About Us

Our Mission + Purpose

Mission
Single Story, Inc.’s mission is twofold: (1) helping organizations create interculturally empowering and engaging communities through customized programming and strategic planning for building and retaining culturally diverse constituencies; and (2) equipping individuals and organizations to achieve their authentic identities through diversity integration across the institution.

Purpose
Our purpose is simple: to help organizations create windows and mirrors reflective of all constituents, allowing them to feel supported, secure, validated, and valued.

What We Do

At Single Story, Inc. we believe that the mark of a great organization can be found in the diversity of its employees – diversity of identity, thought, and experiences. Diversity not only involves how people perceive themselves but also how they perceive others. These perceptions affect their interactions.  For organizations with a wide range of employees to function at high levels of efficacy, leadership must effectively address issues of communication, adaptability, and change.

Education and workforces will experience a significant increase in diversity in the coming years.  Successful organizations recognize the need for immediate action to sustain positive productivity and high functioning teams.  They are ready and willing to spend resources on managing diversity in the workplace now. Although the diversity of an organization is a great indicator of its success and impact in a community, the inclusion of those diverse members within the organization may prove to be even more paramount. Helping organizations become more inclusive is our passion.  And it is this unique skill-set that separates us from others in this work. It is not enough to simply increase an organization’s diversity numbers – we have to meet the challenge of helping all to feel welcome, important, safe, secure and included.   It is with this challenge in mind that Single Story, Inc. designs its programming to assist organizations in fostering an inclusive work environment using five stages of diversity development.

Brian & Kellie Corley 

Co-Owner’s

Brian Corley - Founder, CEO, National SEED Facilitator, and DEI Director

Brian is the founder and co-owner of SSI along with his wife Kellie. Brian has over 10 years of experience as a Diversity Practitioner and has trained hundreds of others in self-directed diversity seminars. Brian believes that increased awareness and cultural competency can influence positive change. He advises boards and organizational leaders in diversity strategic planning, while also participating in the writing and execution of diversity policies that guide organizations toward more inclusive practices.

Western Culture Credentials: 

Fun Times: World traveler, Cyclist, Golf, Family time

Current Book(s)/Podcast: Slavery by Another Name by Douglas A. Blackmon, Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi and We Were Her Property by Stephanie Jones-Rogers

What ticks you off: Liberal White people that retreat to safety and comfort when racial injustices are omnipresent and folks of color are being harmed

Hopeful about: That the next generation of young people will be more race-conscious and therefore cause less racial harm. 

Dr. Kellie Corley, Ed.D. - Co-Owner, CFOO, DEI Curriculum Specialist, Facilitator

Kellie has dedicated 10 years to serving communities throughout the city of Chicago as a grade school teacher and principal.  She is a skilled SEED facilitator and diversity curriculum specialist.  After completing her doctoral capstone of an analytical study of demoralized and underachieving schools and how to rebuild the instructional capacity of those communities through strengthened pedagogy and social/emotional achievement, Kellie’s passion for evoking true systemic change grew.  As co-owner of SSI, Kellie uses her passion and belief in lifelong learning to fuel her commitment to educating the whole child by empowering the educators that serve them.  She embeds her academic research and training with the work of organization leadership to help develop high functioning teams and systems that strengthen professional learning communities and inter-cultural pedagogical instruction.

Western Culture Educational Credentials: 

Fun Times: World traveling, making DIY beauty products, music, working out, cooking, & family time

Current Book(s)/Podcast:

  • White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
  • Culturally Responsive Teaching & The Brain by Zaretta Hammond
  • So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
  • Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

What ticks you off: The USA’s obliviousness to systemic racists systems and institutions that continue to oppress people of color in this country. 

Hopeful about: Establishing a school and positioning it to have a tremendous impact on generations to come!

John Paul “JP” Arellano - Facilitator

JohnPaul’s career in education began in a dual language setting in San Diego, California where he practiced a humanistic approach to instruction. Inspired primarily by the teachings of Paulo Freire and bell hooks, he believes in creating systems and experiences for learners that are based on pedagogy and one’s own story.  John Paul has coached Kindergarten through Fourth-grade teachers in social-emotional and instructional practices and worked on school-wide systems within these areas as a school leader of instruction, community, and culture. His passions include creating systems of dialogue and reflection that support critical pedagogy and equity. John Paul believes that when given the space to engage in rigorous and intentional self-work, all learners strengthen their clarity of self and the world around them.

Western Culture Credentials:

Fun Times: Outdoor activities with the family & music.

Current Book(s): Words Can Change your Brain by Newberg & Waldman, Braiding Sweetgrass by Kimmerer

What ticks you off:  I am frustrated and inspired by the challenge it is for human beings to reach a place of honesty.

Hopeful about: That the conversations we have lead to transformative social change.

Lauren Collins - Facilitator

Lauren is the Director of Equity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement at North Shore Country Day.  For 14 years, Lauren has supported students and families in the private and public sectors, including non-profit organizations, public and independent schools. Lauren is a trained SEED facilitator and skilled presenter. After receiving her Masters in Education, she provided training and capacity building for center directors as an Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant in preschools serving low-income families. She went on to serve as the METCO Director in Weston, Massachusetts where she was responsible for the longstanding district-wide program supporting over 180 Boston students. She continues to partner closely with teachers and administrative teams to center equity and inclusion via professional development and curriculum support.

Western Culture Credentials:

Fun Times: Cycling, Rooftops, getting creative with family time!

Current Book(s): Ghosts in the Schoolyard by Eve Ewing, Cultivating Genius by Gholdy Muhammad

What ticks you off: Willful ignorance 

Hopeful about: Equity conversations moving into the public square

Christine Saxman - White Ally Specialist, National SEED Facilitator

Christine Saxman is a racial and social justice facilitator, most recently for Courageous Conversations About Race. She also works for the National SEED Project (Seeking Education Equity and Diversity) as part of the National Staff.  Prior to full-time facilitation, Christine was an educator in Township District 113 in Illinois for fifteen years where she was also a racial equity leader. In 2016, she received recognition as an Illinois Golden Apple Finalist and Teacher of Distinction. 

Western Culture Credentials:

Fun Times: Reading, watching movies, and time with my family, including my dog, Flannery.

Current Book(s)/Podcast: Code Switch, race and identity remixed.

What ticks you off: White people tearing other white people down in antiracism work. I’m committed to loving accountability and building up more white people to join ur collective.

Hopeful for: More mutual empathy and attention nationally for one another’s physical, psychological, intellectual, and emotional health.

Kimberly Phillips Solomon - Facilitator

Kimberly Phillips Solomon has been an educator for over twenty years. Kimberly has taught in private, public, parochial and private schools settings in Michigan, Georgia, and Texas. In her long career as an educator, she created safe classrooms focused on equity, diversity, raising student achievement, STEAM and gifted education. Kimberly advises school districts on how to create an equitable gifted student identification process and supports administrators, counselors, teachers and parents in understanding the unique needs of gifted children. Kimberly Solomon is an Executive Board Member of MAGC and currently serves as the President-Elect. Kimberly believes wholeheartedly in the importance of inclusion and diversity in the educational process. In her role as a SEED facilitator, she has trained hundreds of teachers, parents, board members and clergy staff in diversity seminars.

Western Culture Credentials

  •  National Principals Academic Fellowship, Relay Graduate School of Education
  • Educational Leadership Certificate, Eastern Michigan University  
  • Master’s of Education  Elementary and Early Childhood Education, University of St. Thomas
  • Bachelors of Arts Child Development, Spelman College
  • Teaching Certificate in Michigan
  • Lifelong Teaching Certificate in Texas
  • Administrator Endorsement
  • Early Childhood Endorsement
  • Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity (SEED) National Staff Facilitator & Trainer 

 Fun Times: Reading, Researching, Traveling, Blogging, Investing

 Current Book(s)/Podcast: Critical Pedagogy, Bright, Talented & Black by J. Lawson Davis

 What ticks you off: When our allies are silent in the face of injustice.

 Hopeful about: Our children will benefit from the work that we are doing now, and they can be “unapologetically” themselves.

Sarah Miller - White Antiracist Facilitator

Sarah Miller is a Social Justice Educator and Facilitator. Sarah is committed to increasing knowledge and dialogue about oppression in all of its forms, as well as systemic and historic injustice. Sarah firmly believes that providing relevant education to community members leads to increased empathy and resiliency.  Therefore, she is committed to social justice education with the intent of moving towards individual and systemic change to create a more equitable world. Sarah does curriculum development and presents on a range of topics with particular interest in service learning, white anti-racism ally work and connecting historic injustice to current oppression. 

Western Culture Credentials:

  • Masters of Arts in Social Justice, Marygrove College
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, University of Michigan

Fun Times: Reading, crafting, Tigers baseball, Michigan football and basketball, and family time.

Current Book(s)/Podcast: Caste by Isabel Wilkerson, The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Hamel, and The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow.

What ticks you off: The moral high ground that has been co-opted by the Pro-Life movement while the morality of caging refugees, denying healthcare coverage to people, turning a blind eye to housing and food insecurity and the reinforcement of systemic racism that kills Black and Brown people is ignored and even derided.

Hopeful for: The increase in awareness of systemic racism leading to more white people doing the hard but necessary work of dismantling the white supremacy culture we have too long participated in and upheld.