Co-Founder and Executive Director
EMAIL | LINKED IN
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 6 and 3. 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.
co-founder and director of community and collaboration
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 7, 6 and 4. 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.
Development and operations coordinator
Heather moved to St. Louis with her husband and two sons in July of 2014. Aware of the city’s troubled past with race, she was falling in love with her new hometown in all its complexity when Ferguson became a flash point. No stranger to the realities of living in a highly segregated community, Heather grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania and went to all-white public schools while, just eight miles away, her parents taught in a district that served predominantly children of color. Armed with an early awareness of the profound differences of experience based on socioeconomic status, ethnicity and race, she went on to study social inequity and social welfare, graduating from Juniata College with a B.S. in Society and Law.
After a stint in New York managing the alumni relations program for one of the “Big Three” consulting firms, Heather took time off to raise a family. She became involved in the parent-teacher organization of her sons’ large and diverse elementary school, discovering a passion for engaging families and building a more connected school community, first as the leader of the school’s new volunteer program and later as president. Today Heather helps nonprofit organizations grow and make a greater, long-term impact. She is proud to be a member of the We Stories team and is inspired by the creative and committed work of its founders, volunteer leaders, families and supporters.
Now 13 years old, Heather’s younger son learned how to read with family favorite Shortcut by Donald Crews.
MAIL or VISIT US at 5017 Washington Place, Suite 102, St. Louis, MO 63108 - Call 314-405-8200