Embracing Our Differences is a not-for-profit organization based in Sarasota, Florida, that uses the power of art and education to expand consciousness and open the heart to celebrate the diversity of the human family. It accomplishes this through an annual, large-scale, juried art exhibition and a comprehensive series of educational initiatives, programs and resources designed for teachers and students.
Embracing Our Differences (EOD) celebrated its sixteenth anniversary this past year. The centerpiece of the project is the outdoor international juried art exhibit featuring 45 billboard size images reflecting the theme “enriching lives through diversity and inclusion.” The display uses visual and written art as a catalyst to spark community-wide discussions around the importance of diversity and inclusion. Since 2004, more than 2,918,000 visitors have viewed the exhibit, including 218,000 in 2019. The 2019 exhibit drew 11,791 submissions representing 111 countries and 44 states (70% were submitted by Pre-K through 12th grade students attending 239 schools).
Also crucial to our mission are our ongoing education initiatives. Presented in partnership with the regional school districts and nationally recognized educators, these programs positively impact the lives of thousands of area teachers and students every year. These include workshops and retreats that provide diversity curricula for area educators, free bus transportation for students and teachers to visit cultural venues, and student docent programs and service clubs in high schools. Since 2004, more than 318,000 students have participated including 39,211 students in 2018 alone.