What We Do
At Essential Partners, we believe that every community has the power to improve the way it approaches differences of values, views, and identities. For more than three decades, EP has helped civic groups, faith communities, colleges, and workplaces foster resilience, cohesion, understanding, and trust. We do this in several ways:
- By training stakeholders in our trademark approach
- Through long-term collaborations to shift community or institutional cultures
- By co-creating new proprietary programs and materials
- Through remote consultation and coaching
- By facilitating community dialogues about divisive topics
Our goal is lasting change. We equip communities and organizations with everything they need to deploy EP's approach, so they can thrive long after the Essential Partners engagement has ended. We also provide lifetime support for our global network of partners.
We are not the experts about your community. You are. Our practitioners bring experience as well as EP’s flexible approach. But we believe that community members understand their own problems better than we ever could. The goal is to help people have the vital conversations they think they need to have—not the ones we think they should have.
No two communities are the same. We know that the same approach will not meet each community's unique needs. We customize each engagement for the specific circumstances, populations, history, and culture.
Research drives our work. Our evolving approach is driven by ongoing research into interventions that effectively address the underlying forces of polarization and social divisiveness. In recent years we have embarked on multi-year research into the application of Reflective Structured Dialogue in higher education, social media platforms, and secondary school contexts. Click here to browse a selection of the published research.
If you're ready, let's take the first step together.