Photo: People in an EP dialogue
Renew hope where you live, work, worship, and learn

We give people the means to strengthen relationships, deepen belonging, and renew hope in their communities.

Our Impact

Building Trust Between Police and the Black Community in North Carolina

“As a black mother I participated because I want to save my son from harm, and I feared for our safety. I no longer have that fear—just a belief that my community is stronger.”

  • It’s amazing how closely we can work together on certain projects and never know what about our faith motivates our work. This work deepened my appreciation for everyone who was there; hearing everyone's stories helped me to appreciate them more and the depth of their convictions, even when they’re convictions I don’t share.

    Paul Schupe, Hancock United Church of Christ
    Lexington, Massachusetts
  • I have never heard people talk so openly about race, especially in a class setting. Everyone was respectful and honest at the same time. The dialogue structure helped me learn about my peers and helped me feel more comfortable than I ever have about discussing controversial issues.

    Undergraduate Student
    Gordon College, Massachusetts
  • Here safe space was created for pastors and church leaders to wrestle with topics like evolution which are all too often “off limits” or believed to be antagonistic to the faith.

    Megan DeFranza
    Gordon College, Massachusetts

Resisting Polarization in an Election Season: A Free Resource

Partisan polarization (Democrats versus Republicans) turns our huge, complicated, diverse democracy into a political sport where everyone has to pick a side and only one side can win. In this four-part, scaffolded, self-paced curriculum, we will help you develop the internal capacities, skills, and confidence you need to become a positive force in conversations around the election where you live, work, worship, and learn.

Photo: Diverse group of people standing in line with an American flag displayed behind them
Image: Scaling Dialogue Graphic

News: How Essential Partners is Taking Dialogue to Scale

“Rather than bringing people out and then have them go back into a dysfunctional system, we're working to change that system from the beginning. And it's a very, very grassroots approach.” 

EP Co-Executive Director Katie Hyten talks to Beyond Intractability about our theory of change, scaling our impact, the power of student facilitators, our Reflective Structured Dialogue approach—even our name change, from Public Conversations Project to Essential Partners!

Recent Partners

Image: Cary Academy logo
Image: Share Our America logo
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Interfaith Photovoice logo
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Winthrop Rockefeller Institute
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Logo: The Colossian Forum, Michigan
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