Mission & Values

Story Starters Boston uses children’s literature to give  families the tools and support to talk about race and racism and to engage in family-centered social justice conversations.


We will:

Be intentional

We will talk regularly and openly about race and racism with our children and with each other.

Be resilient

We will focus on the process, not perfection; Mistakes will not stop us from engaging.

Be active

We will show up, speak up, and continue learning; We know this work has no finish line.



Joslyne Decker

Founder & Co-Director


Joslyne began developing Story Starters in the spring of 2017 as an expansion of Building Diverse Bookshelves, a project she started at her daughter's school. In designing that program she came into contact with We Stories (a St. Louis based organization engaging over 700 families in conversation about race) and was inspired to bring her vision for diverse books to a broader audience in Massachusetts.  Joslyne has a master's degree from Smith College School of Social Work, is a SEED trained facilitator, and is on the DEI Task Force for USA Climbing. Joslyne  has a B.A. in Creating Writing (nope, not a typo) from St. Olaf College (yup, it does exist.) She moved To Olney, MD this past July and discovered that humidity is not her thing. 

Ellie Axe



Ellie joined Story Starters as a co-director in the summer of 2018.  Ellie 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. 

Decker-Orlando Family Favorites

Axe Family Favorites







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