Photo: EP Dialogue Session
Build a community strengthened by differences, connected by trust.

We partner with communities and organizations around the globe, equipping them to navigate the values, beliefs, and identities that are essential to them.

Our Impact

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The Pastor and the Imam: De-Escalating Religious Violence in Nigeria

Extending religious tolerance and interfaith understanding is an acute humanitarian need—and key to political stability and development.

  • Dr. Jill DeTemple, Southern Methodist University

    After using this approach in my classroom, I am now more willing, and more able, to engage students in meaningful conversations about potentially contentious issues. Whereas I used to nod toward things like homosexuality in religious life, interfaith marriage, or the role of government in reproduction, now I build these conversations into the class so students can learn to speak about their experiences, and so they learn to listen and learn from those with whom they might disagree.

    Dr. Jill DeTemple, Religious Studies Faculty
    Southern Methodist University, Texas
  • During one dialogue, as we were reading The Joy Luck Club, we were asked to discuss our relationship to America. There were students who grew up in the United States and also those who hadn’t—and I was surprised to hear that everyone had equally complex relationships with the topic.


    I appreciated being able to hear and express the full depth of our own context before delving into a discussion about first-generation immigrants.

    Undergraduate Student
    Gordon College, Massachusetts
  • The highlight for me was the interconnectedness of the participants’ views, mutual respect, and range of experiences within the group

    Program Participant
    Montana

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Essential Partners teaches people how to build strong community bonds across differences of values, beliefs, and identities.

Photo: Dialogue group
Photo: Dictionary definition of abortion

Op/Ed: Better Conversations About Abortion

“If everyday Americans don’t talk about issues as important as this one,” writes Essential Partners co-director Katie Hyten, “how can we expect a better national conversation? How can we ask more of the people who represent us?”

Recent Partners

Image: Facebook logo
Logo: The Colossian Forum, Michigan
Logo: Tufts University, Massachusetts
The Poynter Instittue
Logo: Ben Franklin Circles
Chatham Financial Services
American Library Association
Winthrop Rockefeller Institute
Logo: Mediators Beyond Borders, International
Logo: The Union of Concerned Scientists
Lahey Behavioral Health Services
Logo: Bridgewater College, Virginia