Telling Our Story

760 Chapel Street
New Haven CT 06510

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©2018 Telling Our Story

Our Team

Hillary Bridges

Hillary is dedicated to helping young Black people discover their rich histories of resilience and brilliance along with the root causes of the racial disparities they see around them. Her drive to create Telling Our Story comes from her own continued journey from ignorance and feelings of inferiority-- to liberation. While in high school Hillary co-founded the African Education Program (, a non-profit dedicated to helping improve educational opportunities in Zambia. She was a John B. Ervin Scholar at Washington University in St. Louis, where she spent a year as a student at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and a Danish Government Scholar at the University of Copenhagen. Hillary is originally from the Philadelphia suburbs and is happy to have called New Haven home for the past six years.

Elizabeth Kinnane-Smith

Elizabeth grew up in Pittsburgh, PA. She discovered her passion for learning about the African diaspora in high school when she became involved in her school's Black Student Union. With her school's BSU she organized lesson plans for other high school students on "Forgotten Black History", planned student protests, and participated in professional development trainings. She is currently taking time off from studying African American Studies at Northeastern University to work with TOS as a program coordinator. 

Anthony Mitchell

Anthony is a young grassroots activist, who got involved with SEJ at the age of 13. He started off as a very active member, taking every opportunity SEJ offered: trips, meeting up with other organizations, applying for different workshops and trainings. While being an active member of SEJ he was also a very active as an incoming high school student. He played a role in several important school decisions including hiring staff and scheduling special visitors, events & fundraisers, as well as being a member of several after-school clubs. He is currently apart of the Leadership team and acting Communications Lead.

Benie N'sumbu​

Benie N’sumbu immigrated to the U.S. when she was 5 years old. It was during her sophomore year of high school that she began to realize how detached she was from her Congolese culture. Because of SEJ she has spent the past three years reclaiming her heritage, unlearning and relearning the histories of Black people, and advocating for cultural literacy education.

Our Collaborators

Crystal N. Feimster

Crystal N. Feimster, a native of North Carolina, is an associate professor in the American Studies Program and the departments of African American Studies and History at Yale University, where she teaches a range of courses in 19th and 20th century African American history, women’s history, and southern history. She has also taught at Boston College, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Princeton. She earned her Masters Degree and Ph. D. in history from Princeton University and her BA in History and Women’s Studies from UNC-Chapel Hill. She is the author of Southern Horrors: Women and the Politics of Rape and Lynching. She is currently completing her manuscript, Truth Be Told: Rape and Mutiny in Civil War Louisiana.

Michelle King

Michelle King is a learner first and foremost and as well as an instigator of learning. Professionally, she is a middle school teacher and has taught over 22 years in public schools in Western Pennsylvania. She learned and honed her craft in Mt. Lebanon with a fantastic crew of educators and students for over 16 years. In her quest to instigate courageous conversations about learning and children, she ventured to The Environmental Charter School and their principles (Catalyst. Character. Collaboration. Commitment.)  She co-taught Cultural Literacy, an integrated social sciences and English/Language Arts course. She is constantly seeking to create dynamic learning experiences and opportunities that inspire wonder, discovery, contradictions, frustrations, and joy. In making connections locally and globally, Michelle pushes the envelope and boundaries of where learning should occur for all students. Her current interests are in game based learning, design, restorative justice, equity, social justice, the environment and teacher empowerment.  Through her partnerships with the Western Pennsylvania Writing Project, Center for Urban Education, UrbanKind Institute, Green Building Alliance, SocialVR, Carnegie Science Center FAB Lab, Girl Up, CREATE Lab, Carnegie Museum of Art, the Remake Learning ecosystem, ThinkZone Games and other provocateurs; Michelle is helping to create equitable, empathetic, learning experiences for all Pittburghers.

Kerry Lord

Over the last 28 years, Kerry Lord has enjoyed an exciting career as a public educator.

She spent 10 years teaching elementary and middle school in the Bay Area, then began her Administrative career as an Assistant Principal at the Middle level. As a school leader in Denver, Kerry served as a principal at the elementary level for 10 years, and then became the Executive Director at a K-12 Expeditionary Learning public school of choice. In 2009 Kerry was recognized by the Commissioner of Education for her school’s outstanding student growth. She was appointed by the Governor of Colorado to sit on the High School Graduation Guidelines Council, and contracted by the Colorado Department of Education to review school improvement plans for the alternative high schools in Denver. Kerry holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado, a Master’s in Education from San Francisco State University, and is an instructor for the Residency Program for School Leaders. Kerry is the project manager for the Center’s annual Equity Institute, works with district leaders to address systemic inequities, coaches and mentors school leaders, and facilitates communities of practice designed to support school leaders.