2018: Facing Difference Challenge

Engaging Difference

About the Facing Difference Challenge

Your portraits raised $600,000 for peacebuilding programs.

September 2017—May 2018

The Facing Difference Challenge rallied more than 80,000 students from 37 countries to reflect and take action toward building understanding, empathy, and peace.

Challenge Overview

Portraits for Peace

During the Facing Difference Challenge, the Bezos Family Foundation invited youth all across the world to draw and create self-portraits celebrating themselves and their identity and the people different from them. The submission of portraits raised $600,000 to support youth peace-building in areas of conflict.

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By the Numbers

During this challenge, 201,063 beautiful and unique self-portraits were created by students from 37 countries. These portraits were sent to us in 411 packages of art. We received portraits from youth evenly spread through elementary school to high school.

M.Jasitharan, age 16, Trinco

Challenge Impact

Because of the efforts of this challenge 570 youth were a part of peace building camps. The 137 peace building projects funded through this challenge impacted 8,600 people in Nigeria, Sri Lanka, and the South Caucasus region.

Playing outside after the training

What Happened with the Portraits?

Thousands of portraits were on display through the Facing Difference Exhibit at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa! Portraits also went global and were also displayed at the TED Conference in Vancouver, BC.



200,000 portraits from around the world.

Our teams stepped out of their artistic and social comfort zones to create thoughtful self-portraits. We celebrated their work in a Facing Difference exhibit at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa. Portraits from every Facing Difference package received were on display from August to mid-October 2018. See below the culmination of their work.
Facing Difference Exhibit - Figge - Highlight Video

20th Peterborough Guides

A portrait made at The Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, CA.

14th Oshawa Girl Guides

This incredible portrait, submitted by Jordan Myer inspires us!

This incredible display took our breath away, and came with a caption we couldn't agree with more: Art is a catalyst for progress!

Ms. Musa's 2nd Graders with their finished portraits!

Lots of love in the portraits by Elmwood Art Studio

The Facing Difference Challenge team at Turning Point School making portraits.

Thank you to the Orchard School 2nd Graders for sharing your self-portraits!

Portraits on display by I Matter - Fresno

Thank you for sending in self-portraits from all around the world!

We loved this portrait, that came to us with the caption, "All the things that make me, me!" Beautiful!

Where we came from

Portraits across borders

Here are the places our Facing Difference teams call home. Click through the map to learn more about each team.
Your Team

Facing Difference Challenge Teaching Materials

The challenge is over, but you can still make a difference.

Teaching materials from the Healing Classrooms Challenge are available for free download at any time and include K-12 lesson plans.
Find curricula, videos, and more resources from all Challenges in our resource library.