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Promoting cross-cultural understanding and empathy through youth-led extracurricular activities.

Global Minds Initiative

Pittsburgh, United States
In schools across the United States and Canada, students from over 50 countries meet after school to combat intolerance and foster intercultural friendships. Designed, led, and run entirely by youth, this program pairs native English speakers with English-language learners to support academic performance and forge social understanding.

How can youth lead the way in creating a world where immigrant and refugee students can thrive?

Israa Abdulmuttaleb- Global Minds participant
“The Global Minds club changed my life. It helped me share my story, make new friends, and helped me feel at home. I never felt more welcomed.”

Israa Abdulmuttaleb- Global Minds participant

As global migration increases, communities around the world are becoming more diverse. Cultural diversity is at an all-time high in the United States, and continues to rise. And with increased diversity comes cultural conflict and misunderstanding, which can lead to xenophobia, discrimination, and violence.

Over half of the world’s refugees are under the age of 18. In order to flourish, these children need a positive, welcoming environment that supports their language learning and social integration.

How can youth lead the way in creating a world where immigrant and refugee students can thrive?

Designed, led, and run entirely by youth, Global Minds does two things at once: it forges intercultural understanding among diverse groups of young people while supporting immigrant and refugee students learning English.

Native English speakers and English-language learners come together after school once a week to learn about each other’s cultures and practice English through structured activities. They also complete service projects that benefit immigrants, refugees, and people of color in their communities.

Since establishing the first club at Allderdice High School in Pittsburgh, Global Minds has launched a chapter model to support students at 22 other schools across the United States and Canada, with new chapters being formed monthly.

In the schools operating Global Minds chapters, students of different nationalities sit together at lunch, go to the movies, and smile at one another in the hall. These might seem like small acts, but they represent steps toward a cultural shift that is needed for every child to flourish.

For more information, data, and stories check out our end of the year evaluation:

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Innovation Overview
11 - 18
Age Group
1 500
1 486
Tips for implementation
Global Minds Chapter Toolkit- Activities Curriculum and Youth Facilitator Guide
Contact information
Peyton Klein

See this innovation in action

Youth Stories- Valentina Waschbusch
Youth Stories- Avash Bhattarai
Youth Stories- Zoe Vongtau
George Street Middle School
Taylor Allderdice
Taylor Allderdice Community Project
Long Reach High School
A 15-Year-Old Started a Program to Build Friendships With Immigrant and Refugee Students at School


Achievements & Awards


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Inspired to implement this? Here's how...

Visit Global Minds website
Take a look at the Global Minds website, and find out if the program is the right fit for your school.
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Complete an application
Complete an application
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Receive a Chapter Toolkit
Receive a Chapter Toolkit
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Recruit Chapter Leadership
Recruit Chapter Leadership
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Plan programming
Plan programming
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