Higher education

Universities hold the unique responsibility of bringing together students from many different and intersecting identities to build intellectual and social communities. Administrations are tasked with navigating challenging issues in an increasingly pressured and media rich environment: racial, ethnic, and religious diversity. Sexual assault. Divestment. Gender. Freedom of speech.

Working with universities large and small, public and private, Essential Partners partners with all stakeholders of university life. Together, we create collaborative, resilient campus environments and preparing the next generation to lead in a diverse world.

Image via Northeastern University Honors Program
How can dialogue shape a community of global citizens?
A university sought to build a community more inclusive to transgender individuals. That began with a new, more personal conversation about gender and identity.
When a women's went coed, sides formed and divides deepened. Dialogue invited greater curiosity and empathy across differences in opinion and experience.

Select client list

  • American University
  • Andover Newton Theological School
  • Boston Theological Institute
  • Brown University
  • Clark University
  • Columbia Law School
  • Gordon College
  • Harvard University
  • Mount Holyoke College
  • Providence College
  • Randolph College
  • Scripps College
  • Society for Values in Higher Education
  • Southern Methodist University
  • Summer University of Helsinki
  • University of California, San Diego
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Tennessee Institute for Public Service
  • Victoria University, Wellington
  • The perceived walls between different groups are really more like a screen door that's flapping in the breeze - we can go through them.

    Randolph College student
  • The conference taught me so much! Learning from myself and my peers has also shown me that a lot of the intuitive feelings I have surrounding communication should be taken wholeheartedly without hesitation. I must embrace listening, even when I do not want to be listened to.

    Iyanna James-Stephenson, Mount Holyoke Class of 2015
  • As a result of this, I feel a strong sense that I am somebody, I know who I am. We have differences of opinion but we can still apply what we've learned from this training at all times.

    Randolph College student
  • I have the power to make a difference. Sometimes we don't have a lot of power, but we can listen and that can make a difference...I'm learning how to not be offended and be better prepared to receive other people's communication. You don't have to agree, but you can respect the other person.

    Randolph College student