A Managing Partner and COO of Conversation Starters, Skyra Rideaux is an equity consultant, inclusive economic development expert, and a climate and environmental justice advocate who specializes in hyperlocal community development. She has worked with mid-sized and large municipalities to “localize” redevelopment and revitalization efforts and create research-based reinvestment strategies in historically excluded BIPOC communities.
A former bomb-builder for the US Navy, Skyra also serves as a diversity, equity and inclusion expert for a Fortune 10 global tech company. Skyra is a first-generation college graduate and holds a Bachelor of Arts in public relations from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
A featured TEDx speaker, Skyra has given keynote presentations and been featured on international panels to discuss the intersection of equity, policy and economic development for almost a decade.
Skyra is a 2021 International Economic Development Council’s (IEDC) Gold Rank award recipient, 2019 Girls Scouts of Louisiana ‘Woman of Distinction’ awardee, 2017 TEDx speaker, 2015 Acadiana Top 20 Under 40 honoree, a decorated United States Navy veteran, and a member of the Holy Rosary Redevelopment Board and a member of the IEDC’s Racism in Economic Development committee. A certified facilitator through the National Coalition Building Institute, Skyra specializes in facilitating the following populations groups: military, faith based, Black women, youth STEM, cross racial, and young professionals.
A first generation American and Washington, D.C. native, Elsa Dimitriadis is a strategy and communications specialist and queer interdisciplinary artist with two decades of specialized work in art for social change, including work with Shakespeare Behind Bars,Young Audiences, Alternate ROOTS and interventions in juvenile detention centers. A story listener and story teller, she is a certified facilitator, end of life doula, and somatic coach.
Elsa is a Leadership Lafayette Class XXVIII graduate and was one of Acadiana’s 20 under 40 honorees in 2017. She holds a master of arts degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design and is currently the Interim Executive Director for the Acadiana Regional Coalition for Homelessness and Housing, an eight parish (county) region Continuum of Care lead agency.
A former faculty member at Tulane University, Elsa has CESR proficiencies of A2 in Spanish and C2 in Greek. Elsa served as the Public Information Officer for Acadiana Organizations Active in Disaster for four years, managing communication and coordinating responses between nearly a hundred agencies and organizations during unprecedented floods, hurricanes, and COVID-19.
Certified and trained through Dialogue on Race Louisiana, National Coalition Building Institute, Narrative4, Emergent Strategy Ideation Institute, Theatre of the Oppressed, and the Strozzi Institute, Elsa specializes in facilitating groups who have experienced incarceration, disasters, and death and dying.
Conversation Starters is an equity and facilitation consulting firm that specializes in the discipline of listening. Our objective is to create forums that draw participants from many facets of a community (whether that community be interest, action, place, practice, or circumstance) to learn and share personal experiences, honestly exchange perspectives face-to-face, clarify viewpoints, and develop solutions to community concerns.
We invite discovery and the reevaluation of assumptions, and we seek to move people along the continuum from uninformed to informed, informed to concerned and concerned to action.
Managing Partner & Chief Operations Officer
Managing Partner & Chief Impact Officer