As thought leaders and practitioners for over a decade, Beyond Differences® pioneered the creation of nationwide programs that equip middle school communities with activities and curricula for Social Emotional Learning (SEL).
No One Eats Alone®
Know Your Classmates®
Be Kind Online®
Secret to our Success
Youth Leadership Development
National Teen Board
Professional Development for Teachers
Events & News
What We Do
All of Beyond Differences® programs and curricula focus on the development of Social and Emotional skills for students ages 11 through 14. Our aim is to help teachers and students create welcoming cultures in classrooms, raise cultural awareness, promote diversity and inclusion, and encourage youth to embrace differences and see them as strengths.
Read Our Blog
U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy Cites Beyond Differences as a Program to End Social Isolation in Youth and Build Connection
On June 23, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy sat down with Jenna Bush Hager at the Coalition to End Social Isolation’s Conversations on Belonging, Connection, & Wellbeing: A Reflection to discuss one of the nation’s pressing health concerns. Dr. Murthy...
Creating a Culture of Belonging For Everyone
Beyond Differences applauds all of the teens who lifted up a boy in Colorado this week. Today.com reported that Cody Ridder, a 12-year-old boy from Westminister, Colorado, told his mom that his 6th-grade classmates would not sign his yearbook. He was so...
Identity: Let’s Keep the Conversation Going
Allowing students the freedom to be themselves in school is essential. Sometimes a student can be bullied and socially isolated in school for expressing themselves. As an adoptee and as a queer youth, I've seen the repercussions of self-expression in the classroom...
(1994 – 2009)
Beyond Differences® was created in memory of Lili Rachel Smith. She endured the pain of social isolation and feeling different.
Lili is the heart and guiding light of the organization.
Student Action Days
Join Beyond Differences® by celebrating three Student Action Days that promote Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), help to end social isolation and create a culture of inclusion at your school!
Know Your Classmates® Day
Designed to explore youth identity and belonging + help students embrace diversity, and help students speak honestly about their feelings. Now includes teen created lessons on How to be An Ally, Diverse Expressions of Gender, Recognizing Bias, and Anti Racism + National Stand Up for Asian American Youth Campaign materials. (FALL)
No One Eats Alone® Day
Youth learn to make new friends at lunch beyond their existing peer groups through community-building activities that help them get to know one another and include students who are being left out. (WINTER)
Be Kind Online® Day
Focused on creating inclusive communities online and ending social isolation in digital spaces. Students learn how to stand up to hateful behaviors, positive and negative aspects of screen time, social media’s effect on emotions and how to regulate those feelings, how to build self-confidence online and how to build your future online. (SPRING)