As a teenager, Lara Mendel saw firsthand how harmful stereotypes and prejudice can be. When Lara was in high school, she attended an overnight camp that brought teens from different backgrounds together to discuss racism, sexism and homophobia; while this program deeply impacted her, she saw it did not work for everyone. She realized that fear of difference, prejudice and hatred have already become ingrained by the teenage years, yet for many students like herself, this was the first time these issues were talked about directly. Lara knew she wanted to work with young kids to address prejudice before it becomes entrenched, and she decided to do this through a human-relations outdoor school. In 2000, Lara and her friend Margaret Gogi Hodder founded The Mosaic Project to teach understanding and acceptance of others in a loving, imaginative way. Since they started, they’ve worked with over 25,000 children and adults, promoting confidence, self-acceptance and positive conflict resolution.

Contact Information:

Phone: 510–452-3377
Address: 580 Grand Avenue, Suite 303 | Oakland, CA 94610


We’re looking for true everyday heroes: folks who are helping to make their communities a better place.