News

Jul 25, 2017

In an ideal college classroom, disagreements are expected, even encouraged. Ideas are challenged, students grasp to their positions, and professors foster exploration. When it comes to religion, the challenges of having equitable voices can be pronounced. In order to facilitate dialogue about a contentious issue such as religion especially in these trying times, a structured scenario can be very effective. Engaging students more deeply and genuinely in the subject of faith lies in the flexibility in helping students and teachers handle those issues.

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May 8, 2017

Essential Partners Executive Director Parisa Parsa was featured on Central Florida's NPR interview show, Friends Talking Faith with The Three Wise Guys: Imam Muhammad Musri (Senior Imam of the Islamic Society of Central Florida); Rabbi Steven Engel, and the Rev. Bryan Fulwider. Rev. Parsa talked about about faith, difficult conversations and the key to dialogue that can bring positive results. The May 2, 2017 episode titled Faith & Society: Difficult Conversations with the The Rev. Parisa Parsa (Essential Partners)

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Mar 14, 2017

Essential Partners is thrilled to announce that the organization has been awarded $45,000 in grant funding through the Bridge Alliance 2017 Collective Impact Fund - a grant program designed to fund innovative, coordinated impact projects headed by organizational members of the Bridge Alliance.

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Feb 28, 2017

Essential Partners is delighted to share our summer internship opportunities. These two opportunities support marketing/communications and program development activities, respectively, and are unpaid and/or for college credit.

Job descriptions may be found below. Please contact the relevant managers on each job description for more information.

Marketing and Communications Summer Internship

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Feb 13, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, February 13, 2017

Media contact: John Sarrouf, Director of Program Development  | 617-923-1216 | john@whatisessential.org

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Nov 21, 2016
Download the full conversation guide:

Check out some wise questions for post-election conversations:

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Oct 27, 2016

This election season, we've spent a lot of time obsessing about November 8th. We watch debates, we share memes, we pore over maps, heralding the candidate of our choice and criticizing their opponent. But little attention has been paid to what happens after November 8th. 

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Sep 13, 2016

Public Conversations Project is excited to unveil a new name and brand strategy to reach communities in urgent need of new conversations. 

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Apr 29, 2016

Although we will miss 46 and 51 Kondazian Street, where Public Conversations Project grew from a fledgling initiative to a fully staffed organization, we are excited to make many memories in our new home in Cambridge. Unfortunately 46 Kondazian in particular suffered during the difficult 2014-2015 winter, and maintaining the buildings became no longer sensible for us.

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Mar 3, 2016

Public Conversations Project offers continued learning and engagement opportunities for those who have experienced our work firsthand: the Alumni Learning Collaborative, and it is taking an exciting twist this year! We want to give our alumni an opportunity to bring their particular skillsets into the group, and give them the opportunity to learn from one another. So for the next series, are give some of our alumni an opportunity to talk about how they’ve applied Public Conversations skills to their own work.

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Jan 27, 2016

Online learning, you say? We're pleased to announce that Dave Joseph is offering a webinar through BRDGES Academy, an online learning hub for mediators, alternative dispute resolution professionals, and facilitators. This course will also be valuable for attorneys, judges, paralegals and others involved in the mediation process, but is also a great fit for anyone who wants to help others transform their relationships and resolve conflicts more successfully.

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Jan 19, 2016

We are thrilled to announce the resounding success of Public Conversations’ 2015 Annual Fund drive, which raised over $120,000 in the final two months of 2015. Our deepest thanks go out to our donors and friends who made this achievement possible!

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Jan 5, 2016

Willkommen to dialogue! In February, Public Conversations Project practitioners Bob Stains and Meenakshi Chakraverti are heading to Europe for a series of workshops in Zürich, Switzerland. The workshops offered will be focused on building skills in dialogue, facilitating amidst group conflicts, and leading public meetings.

nformation about each workshop, including pricing and registration, can be found here.

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Dec 28, 2015

Our founder and greatest champion Laura Chasin passed away in November. The information for her memorial service can be found below. We hope you will be able to join us. Kindly RSVP to the family at lrc.2app.org.

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Nov 19, 2015

With heavy hearts and deep sadness, we share the news that our founder and greatest supporter Laura R. Chasin died unexpectedly on the evening of Tuesday, November 17th.

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Oct 14, 2015

On Sunday, October 18, Oprah Winfrey presents the landmark television event "Belief," a week-long documentary series airing over seven consecutive nights that depicts how people with a wide range of beliefs search for deeper meaning and connection with the world around them. Through vivid, emotional storytelling and cinematic visual imagery, Belief illuminates the best of faith and spiritual practices from around the world – the rituals, stories and relationships that bind us all together as human beings.

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Oct 2, 2015

On September 30, 2015, Public Conversations Project founders Laura and Dick Chasin were honored by the New York State Dispute Resolution Association. The two were awarded the Andrew Thomas PeaceBuilder Award, established in 1996 to honor individuals and organizations that have promoted the field of alternative dispute resolution.

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Jun 29, 2015

On June 20th, Public Conversations Project, the Center for Peace, Democracy and Development at UMass Boston's John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, and series sponsor Bridge Alliance convened Boston's first Transpartisan Conference on June 20th at the UMass Boston campus.

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May 4, 2015

On May 2nd, Public Conversations' own Bob Stains was the featured guest on a weekly call-in program called Awakin, which convenes those across fields for the purpose of deepening our self-awareness in a community of kindred spirits. 

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Apr 23, 2015

Board member Sarah Buie made the news on Earth Day, in a fascinating article in Huffington Post by Wellesley College President Emerita Diana Chapman Walsh.

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Apr 1, 2015

Have you ever sat home alone on a Saturday night? Sat in front of the TV watching re-runs of The Flash while eating Ben and Jerry’s from the carton? Have you wondered why the first date never leads to a second? Have you given up and abandoned yourself to playing computer games in your old bedroom in your mother’s basement?

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Mar 30, 2015

Internal Family Systems Therapy shares many principles with the Public Conversations Project. Both offer approaches to adversarial relationships that change the conversation from argument to dialogue. IFS and PCP emphasize listening with curiosity and compassion through radical listening and compassionate witnessing. The focus of PCP is on shifting interpersonal interactions in the context of divided communities and divisive public issues, while IFS focuses on creating new conversations with different aspects of ourselves.

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Mar 23, 2015

Public Conversations is approaching its 25th Anniversary, marking a quarter-century since our founding associates began their work in the field of public discourse. That's 25 years of building healthier dialogue, asking better questions, listening with resilience, and empowering communities to explore deep differences constructively. 

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Mar 9, 2015

We asked our alumni how they wanted to engage with Public Conversations Project, and they offered some specific ideas: community and continued learning.

We are excited to invite you to join our first alumni gathering this spring, designed to build a network of alumni, offer continued education, and learn from one another.

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Feb 12, 2015

"People can absolutely not imagine having a conversation with someone that they really, really differ with. And there's so much surprise that they can make a connection with someone that they really differ with."

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Feb 10, 2015

For many years, Rabbi Or Rose of Hebrew College in Newton and Public Conversations Founding Associate Maggie Herzig have known one another and appreciated each other’s areas of expertise and teaching. This year, they finally had the opportunity to teach together.

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Feb 10, 2015
Public Conversations Project is expanding its workshop offerings this year! Mix it up with the experts with our evening Salons. READ MORE >
Jan 29, 2015

On January 15, Public Conversations’ Director of Program Development John Sarrouf and practitioner Liz Lee-Hood offered their third workshop at Northeastern University. Over the 2014 – 2015 academic year, Public Conversations and Northeastern are developing a program called “Navigating Difficult Dialogues,” which offers students and staff the opportunity to incorporate dialogue and facilitation skills into their academic and personal lives.

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Jan 20, 2015

Bob O’Hara, CPA, creator of www.ExitPlanning-Edu.com, an educational website for business owners and owner of O’Hara & Company, PC in Chelmsford, MA, recently joined Public Conversations Project Board of Directors as the newly appointed Treasurer. He was formally elected to the board on November 17, 2014.

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Jan 20, 2015

After 25 years in the field, early in 2014, Public Conversations Project gathered staff, board, associates, partners, and other friends of the organization to celebrate its past and pave the way for the the next 25 years. To lay that foundation, Public Conversations stakeholders built a new three to five year strategic plan that outlines plans to improve our business model, break into new markets, and tell the story of our work’s impact in new and innovative ways.

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Jan 13, 2015

Public Conversations Project is delighted to introduce you to our new Executive Director, Parisa Parsa, who began her work with Public Conversations on January 26, 2015.

After a lengthy search process, the Board of Directors, staff, and associates of Public Conversations are excited to welcome a new leader to the helm of the organization. Parisa arrived at Public Conversations at an exciting time, in a new year with a new website, several new staff members, and early into the implementation of a new strategic plan.

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Nov 7, 2014

In November 2014, Public Conversations Project co-sponsored community dialogues with the Montana Mediation Association in Butte, MT, around gun issues. It’s a topic that can be highly divisive, and Public Conversations and local partners Linda Gryczan and Rose Everett-Martin invited community members to come together for civil conversations about the issues.

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Oct 20, 2014

The National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation held its national conference in Washington, D.C., October 17-19, 2014. Public Conversations was not only a sponsor of the conference, a number of our practitioners spoke and facilitated workshops at the conference. These included:

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Sep 30, 2014

In July 2014, Public Conversations’ practitioners Bob Stains and John Sarrouf worked with Gordon College scientists on the Pastors, Science and Faith Project. Funded by the BioLogos Foundation, the project aims to provide pastors with the tools to approach issues of science and faith with greater confidence. The weeklong conference at Gordon brought pastors together with scientists and theologians for discussion and dialogue. Another conference for pastors and scientists is planned for Summer 2015. 

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