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The Big Picture


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The Big Picture


VISION

We envision a St. Louis region where all families, regardless of race, have the opportunity to thrive.

 

Mission

We Stories uses the power of children’s literature to create conversation, change and hope in St. Louis, and a stronger, more equitable and inclusive future for all.

 

Theory of Change

IF more families are provided with 1) resources to improve the way they engage their children in conversations about race, 2) connections to like-minded families, and 3) opportunities to add their voices to racial justice activism and policy change efforts, THEN the resulting community of families will become a force of positive change, BECAUSE many want to be part of solutions to make St. Louis more equitable but feel unprepared, isolated, or disconnected from action opportunities.

 

organizational status

We received our tax-exempt 501(c)3 status from the IRS in April 2016. 

 

Partners

We seek to form partnerships with organizations in St. Louis that are already working to eliminate our region's racial disparities. With the help of these partners and small businesses, we align We Stories families to robust action opportunities that advance equity.

 
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Who We Are


Who We Are


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ADELAIDE LANCASTER

co-founder and director of community and collaboration

EMAIL  

Adelaide is a born and raised East-coaster who is still surprised by how much she loves living in ‘the Lou.’ While she hasn’t traded in her East-coast ways, she has learned a lot from the warm and gracious people in her adopted city. For her it’s been a place to learn from philosophical differences, push beyond common narratives, embrace possibility and challenge herself to work towards change. Sometimes this requires considering new ways to do things; often times it means being a minority voice. She is a firm believer in the power of everyday actions. She does think that the tenor of hearts and minds matter, especially when it comes to children. Her most important full-time job is caring for the hearts and minds of her own three children, ages 6, 4 and 2. She writes about these adventures as they relate to race, difference, and connection at Parenting While White.

Adelaide’s interest in racial equity began while earning her B.A. in Educational Studies and Sociology from Colgate University. She went on to earn a M.A. in Organizational Psychology and a M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology, where she studied racial identity development and group dynamics. She has spent most of her professional life as an entrepreneur, community builder and advocate. She was co-founder of In Good Company Workplaces, a first of its kind co-working space for women entrepreneurs in Manhattan, which opened in 2007. In Good Company has served thousands of women entrepreneurs and has helped shape the shared workspace industry of today. Adelaide is also the author of the book The Big Enough Company: Creating a Business that Works for You, in which she explores the relationship between size and success, using the examples of 100 women entrepreneurs to demonstrate that when it comes to satisfaction no one size fits all. 

Adelaide is an active parent in her school district, a proud supporter of many civic organizations, and is honored to currently sit on the board directors at Forward Through Ferguson.

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Laura Horwitz

Co-Founder and Executive Director

EMAIL

Laura grew up in St. Louis, left for college and made her way back more than a decade later with two kids, a cat, and a hip dude from California in tow. (Before you ask, she went to Ladue High School.)  In her years away, she extolled St. Louis’ virtues to anyone who would listen, while she lived, worked and studied in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia.  These experiences taught her the value of exploring new places, meeting new people, and adopting new habits.  As a parent, she hopes to share this openness and curiosity with her children, ages 5 and 2. Laura feels fortunate to have returned to St. Louis at a time of renewed civic commitment to address long simmering divisions, and has been inspired by the hope and vision of many community leaders that our city can become a place where all families thrive, regardless of race. For Laura, empathy is often a missing ingredient in efforts to solve our most pressing problems.  Similarly, she believes in the power of stories to stretch our imagination, transport us to other realities, and help us see our unique qualities and common humanity mirrored back to us in beloved characters.  

Laura has more than a decade of experience designing, implementing, and evaluating social justice programs.  Most recently, she launched the organizational learning function at American Friends Service Committee, an international nonprofit organization with programs in the U.S. and abroad addressing a wide-range of peace and justice issues.  Previously, Laura worked at The Pew Charitable Trusts where she was part of a team that provided strategic planning recommendations to nearly 400 program staff, working on policy issues ranging from consumer protection to environmental conservation.  She is the author of several research reports on topics like the impact of the recession on city budgets, parents’ views of school choices, and the rising costs of healthcare and pension benefits.  Her strengths include leadership development, curriculum design and group facilitation.  Laura received her B.A. from Tufts University and her M.A. in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University. 

St. Louis arch pattern by JHill Design

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Join our team


Join our team


Executive Assistant

We Stories is hiring!  We are looking for a detailed-oriented individual who is great at establishing efficient systems and processes to join our team as a part-time Executive Assistant.  We Stories is committed to being an anti-racist organization and seeks others who are passionate about these values.  Help us find the perfect fit for a great role at a dynamic and growing start-up.  

TO APPLY: Please review the job description, and send your responses to the two questions below, along with your resume and names of two references to hiring@westories.org; review of applicants will begin 3/1/17. 

Questions to include in your application:

1) What about our mission interests you?  What personal connection do you have to our work?

2) Describe a time that you helped something go from good to great.  What was the problem you faced?  How did you contribute to solving it?  How did your solution hold up over time?

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Board of directors


Board of directors


Board of Directors

Leslie Hardy
Leslie Hardy is the Advocacy, Inclusion & Outreach Manager at BJC Healthcare. In this capacity, she is responsible for the organizations’ community engagement, advocacy and outreach efforts to support improving outcomes and reducing disparities for populations served by BJC HealthCare. She is focused on collaboration and providing needed services to underserved communities, and serves as a key contributor in developing and supporting innovative programs and initiatives to promote the value of diversity and inclusion across the system. Originally from the east coast, Leslie enjoys living in the Central West End with her husband and three year old son who loves to read Full, Full Full of Love and I Like Myself! 

Maggie Klonsky
Maggie has a background in middle school education and has lived in St. Louis suburbs most of her life. She was drawn to We Stories, because she feels strongly that families in the St. Louis area need resources to help foster meaningful discussions about race and racism.  Currently, her favorite book to share with her almost three-year-old son and infant daughter is Little Humans.  

Kristin Moomey, AIA
Kristin set down permanent roots in St. Louis City after receiving her Masters in Architecture from Washington University in 1999. Together with her husband, Marcus (also an architect!), they've spent the past 17 years restoring their 1885 home in the historic neighborhood of Benton Park. Drawn to the juxtaposition of historical and modern design, Kristin views the renovation process as a model for how we can approach challenges in all aspects of our lives, particularly at a community level. With daughters Ella (13) and Frances (7), Kristin immerses herself in her second passion: children's literature, and she argues the best designed spaces are the ones teeming with good books. Kristin joins the We Stories team because she sees it as an actionable extension of her family's mission to live within, and learn from, diverse communities. The Moomeys' current obsession is Hamilton, but Kristin's heart belongs to any work by Ezra Jack Keats or Oliver Jeffers.

Ellie Myers, MSW, MPH
Ellie is a long-time nanny and was born and raised in Webster Groves. Her background in health disparities combined with her love for children drew her to We Stories' mission of creating a more equitable Saint Louis by fostering conversations about race with our region's youngest members. Her We Stories favorites include "More More More," Said the Baby, Juna's Jar, and Grace for President.  

Rebecca Rubin-Schlansky, M.A.
Rebecca is a History and Women’s Studies teacher at Villa Duchesne and Oak Hill School. Rebecca was born and raised in St. Louis, but it was not until her undergraduate years in New York that she recognized how dramatic the racial segregation was in her hometown. Upon moving back home to teach, she became committed to fostering a classroom environment that opened students’ eyes to the larger St. Louis community. Throughout her decade of teaching experience, she has witnessed a dramatic shift in her students’ eagerness to be introspective and work for justice. She knows that We Stories will ensure that these qualities become a part of all children’s empathetic views of the world. She lives in Olivette with her husband and daughter, age 2, whose favorite We Stories books are Please Baby, Please and especially We're Different, We’re the Same

Jenna Voss, Ph.D., LSLS Cert AVEd
Jenna is an Assistant Professor in Communication Disorders and Deaf Education at Fontbonne University. Her career as a teacher and early interventionist, serving children with hearing loss and their caregivers, has evolved into preparing the next generation of professionals to do the same. Voss, having been born and raised in the greater St. Louis community, loves this city and has high hopes for its future, knowing that by supporting the youngest citizens we can do better. She resides in Glendale with her husband (Ben) and three young children (Michael, 6; Francis and Ramona, 2). Her family’s favorite We Stories reads include "More More More," Said the Baby, Please, Baby, Please, Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match, and Of Thee I Sing

Pamela Washington, Ph.D.
Pam is a Gifted Specialist in the Webster Groves School District and Adjunct Professor at Maryville University teaching educators strategies to be culturally responsive in the classroom and meet the needs of their diverse students and families. She studies identifying underrepresented populations of students that are gifted.  Pam is passionate about social justice issues and believes We Stories is a solution to bringing literacy and diversity into the lives of young children in a positive and natural way that will shape their lens of the world.  She lives in St. Louis with her husband and two daughters. Uptown, a story about Harlem, Unstoppable Octobia May and Snowy Day are titles they enjoy reading over and over. 

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