People in conversation

About Us

Founded in 1989, Essential Partners equips people to live and work better together in community by building trust and understanding across differences.

EP’s trademark methodology empowers people to have healthier, more complex, more inclusive conversations about polarizing differences of values, beliefs, and identities—whether that polarizing issue is the role of race in a public school curriculum, COVID vaccination policies, or refugee resettlement plans.

We envision a world of thriving communities strengthened by difference, connected by trust.

Essential Partners helps civic groups, faith communities, colleges, schools, and organizations across the globe build resilience, belonging, and trust across deep divides of values, beliefs, and identities. We do this in several ways:

  • Training stakeholders in our trademark dialogue approach
  • In long-term collaborations to shift community or institutional cultures
  • Co-creating new proprietary programs and materials
  • Via remote program design consultation and coaching
  • Facilitating dialogue around particularly tough topics
  • Through ongoing research, evaluation, and innovation

Find out more about how we work as well as who we work with, or browse our impact stories for real-world examples of our work and its outcomes.

Ready to learn more about how we can help your neighborhood, campus, faith community, or workplace? Take the first step.

Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

Honors & Awards

Community Peacemaker Award
Community Dispute Settlement Center, 2016

D’Alemberte Raven Award
American Bar Association section of Dispute Resolution, 2016

The President’s Award
The Southern California Mediation Association, 2006

Award for Innovative Contributions to Family Therapy
The American Family Therapy Academy, 1999

Eureka Mentor Award in Recognition of Dedication, Commitment, and Community Service
Eureka Bay Area Communities, 1999

Mary Parker Follett Award for Excellence and Innovation in Dispute Resolution
The Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution, 1997

Bridge Alliance Member Badge