Next Door Strangers
At Essential Partners, we believe in the power of our partners to tackle their biggest challenges in their own way, on their own terms. That's why we train and support local stakeholders. Change happens when we build local capacity for the long-term.
One of the most wonderful consequences of that ethos is that we can't predict how the EP dialogue framework will be applied after the training—participants might use their new skils to push forward a public school project, for instance, or design a set of state regulations for herbicide use.
Journalist Andrea Smardon took part in our statewide Civic Incubator training in Utah. Inspired by our approach to dialogue and driven to help bridge the divides that plague so many communitities, she has since launched Next Door Strangers, “a podcast about finding connection in a time of division” from public radio station KUER:
Over the course of six episodes, we intend to help you connect to one another. Each episode will end with a challenge where we ask you to think about your part in all of this, and maybe even change things. It might take you out of your comfort zone, and it will probably be awkward sometimes, but maybe that’s exactly what we need right now.
If you made a New Year's resolution to have better, deeper, more meaningful conversations with your neighbors, coworkers, and friends in 2019, you might start with this series.