Leading Refugee Dialogues in Amman, Jordan

Last year, Jordanian human rights advocate Ilham Darwazeh spent three weeks with Essential Partners thanks to the Professional Fellow Program funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. In that time, Ilham had the opportunity to attend EP trainings and learn about the EP approach from staff and associates.

4 Lessons That 2017 Taught us About Change

When we entered into 2017, our country reeled from the election less than two months earlier. People seemed to retreat to their corners and prepare for battle, terrified of or thrilled for what the next year would bring. As this year progressed, our team often felt like we had front row tickets to this tension: when to engage, and when to fight? As we spoke with people working to shift the dynamics of polarization in their community, we often saw this tension firsthand: yes, we need to have better conversations. But also, their views are repugnant and we must stop them.

Dangerous Dialogues and Courageous Conversations: Dave Reflects on International Peacebuilding Conference

I just returned from Romania a week ago, where I had the good fortune to engage with more than 200 mediators from 40 different countries, as part of Mediators Beyond Borders' 7th annual Congress. MBB, a leader in international peacebuilding, has been a Public Conversations Project partner in both Liberia and Nigeria, going back to 2008. For me, the most exciting part of the Congress was having been chosen to be one of the trainers for MBB’s International Training Institute.

Preparation: Three Lessons from George Mitchell in Northern Ireland

George Mitchell didn’t enter Northern Ireland as a peacemaker. In February of 1995, President Clinton appointed him to a trade mission, meant to last until the end of the year. Rather than dedicating himself solely to policy, he spent his time building relationships, learning about the context in Northern Ireland, and earning the trust of all with whom he worked. Before the end of his appointment, authorities from Britain and Northern Ireland accepted Mitchell as one of three chairmen on an international commission on the disarmament of paramilitary organizations.

Creating Welcoming Communities: Immigration in America

Communities throughout the United States are struggling today with conflicts around growing immigrant populations. This is especially true in areas that are straining to recover from major economic shifts. These communities often experience heightened anxiety that can lead to mistrust, hate crimes, and reluctance of new arrivals to interact with long-time residents.

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