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Essential Partners


  • Engage Across Differences

Founded in 1989, Essential Partners helps people build relationships across differences to address their communities’ most pressing challenges.

Our proven approach, Reflective Structured Dialogue, helps people live, work, worship, and learn better together. Through a richer, healthier, more inclusive culture of dialogue, people are able to build authentic relationships while gaining new insight into themselves and each other—as well as the problems they face together. Since our founding in 1989, we have collaborated with a diverse array of partners, including more than

  • 350 college campuses
  • 140 workplaces and organizations
  • 400 local communities
  • 100 secondary schools

We have collaborated with people across all 50 U.S. States plus Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico as well as 29 other countries, impacting the lives of more than 100,000 people per year.

We believe that the most urgent problems can only be addressed by people who live and work together every day. The strength of relationships rooted in trust and mutual understanding empowers people to address the most pressing challenges—from partisan polarization and political dysfunction to interfaith conflicts and abortion access—without compromising their deepest values or identities. We envision is a world of thriving communities strengthened by difference, connected by trust.

Essential Partners collaborates with civic groups, schools, faith communities, colleges, and organizations to build a culture of connection, a deeper sense of belonging, as well as mutual understanding and trust across differences of values, beliefs, and identities. We do this in several ways:

  • Training people in our trademark approach
  • Through long-term support, coaching, and mentorship
  • Initiatives to shift community or institutional cultures
  • Crafting new programs and resources with our clients
  • Facilitating dialogue around particularly explosive issues
  • Continuous research, evaluation, and innovation

Visit our website to learn more about our approach, find out who we work with, browse impact stories, and download free resources.


Daniel Pritchard


Cambridge, MA, USA