“Discussing Difficult Issues Gracefully!”

January 17, 2020

Virginia Tech Richmond Center

2810 North Parham Road, Suite 300

Richmond, Virginia

9 am – 1 pm

Learn how to facilitate discussions on hot topics in your classroom!

Topics such as diversity, equity, and inclusion, immigration, vaping and drugs, gender, climate change, to name a few are on the minds of young people. Yet we often do not know how best to facilitate calm discussions based on critical thinking without these discussions getting out of control.

Learning experiential methodologies and taking proven fun lessons back to the classroom saves planning time and makes your preparation easy. 

Who should attend:

  • Teachers of middle and high school: (e.g. social studies, English, civics). 
  • Guidance counsellors
  • Heads of schools
  • Youth workers


  • $185 per person.  (Minimum 15 persons, maximum 25)
  • $170 per person (for 3 or more persons from the same school or organization)

Register here:


Payment Options


Lessons and methodologies are part of the LivingSidebySide® (LSBS) values–based, transformative approach to overcome prejudice and bias, promote social cohesion and leadership. It is an effective evidence-based tool for teachers, youth workers, and students that catalyzes the classroom or after school setting into environments of mutual respect and equity. Developed by Legacy International over 40 years, LSBS® has been evaluated by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, implemented in 125 schools in New York City and in numerous global cross cultural settings.

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 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® Short-term Day Workshop Descriptions

Workshop #1: Relationship Building Blocks

  • for professionals working with all grades

Workshop #1, “Social Cohesion/Relationship Building Blocks” examines how self-awareness and empathy — the ability to understand the experience and perspective of others – are fundamental to positive relationships. Participants gain insight into the effects of personal identity, values, cultural competency, and communication style on daily interactions.  Specific methods, useful among teachers, youth workers, and with youths

  • ease tension among diverse groups
  • increase self-confidence and trust
  • promote respectful relationships

The training is a highly interactive exploration of social and emotional skills.  It includes group discussion, reflection, role-playing, and collaborative work.  Workshop attendance is limited to allow for maximum participation.

Workshop #2: Face-to-Face Communication

  • for professionals working with all grades and ages

Effective face-to-face communication requires a different set of skills from on-line interaction. Yet the soft skills supporting positive in-personal communication are rarely taught in a clear, comprehensive way. This training provides a set of methods that promote awareness and skill development concerning

  • Insights into how one’s words, thoughts, and body languages can affect others, and
  • how to reduce tensions and increase productive interactions.

Workshop #3: Everyday Conflict Prevention and Resolution

  • for teachers/youth workers of grades 7-12

Creating a peace-able classroom starts with basic understandings of the mechanics of conflict. This training introduces teachers to the elements of conflict, what makes conflicts escalate or de-escalate, how to find and affirm common values and needs, techniques for hearing what is being said, understanding your own and others conflict response styles, and how and when to use these new tools with students and among colleagues.

Workshop #4: Organizing Youth-led Community Service

  • for professionals working with grades 7-12

Many schools have student community service requirements, and wish to involve student leadership in planning and carrying out project actions. This training equips teachers with background philosophies (Why do community service?) and practical tools and timelines for leading students in teacher-organized or student-led community service actions. Included are project frameworks for teachers, scripted planning activities to do with students, student worksheets, and post-action evaluation tools to complete the student learning experience.

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. (

International Programs and Partners

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
  • The Netherlands (under development)
    • In-country representative: Jeff Balch:, 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.

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

Comments From Youth Participants