Co-founder 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.
Currently an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Saint Louis University with a research focus on race, racial identity, and the effects of discrimination on mental health, Dr. Banks has been described as making the complex and controversial topic of race accessible and intergroup interactions more understandable.
Her specialty is working in predominantly White settings to help all community members develop skills and competencies for effective intergroup interactions. She works within the larger framework of diversity, which captures multiple aspects of identity (e.g. gender, class, sexual orientation, religion, nation of origin, political affiliation, other affiliations). Her main passion is to help people and institutions tap into their fullest potential by engaging diversity. The benefits of diversity don’t occur when diverse groups simply coexist. Dr. Banks believes reflective individual work along with keen structural analysis is necessary for forward progress.
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.
Follow Dr. Banks on Twitter at @kirabanks.
Co-Founder Eric Ratinoff brings more than two decades of experience in teaching, coaching, facilitating, and organizational development, in both corporate and not-for-profit settings, to the Mouse and the Elephant’s diversity and inclusion work. He served as the Executive Editor for the Ferguson Commission report, Forward Through Ferguson, and is a co-author of A Seat at the Table, a column on diversity and inclusion in the New Hampshire Business Review.
Eric is also the founder of the strategic storytelling firm Story First, where he applies the principles and tools of storytelling to help organizations solve their most challenging business problems, and leads the Forward Through Ferguson storytelling team. Eric has also taught Technical Writing in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis; trained and advised leaders as a facilitator, presenter, and organizational consultant; and served as assistant track and field coach at Washington University.
In addition, Eric is the lead organizer for TEDxAmoskeagMillyard in Southern New Hampshire, and serves on the Program Advisory Board for the Communication and Media Studies program at Fisher College in Boston.
Eric earned his Bachelor of Arts in English at Washington University.
Follow Eric on Twitter at @eric_ratinoff.