After working with Essential Partners, people feel more trusted and understood by one another, even in the midst of deep disagreement. They're able to move beyond stereotypes, assumptions, and implicit biases. They begin to feel a deeper sense of belonging and to trust that other people—even people with different backgrounds or beliefs—are committed to helping their community thrive. Their neighborhood, school, or workplace becomes more resilient and more cohesive.
EP trains local stakeholders to foster healthier conversations about the issues that drive polarization and conflict or silence and deadlock. We co-design systems that support these conversations and co-develop plans to address local challenges.
In terms of genuine lasting impact, we have no peers.
Members of our global community of practice are not just participants of a single dialogue or training—they are peace-makers and community builders who use our approach to create a world of thriving communities strengthened by difference, connected by trust.
In our evaluation program, we measure impact over time in four areas:
- Understanding Others and Being Understood
- Willingness to Engage Across Differences
- Equipped to Engage Across Differences
- Healthy Relationships and Social Cohesion
Our FY20 program evaluations find…
Prior to participating in an Essential Partners engagement, 33% of people report they don’t feel understood in their communities—one out of every three people. After working with us, nine of every ten people report that dialogue helps them feel understood by those with different opinions, identities and beliefs.
Before working with EP, 43% of people report that their communities are not cohesive. But that number drops to 25% immediately following an engagement. Three months after an EP training or other intervention that number continues to drop, down to 16%, and then six months after a program it drops to just 6%.
These results highlight the long-term impact EP's work has in a community, with ripple effects that emanate from well-equipped stakeholders who are invested in the health of their community.
Six months after an EP engagement:
- 94% of people say they’ve participated in conversations across difference
- 85% of people have formed new relationships across differences
- 85% of people report improvements in once-negative relationships across differences
- 75% of people say they’ve seen improvements in formerly negative patterns of communication
- 74% of people report that they have new structures in place for difficult conversations
Let’s Talk Scale
Over the past five years, Essential Partners has improved the lives of more than one million people all across the globe by empowering fewer than 20,000 civic, business, and faith leaders as well as educators and students, grassroots organizers, and change-makers.
Thousands of community builders were trained in EP’s approach in Fiscal Year 2020—and every year they will help tens of thousands of neighbors, coworkers, students, and community members build communities built on trust, understanding, and connection.
When we empower and support the people who are most committed to their communities, change comes fast and builds over time.