The Mouse and the Elephant delivers a different kind of diversity initiative to help corporate partners meet this challenge. We integrate extensive diversity work in corporate and academic settings with cutting-edge experience design for a fully-customized program that meets clients where they are and helps get them where they want to be.
The company was founded by Dr. Kira Banks, a professor of psychology at St. Louis University, and by Ben Kaplan and Eric Ratinoff, principals in the strategic and applied storytelling firm Act3.
Ben Kaplan is a multi-disciplinary teacher, facilitator, and trainer who has worked in visual communications, interactive design, radio, film, journalism, fine art, composition, music, and audio recording, as a creator, director, producer, writer, editor, and educator.
The founder of strategic and applied storytelling firm Act3, Ben also teaches Experience Design in the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts at Washington University, and performs, produces, and records music under the alias The Vaad.
Ben holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Film and Television Production from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.
Eric Ratinoff brings extensive teaching, coaching, facilitating, and organizational development experience to the Mouse and the Elephant, in both corporate and not-for-profit settings.
As a principal in strategic and applied storytelling firm Act3, Eric helps clients articulate their value and philosophy in stories that connect with their target audiences. Eric has also taught Technical Writing in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Washington University; trained and advised leaders as a facilitator, presenter, and organizational consultant; and served as assistant track and field coach at Washington University.
He earned his Bachelor of Arts in English at Washington University, where, during his sophomore year, the Mouse and the Elephant co-founder Ben Kaplan taught him to play guitar.
Dr. Kira Hudson Banks has consulted with national and international firms to enhance their diversity and inclusion initiatives. She incorporates interactive games, reflective exercises, and small and large group discussions into her sessions.
An Assistant Professor of Psychology at Saint Louis University, Dr. Banks' research focuses on race, racial identity, and the effects of discrimination on mental health. She has been described as making the complex and controversial topic of race accessible and intergroup interactions more understandable.
Dr. Banks earned a B.A. in Psychology from Mount Holyoke College, in South Hadley, Massachusetts, and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.