In the Press
For 30 years, Essential Partners has worked in civic, civil, religious, and institutional settings around the globe to help groups restore trust, understanding, and relationships where conflicts are driven by differences of values, beliefs, and identities.
Our expert practitioners can be available to members of the media for interviews and background. Some topics of special interest include:
- Effective techniques for difficult conversations
- Dynamics of polarized conflicts
- Free speech on college campuses
- Teaching methods in higher education
- Improving discourse about divisive issues
- Social cohesion and community building
- Identity-based conflict dynamics
- Fostering pluralism and inclusion
Click here to access the Essential Partners press kit for a brief history, FAQ, leadership biographies, logos, photos, and B-roll. For all press and media inquiries, please contact:
Director of Strategic Communications
(617) 923-1216 Ext 24
2023 In the Press
Making Democracy Real: Middlebury's Conflict Transformation Initiative
Middlebury College Magazine, January 2023
The Dock C. Bracy Center for Human Reconciliation supports 2023 Interfaith Dialog Series
Digital Journal, January 20, 2023
Spokane Public Library to Host Screening of the Abortion Talks Documentary
Spokane Favs, January 19, 2023
Mayor Brodeur Announces Community Conversations Initiative to Promote Civic Dialog
City of Melrose Press Release, January 9, 2023
Preview and Thank You from We the People Warwick
Warwick Advertiser, January 9, 2023
2022 In the Press
How to Talk About Abortion
The Top of Mind Podcast, December 2022
There's No Place Like Home: An Interview with Winnie Rugamba
Didn't Ask to be a Hero podcast, December 2022
4 Science-Backed Strategies to Curb Partisan Animosity
Kellogg Insight, December 1, 2022
This holiday, argue like an American
Civic Nebraska, November 22, 2022
We need to tap into the superpower that we all possess — curiosity
The Dallas Morning News, October 22, 2022
The Abortion Talks…Can Conversation Save Us From Division?
BreakBread World, October 6, 2022
Healthcare Network for the Transsexual Population
International Journal of Development Research, September 2022
Bridging The Distance Through Dialogue
Cape Cod News, August 4, 2022
Lessons of Boston’s secret abortion talks: Understanding vs. agreement
Christian Science Monitor, August 1, 2022
Lessons of Boston’s secret abortion talks: Understanding vs. agreement
Christian Science Monitor Daily Podcast, August 1, 2022
The end of Roe can be the beginning of healthier politics of abortion
The Fulcrum, July 20, 2022
Tanner Smith + Katie Hyten: Bridge the Distance Through Dialogue
Rethink Community Podcast, July 1, 2022
How to Help Prevent School Shootings: 7 Things That Will Make a Difference
Reader's Digest, June 16, 2022
Positioning in the dialogue on gender and sexual diversity in Brazilian schools
Conflict Resolution Quarterly, May 20, 2022
Understanding, Not Persuasion: Interfaith Dialogue for Contentious Topics
Religion & Peace, May 20, 2022
Immigration in Alabama: An issue guide for voters
Reckon South, May 16, 2022
Child care in Alabama: An issue guide for voters
Reckon South, May 16, 2022
How do we improve education in Alabama: A voter’s guide
Reckon South, May 10, 2022
Hard to say, hard to hear, heart to heart: Inviting and harnessing strong emotions in dialogue for deliberation
Journal of Deliberative Democracy, May 4, 2022
Medicaid expansion in Alabama: A voter’s guide
Reckon South, May 3, 2022
Reflective Structured Dialogue: Faculty in a Christian University Discuss LGBTQ+ Inclusion
Social Work & Christianity, April 2022
Let's Scrap the Silos
Know Research, April 15, 2022
Spring Political Dialogue to Focus on Freedom
Royal News, March 15, 2022
Let’s Build Trust Instead of Banning Books
Education Week, March 11, 2022
March Lecture and Community Dialogue to Discuss Freedom
Royal News, February 16, 2022
To stop another Jan. 6, we have to disagree
The Fulcrum, January 6, 2022
Series of Events in "Scranton's Story, Our Nation's Story" Project to Discuss Freedom
Royal News, January 5, 2022
2021 in the Press
Reckoning with Racism: A Challenge for Deliberative Democracy
Journal of Deliberative Democracy, Issue 17, 2021
10 Tips for Talking with Your Family About Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church
Awake Milwaukee, December 8, 2021
VIDEO: Getting Past Partisanship and Polarization: Community Civic Infrastructure (Panel)
Harvard Ash Center, November 22, 2021
How to have a conversation about vaccines at your Thanksgiving table
The Fulcrum, November 9, 2021
Youth leaders involved with national forum on civil dialogue
Jersey Catholic, November 8, 2021
VIDEO: Race and Gender via Relational Dialogue in the Community College Classroom
Education as Relating Conference, Taos Institute, November 2021
Scaling a Community Bridge-Building Initiative: Howard County Courageous Conversations and Essential Partners
Dispute Resolution Journal, Vol. 75, No. 4, September 2021
When You Don't Believe in God, and They Really Want You To
How to Talk to Mami & Papi About Everything, August 30, 2021
Public conversation project on the difference of opinions about the Bolsa Família Program
Gerais: Revista Interinstitucional de Psicologia (Brazil), August, 2021
Workshop Teaches Constructive Communication
Winthrop Transcript, August 5, 2021
Growing Sustainability Leaders Will Help Change The World
Irving Patch, August 2, 2021
On Condemning White Supremacy and Hate Crimes: But First, Let’s Talk
The Winthrop Transcript, July 23, 2021
Inviting Religion Into the Classroom
Heterodox Academy Blog, July 6, 2021
3 tips for managing the transition to post-pandemic civic life
The Fulcrum, July 2, 2021
Free Guide Helps Schools Navigate Debates Over In-Person Education
Associated Press, June 28, 2021
Our Differences don't have to be our Divisions, interview with Katie Hyten and John Sarrouf
More in Common Podcast, June 2021
Listen to Part 1 / Listen to Part 2
Newburyport’s DEI Alliance to host community dialogues
Newburyport Daily News, June 3, 2021
Interview with EP partner Sarah Stroup, faculty director of the Engaged Listening Project at Middlebury College
Free to Think Podcast, June 2021
Opinion: Rituals can guide us in our post-pandemic worlds, by Jill DeTemple
Austin American-Statesman, May 29, 2021
When Norms Collide, Part 5: Essential Partners’ approach to inter-bubble conflict
Negotiation & Mediation Clinical Program at Harvard Law School, May 12, 2021
[Video] Interview with Kathy Eckles of Essential Partners
Chatting it Up with Rama, May 5, 2021
Talking about Polarizing Topics
Insider/Outsider Podcast, April 27, 2021
Stimulus tips: 11 solutions for healthier, enriched learning environments
District Administration, April 14, 2021
Community initiative promotes civil discourse
The Beacon (Mass Municipal Association), April 2021
Revving up the ‘curiosity engine’ in inclusive class discussions
District Administration, April 1, 2021
Interview with EP Co-Executive Director John Sarrouf
CityBiz, March 29, 2021
Wellesley Civil Discourse Initiative virtual meeting, April 6th
Swellesley Report, March 29, 2021
[Video] Holy Cross Alumni Discuss Role of Catholics in Restoring Public Life, Facilitated by EP Associate Meg Griffiths
Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture, March 26, 2021
Convening Conversations About Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Babson Thought & Action, March 25, 2021
Transforming Student Engagement Through Dialogue: 3 Approaches for Every Classroom
Getting Smart, March 23, 2021
[Video] Community Conversations: How Citizens Are Rebuilding the Public Square
Wellesley Public Media, March 23, 2021
Teaching Toward Equity: A Pandemic’s Uneven Burden (EP collaboration)
Tufts Now, March 15, 2021
The conversation: Looking to change how Wellesley combats racism and bias
Wellesley Townsman, March 9, 2021
Wellesley launches Civil Discourse Initiative
Wellesley Townsman, March 8, 2021
Profile of EP Senior Associate Raye Rawls
Mediators Beyond Borders, March 5, 2021
Newburyport school principals share goals for next year
Newburyport News, March 3, 2021
Coming soon to Wellesley: Civil discourse
The Swellesley Report, March 3, 2021
Nonprofit Helps Americans Talk About Race With Free Guide
Associated Press, February 10, 2021
Why sharing personal stories is more important than facts in bridging political divide
USA Today, January 27, 2021
Is it even possible to talk about our stark differences? It is, and it can do a lot of good.
DesMoines Register, January 26, 2021
VIDEO - AAC Promising Practices Webinar: Bridging Divides through Community Dialogue
National Civic League, January 2021
2020 in the Press
New England Museums Now, Fall/Winter 2020-21
Video: Interview with Newburyport, MA, educators
Morning Show with Mary Jacobsen, December 31, 2020
Inclusive Pedagogy in the Academic Writing Classroom: Cultivating Communities of Belonging
Journal of Academic Writing, December 18, 2020
We’ll find better ways to archive our work
Sam Ford, Nieman Lab, December 2020
Newburyport superintendent's contract renewed with flying colors
Newburyport News, December 9, 2020
Red and blue: Let's talk reconciliation
Michael Felsen, The Hill, November 30, 2020
NHS students, staff to kick off community read of Just Mercy
Newburyport News, November 27, 2020
How to Survive Political Talk at Thanksgiving and the Holidays
Bicultural Mama, November 16, 2020
Mission-Driven Interview with Meg Griffiths
Mission-Driven Podcast, November 10, 2020
How to glue together a cracked nation
Christian Science Monitor, November 5, 2020
Teaching: Helping Students Make Sense of the Election
Chronicle of Higher Education, November 5, 2020
How we heal after a contentious election
Deseret News, November 4, 2020
Dear America, We Can Still Do This
Public Square Magazine, November 4, 2020
SMU Reminds Students About ‘Responding Respectfully To The Election’
CBS Dallas, November 4, 2020
Fostering Community During Crisis
Portland Community College blog, November 2020
Gloucester high schoolers choose Biden/Harris
Gloucester Times, October 28, 2020
WBUR CitySpace Now Offers Virtual Event Production Services
WBUR, October 27, 2020
Does politics belong in Halloween decorations? What about book reviews?
Deseret News, October 20, 2020
ROE Dialogue Across Difference: Introducing Essential Partners
WAM Theater blog, October 9, 2020
Bishop Lynch High School Students Learn Essential Dialogue Skills
Bishop Lynch High School blog, October 8, 2020
Americans Averse to Discussing Hot-Button Issues, Says New Report
The Dialogue Project, October 6, 2020
New Free Resource Lets Students Talk Politics With Honesty & Civility
Globe Newswire Release, October 6, 2020
How A Few Simple Ground Rules Can Help Polarized Groups Hold Civil Conversations With Each Other
Conversation Matters, September 15, 2020
Hard Talk: Gender Inclusion in a Corporate Setting
Transactional Analysis Journal, September 8, 2020
WAM Theatre Announces Digital Production of ROE by Lisa Loomer
Broadway World, August 24, 2020
Newburtyport Education Foundation elects student representative from EP program
Newburyport Daily News, July 21, 2020
Blackface 2010 NHS yearbook photo prompts rebuke from school leader
Newburyport Daily News, June 27, 2020
Experts offering tips on pandemic parenting
The Gloucester Times, May 28, 2020
Essential Partners: How to keep remote teams connected, creative, and efficient (op/ed)
Multiple Outlets, May 12, 2020
Namedropper: Mention of EP's Online COVID-19 Dialogues
Scranton Times-Tribune, May 10, 2020
Better Dialogue: Speak your piece thanks to Essential Partners
Monocle Magazine's “The Entrepreneurs,” May 2020
Questions for Connection and Purpose
by John Sarrouf and Jill DeTemple, Inside Higher Ed, April 22, 2020
Teaching Brave – TEDx Talk
Jill DeTemple, April 6, 2020
Essential Partners offers free virtual dialogue series to combat COVID-19 social isolation
Yahoo News, March 26, 2020
The Hurtt Locker: Make Arlington (and America) Dinner Again
by Matthee Hurtt, ArlNow, March 19, 2020
Leadership must evolve or we will remain in crisis
by David Nevins, The Fulcrum, February 20, 2020
Interview with Jill DeTemple about better classroom discourse
Heterodox Academy podcast with Chris Martin, February 4, 2020
Saying 'Those people' isn't helping. Grassroots nonprofit aims to ease political disagreements
Duluth News Tribune, February 2, 2020
Interview with Nadiya Brock
Morning Show on WJOP with Mary Jacobsen, January 3, 2020
2019 in the Press
Interview with Katie Hyten
The Growth Exponential Podcast, December 24, 2019
“Newburyport High School to keep traditional criteria but change class speaker selection”
The Newburyport Daily News, December 18, 2019
“Selected New Books on Higher Education”
The Chronicle of Higher Education, December 15, 2019
Recommends Creating Space for Democracy, which includes a chapter co-authored by Essential Partners co-Executive Directors Katie Hyten and John Sarrouf
"In a polarized world, dialogue is a radical act"
America Magazine, December 3, 2019
"When red and blue agree to meet—and not change each other’s minds"
The Christian Science Monitor, December 2, 2019
Case Study: Arkansas Dicamba Dialogues
Participedia, December 2019
"The courage to talk about abortion: Tips for starting a better conversation"
an op/ed by EP co-director Katie Hyten, AL.com, November 1, 2019
“North Central College trains Naperville campus leaders in productive dialogue”
Chicago Daily Herald, October 24, 2019
"NHS students prepare to lead class rank discussion"
The Daily News, October 22, 2019
"For those of us longing for the return of civil discourse, this SMU professor can help"
The Dallas Morning News, October 16, 2019
"Want Free Speech and Meaningful Classes on Campus? Encourage Listening."
Heterodox Academy blog, October 11, 2019
"SMU Professor Teaching Students How To Engage Without Arguing"
KERA Radio interview with faculty associate Jill DeTemple, September 24, 2019
"How we can use the art of listening to heal the divisions in our country"
An op/ed by faculty associate Jill DeTemple, The Dallas Morning News, September 1, 2019
“The poverty of partisan identity”
An op/ed by Daniel E. Pritchard, The Fulcrum, August 21, 2019
"Reflective structured dialogue: A conversation with 2018 American Academy of Religion excellence in teaching award winner Jill DeTemple"
Teaching Theology and Religion, July 2019
"Hearing Each Other Over the Gun Fire”
HowlRound Theater Collective, June 24, 2019
"Edward M. Kennedy Institute Wins Leonore Annenberg Civics Award"
Diverse Issues in Higher Education, June 11, 2019
"Groton Civil Discourse Project interview"
GD: 911, Groton Community Access TV, June 1, 2019
“‘It’s not just opinions flying around the room’”: The Berkshire Conversation Project considers gun violence”
The Berkshire Edge, May 25, 2019
“There's a difference between debate and dialogue”
Des Moines Register, May 7, 2019
“Passion, Conflict, Diversity, and Leadership; an interview with Parisa Parsa”
Nonprofits Are Messy Podcast, May 3, 2019
“Gunning for Understanding: Facebook and the Gun Control Debate in America”
PA Times, April 30, 2019
The Reveal podcast, PRX, April 20, 2019
"Elijah Cummings discusses illness, diversity in Columbia"
The Baltimore Sun, April 16, 2019
“Have a conversation and defend democracy”
Civic Nebraska blog, April 11, 2019
"Lessons from a year-long community dialogue on guns"
AL.com, March 27, 2019
"Courageous Conversations Tackle Race and Religious Bias"
The Baltimore Jewish Times, March 15, 2019
“Howard County faith community to host series of conversations on race and religion”
The Baltimore Sun, March 12, 2019
2018 in the Press
“How to Have a Productive Conversation About Guns with Someone Who Holds Different Views”
The Trace, December 22, 2018.
“Top Comments: Dialogue With the Enemy”
Daily Kos, November 25, 2018
“Politics at the Table”
HearSay, WHRV Radio, November 21, 2018
“How to Handle Difficult Conversations at Thanksgiving”
The New York Times, November 20, 2018
"Thanksgiving table talk: How to put relationships ahead of political differences"
The Denver Post. November 20, 2018
“Finding Reason in Difficult Conversations”
Let's Gather, November 19, 2018
“A Political Bubble, Burst”
Scranton Journal, Fall 2018
“The Value of Boredom”
Windrose Magazine blog, October 21, 2018
“Recovering the (Lost) Art of Civility”
The New York Times, October 29, 2018
“Can Dialogue Journalism Engage Audiences, Foster Civil Discourse, and Increase Trust in the Media?”
Nieman Reports, October 23, 2018
“A Case Study of Murphy’s Law in Missouri”
Indisputibly blog, July 25, 2018
“Birmingham-Southern religion professors to attend summer teaching workshop”
AL.com, July 26, 2018
“Running Class Discussions on Divisive Topics Is Tricky. Here’s One Promising Approach.”
Chronicle of Higher Education, July 19, 2018
“Journalistic Curiosity and Some New Powers of the Press”
Tom Atlee's blog, July 10, 2018
Op/ed by Parisa Parsa: “To move from outrage to courage: Why we need to talk”
Advance Local, June 28, 2018
Stories, Videos, and Continued Engagement with “Guns: An American Conversation”
Advance Local, June 28, 2018
“Complicating the Narratives”
Solutions Journalism, June 27, 2018
“State Department fellowship programs brings emerging leaders to the U.S. to share skills”
Daily Hampshire Gazette, June 2, 2018
“What happens when 15 strangers talk guns in America? Emotions run high, but some common ground is found”
MassLive News, May 20, 2018
"A Friendship Forged in Disagreement"
Syracuse.com, April 6, 2018
"What Happens When You Reimagine the Difficult Conversation about Guns"
TIME, April 4, 2018
“New 'dialogue journalism' project will immerse itself in gun debate”
Poynter, March 16, 2018
"Cumberland County high school students walk out of class 'for change'"
WRAL, March 14, 2019
"What a Middle School Pen Pal Program Taught Me About Difficult Conversations"
On Being blog, February 22, 2018
“Interview with Chatham Financial”
Work and Life Podcast, January 2018
2017 in the Press
"Preserving and Protecting Our Precious Civic Ecosystem"
The Huffington Post. November 30, 2017
"The anti-Washington: College group offers a model for debating politely"
The Christian Science Monitor. October 26, 2017
"Journalism and Civil Conversations: Truth and Consequences"
The Poynter Institute. September 2, 2017
"Project Funded to Promote Civility in Classroom Discourse"
Diverse Issues in Higher Education. February 22, 2017
"Difficult Conversations in Uncertain Times"
www.joangarry.com. January 20, 2017
2016 in the Press
VIDEO: "Healing the Divide, One Conversation at a Time"
WGBH, December 12, 2016.
"Making Thanksgiving Great Again"
Detroit Today, November 23, 2016.
"Social Gatherings Need Healthy Debate"
Public News Service. November 28, 2016.
"Pass the Turkey. Now, Let's Talk Politics"
Denver Post, November 23, 2016.
"My View: Lets Tell Some Truth Before Reconciliation"
Deseret News, November 12, 1016.
"After Trump's Remarkable Win, Can National Reconciliation Follow?"
Christian Science Monitor, November 9, 2016.
"Make American Whole Again: How the US Can Heal its Political Rift"
New Scientist, November 2, 2016.
"Who is the Public Conversations Project?"
Wicked Local Lexington, July 8, 2016.
"PCCI Holds Seminar on Reflective Structured Dialogue with Public Conversations Project"
Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry. July 7, 2016.
"Olive Branch Giving Circle"
KGNU, March 30, 2016.
"Is There a Movement to Depolarize America?"
Deseret News, March 6, 2016.
"Boulder Focus Group on Firearm Use"
Boulder Jewish News, February 25, 2016.
2015 in the Press
"SUNY Potsdam Associate Dean Phil Neisser Honored With Award from Public Conversations Project"
SUNY Potsdam, October 23, 2015.
Interview with Dave Joseph.
The Doug Knoll Show, October 1, 2015.
"Lessons from 25 Years of Bridging Divides at Public Conversations Project"
CivilPolitics.org. September 25, 2015. Featuring interview with Director of Programs, Dave Joseph.
"Finding a New Tone for the Day of Atonement"
OnBeing.org. September 23, 2015
"How to Get the Most Out of a Conference,"
Harvard Business Review. July 8, 2015
"Public Conversations Project: The Leader in Fostering Constructive Discussions."
DatingAdvice.com. May 6, 2015.
"Rehumanizing Difference Through Dialogue."
Awakin.org. May 4, 2015
"Sexual Orientation: Conversations that Strengthen Community in Challenging Times."
Texas Conflict Coach. February 12, 2015
2014 in the Press
"How to Talk Guns: First, Get to Know Each Other."
Christian Science Monitor. November 21, 2014
2013 in the Press
"As Nigeria Battles Islamist Boko Haram, An Imam and Pastor Spread Tolerance."
Christian Science Monitor. November 8, 2013.
"On Guns: For a Conversation Rather than a Debate, Start With These Questions."
Christian Science Monitor. May 13, 2013.