Theory

In everything we do, The Mosaic Project works to dismantle the pyramid of violence starting at its foundation. We give all participants in our programs the tools to build the pyramid of 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 Program has every one of these factors in place.