Conversation Starters is a women-run firm specializing in the discipline of listening, of learning, of creating inclusive spaces where authentic relationships can build, and laying the groundwork for sustainable change.
We use the art of Facilitation to develop and activate organizers, individuals, groups, organizations, institutions, and businesses to invest in disrupting systemic and individual occurrences of racism, inequity, oppression and prejudice.
We are committed to liberation and co-creating a world where all people, from all backgrounds, experience peace, hope and happiness.
Skyra Rideaux and Elsa Dimitriadis started Conversation Starters in the summer of 2016 with the shooting death of Alton Sterling.
Two women, from disparate backgrounds and lived experiences, both impacted by the injustice and inequitable treatment of historically excluded identities, are committed to using their combined 20+ years of facilitation expertise to foster authentic, relational learning and reconciliation through transparent dialogue.
Skyra Rideaux is an unapologetically Black, cis-gendered woman. She is an equity consultant, inclusive economic development expert, and a climate and environmental justice advocate who specializes in hyperlocal community development. Her personal and professional work is rooted in (1) anti-racism, Black liberation, and the dismantling of white supremacy; and (2) radical racial reconciliation and eliminating misogynoir.
These things have affected how she interacts with the world and how the world interacts with her and she is deeply committed to doing her own work to interrogate her inherent biases. She is intentional about listening to those who have been harmed by her privileged identities and is always learning how to be a better co-conspirator.
Elsa Dimitriadis is a proud first generation American. She is a strategy and communications specialist and a queer interdisciplinary artist, with two decades of hands-on work in social change. She is a certified facilitator and somatic coach and specializes in facilitating groups who have experienced incarceration, disasters, and death and dying. Her work being both a story listener and a storyteller has given her a deep appreciation of the uniqueness of every person.
Elsa’s life is richer for having engaged with so many different people at different places in their lives. She likes to say that the uniqueness of the world deserves witnesses. She believes that now, more than ever, it is so important to acknowledge our differences and have meaningful conversations.
Our Compass for the Good, Right Work
*courtesy of Grace Lee Boggs
Danielle Fastring, PhD
Digital Media Strategist