) campus. 

LivingSidebySide® Day Workshops and Full Program Descriptions:

Workshop #1: Relationship Building Blocks

Workshop #2: Face-to-Face Communication

Workshop #3: Everyday Conflict Prevention and Resolution

Workshop #4: Organizing Youth-led Community Service

Download our brochures for additional details: 

LivingSidebySide®  for School Districts and After School Centers

(Full Program) 

  • 36 hour curriculum adapted culturally and linguistically
  • 6 day Training of Trainers Model (can be scheduled over time)
  • Youth Trainings (6-8 weeks after school; weekends or summertime)
  • Monitoring and coaching
  • Professional Development Retreat after Youth Training
  • Basic and Advanced Certification levels
  • Qualifies for Continuing Education Units and Recertification points

Dialogue for Social Cohesion – at the University level

A skills-based program that equips university students with the know-how and techniques to:

  • convene and lead constructive dialogue,
  • navigate difficult issues, and
  • establish community among diverse populations.

The workshop includes:

  • training in facilitation,
  • sample methods and activities, and
  • tools for dealing with various discussion topics and situations.

9 hours.

LivingSidebySide® creates new neural pathways in the brain that, with practice, can transform teaching and learning. [1]

See Lally, P., van Jaarsveld, C. H. M., Potts, H. W. W., & Wardle, J. (2010). How are habits formed: Modeling habit formation in the real world. European Journal of Social Psychology, 40, 998-1009. (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ejsp.674/abstract)

International Programs and Partners

LivingSidebySide® Supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals – Legacy International was called on to participate in the “Baseline Assessment for Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific” Common Findings Report 2019 of the United Nations. LI was contacted due to its evidence-based peace education program, LivingSidebySide® that was implemented in 10 schools in southern Kyrgyzstan – Read the full report.

Two international organizations, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and the International Institute for Impact Evaluation (3IE) collaborated to conduct an external study of the LivingSidebySide® program in 2014.  One conclusion is:

“Overall, the completed research is an extremely important contribution to social science disciplines that focus on peace building, conflict resolution and/or reconciliation. It is also of great relevance and importance for policy makers and peace education practitioners.”  – 3IE

Key results from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) evaluation:

“Intention-to-treat effects show that participation in the LSBS programme is robustly associated with increased levels of trust towards “seeing people for the first time”. We believe this outcome is most closely related to what the programme hopes to achieve: teaching young people to have an open mind towards anyone that may be of a different ethnic, religious or cultural origin.” (p. 5)

“Treatment students generally stated that they gained a new set of conflict-resolution and mediation skills that allowed them to improve their relations with family members and other people. (p. 39)

“…these results (trust towards the out-group, less bullying and fighting) are still identified a year after the programme ended, which provides some confidence in the sustainability of programme impacts in the medium term.”  (p. 44)

Download What is LivingSidebySide® describing the goals and framework, unique features, history, components, partial impact evaluation and outcomes of the pilot project.

  • Kyrgyzstan (Details of the Pilot Program; seeking funds to nationalize the program in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Academy of Teacher Training); SIPRI Letter of Support
  • In-country representative: Asel Kuttubaeva: kuttubaeva@gmail.com, Bishkek
  • The Netherlands (under development)
    • In-country representative: Jeff Balch: balch25@gmail.com, Amsterdam
    • A. Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam, in a letter, stressed the importance of education in the prevention of radicalism. “I value highly the work of Legacy International and wish you every success with your activities”.
    • Partner: Respect Education Foundation, Amsterdam

TRAINING MODULES can be presented to schools and after-school programs, summer camps, youth clubs, weekend workshops. Most packages involve 32 – 40 hours of workshops. Target audience is ages 15 – 18; the program is easily modified for adult audiences.

LivingSidebySide® for Adults or Organizations include: Train the Trainers (TOT) for teachers or trainers;


  • Basic Training – enables practitioners to deliver the program to youth and young adult groups.
  • Advanced Training – enables practitioners to train other adult facilitators for certification.
  • On-site Program Development, Monitoring, and Capacity-Building support for participating organizations
  • Choice of Training Locations including at Legacy’s Global Youth Village (GYV) campus to see our international summer program in action. GYV is Legacy’s longest running flagship program and one location where training takes place.

Youth Training: Global Youth Village

Legacy’s flagship program since 1979. Visit the Global Youth Village for details. 25 hours of LivingSidebySide® is included in the program.

Comments From Youth Participants