Story Starters equips families and educators with strategies to develop young children’s anti-racist values and ability to disrupt racism in their daily lives.
We envision a country where families, schools, and communities embrace the responsibility to proactively teach children to understand race and racism and where race-brave adults raise their children to demand equity and justice in the communities where they learn, live, and play.
Story Starters Staff
Ellie Axe, MBA, Story Starters Director
Ellie joined Story Starters as a co-director in the summer of 2018 and became Director in March 2020. She has over 15 years of experience building system-wide change through organizing in faith-based and secular institutions. After a number of years as an organizer, Ellie became intrigued with how organizational behavior and operations are drivers for success in social change institutions. This led her to pursue an MBA at the Simmons School of Management. Most recently Ellie was the Director of Operations at JOIN for Justice where she guided the strategic planning process, supporting the organization to pursue its commitment to diversity equity and inclusion. She also managed staff and programs throughout the organization. Ellie lives in Newton, MA, with her husband and their two daughters.
Kari Denitzio, MA, MEd, Family Conversations Program Coordinator
Kari joined Story Starters as Family Conversations Program Coordinator in 2023. She has over 12 years of experience working in public education in K-8 and middle schools, first as a classroom teacher and later as a school counselor. Kari holds her B.A. from Boston College and her M.A. and M.Ed. from UMass Boston. She lives in Walpole, MA with her husband and three children. In Walpole, Kari serves as a member of the School Committee and a Representative to Town Meeting. She also serves on the board of Be Inclusive, Inc., a Walpole-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to lift the voices of underrepresented and marginalized groups in our community
Board of Directors
Lauren Lipcon Dale, M.Ed
Lauren is an education consultant who provides coaching, co-planning, curriculum writing and professional development around project-based learning to both public and private schools. A mother of young children, she co-coordinates Families Organizing for Racial Justice at her daughters’ school. Over her career she’s also worked as an elementary school classroom teacher, art teacher, yoga teacher and literacy intervention teacher. She believes deeply in the power of children’s literature to teach critical values, validate human experiences and expand people’s horizons.
Jacquelyn P. Neel, MEd, MPA
Ms. Neel is the former Deputy Director for the City of Cambridge, Department of Human Service Programs. Among many other accomplishments, Ms. Neel oversaw the DHSP’s Inclusion Initiative and developed policies on bullying. Currently Ms. Neel mentors young adults from Newton South High School who are the first in their families to attend college. She is also the producer of numerous productions of Eve Enslers’ Monologues aimed at bringing an end to violence against women and girls. In addition to being a member advisory for Hilary Marcus Consulting and a board member of the Anne E, Borghasani Foundation, and an Advisory Board member of One Can Help, Ms. Neel served as both Co-Chair and Chair of the Social Action Committee of First Church Belmont.
Kerryn Hinds M. Ed
Kerryn was born and raised on the small Caribbean island of Trinidad & Tobago. She has been a Montessori and Progressive early childhood educator for twenty years. Kerryn currently serves as the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at The Chestnut Hill School, in Chestnut Hill MA. When she is not working, Kerryn is spending time with her two daughters and her goldendoodle. Kerryn is passionate about ensuring children have equitable learning opportunities and that they are engaged learners, who are seen, heard and valued.
Cynthia Greene, MBA, MA
Ms. Greene is passionate about helping organizations grow and thrive. She has done this in various sectors and capacities, including growing existing operations at the social investment fund Root Capital and launching a new channel of business at Electric Insurance. While the majority of her career has been spent in the for-profit sector, most of her time now is spent helping non-profits with strategic and growth questions. She sits on Advisory Committees at Cradles to Crayons and Tulaa, a Kenyan company using a mobile platform to help farmers. Equipped with experience in international banking and management consulting, she likes working with organizations that can fundamentally change our communities.