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.

Our Mission

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.

Our Vision

We are committed to liberation and co-creating a world where all people, from all backgrounds, experience peace, hope and happiness.

We believe our clients and investors have a right to know who they’re hiring and what our company stands for as a matter of informed consent. We aim to be transparent about our identity, values, and business practices so that you can more easily determine if we are aligned in the work.


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.


✔️ Master of arts degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design

✔️ Bachelor of arts from University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Certified Facilitators

✔️ National Coalition Building Institute
✔️ Dialogue on Race Louisiana
✔️ Narrative4
✔️ Emergent Strategy Ideation Institute
✔️ Theatre of the Oppressed
✔️ Strozzi Institute

Certified Diversity, Equity and Inclusion & Anti-Racism

✔️ University of South Florida

✔️ National Conference for Community and Justice

Certified Project Management

✔️ Institute of Project Management


✔️ Undoing Racism - People’s institute for Survival and Beyond
✔️ Groundwater - Racial Equity Institute
✔️ Beyond Diversity - Courageous Conversations
✔️ Whiteness at Work - The Adaway Group


✔️ Certified 100+ facilitators across multiple industries in the US
✔️ Partnered with Fortune 100 clients in access of $11.5B in annual revenue
✔️ Impacted more than 9,000 individual program participants

Skyra Rideaux

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

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

Our Team

Danielle Fastring, PhD


Corey Jack

Business Consultant

Brady McKellar

Digital Media Strategist