Brian Corley Bio
Brian Corley is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Single Story, Inc. He is also the Middle School Head at The Roeper School, in Birmingham, Michigan. Since 2015, Brian has served as a National SEED (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity) Facilitator Trainer. He completed a full term as a member of the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS) Equity and Justice Committee which is the governing organization over 240 independent schools in 14 states.
Brian has trained hundreds of diversity practitioners in self-directed diversity seminars that they have taken back to their organizations to increase awareness, build cultural competency, and influence positive change. Additionally, 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.
Brian has been a Diversity Practitioner since 2010 and currently works with public and independent schools, universities, not-for-profits, and for-profit organizations in the midwest. He graduated from Cranbrook Kingswood Schools in Michigan and holds a Bachelor of Science from Michigan State University in Kinesiology and a Masters in Administration from Northwestern University. He has been married for 11 years to Dr. Kellie Corley.
Dr. Kellie Corley Bio
Dr. Kellie Corley is the co-owner and Chief Financial and Operating Officer of Single Story, Inc. She is also a SEED facilitator and diversity curriculum specialist. Kellie taught second and fourth grade for six years before moving into school leadership. After receiving her Master of Arts in Teaching, Kellie began her doctoral studies with a focus on urban leadership. While in her program, Kellie worked first as an assistant principal for two years before taking on headship of a K-8 school in the Bronzeville community of Chicago. While serving as a Head of School, Kellie completed her program in record time. Her dissertation focused on 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 decided to leave the Chicago Public Schools system to partner with her husband, Brian Corley, in running Single Story Inc., a diversity integration consultancy that specializes in changing people's hearts. She also serves as the youth director at her church. As an advocate for children, Kellie continues to promote her leadership philosophy focused on a commitment to partnering with educators, families, and communities to educate the whole child.
Kellie attended the University of Miami, Florida where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Broadcast Journalism and Economics. She went on to earn a Master of Arts in Teaching from Dominican University and her Doctorate of Education in Urban Leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago. As a lifelong learner, Kellie embeds her academic research and training with the work of school leadership to help schools develop high functioning teams and systems that strengthen professional learning communities.
Lauren Collins Bio
Lauren Collins is the Diversity Director at Near North Montessori School, in Chicago, Illinois. For 14 years, she 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. Prior to her current role, Lauren was the Diversity Coordinator at the University of Chicago Laboratory School.
After receiving her Masters in Education in 2007, she provided training and capacity building for center directors and staff teams as an Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant in preschools serving low-income families in the Boston area. 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 partnered closely with teachers and administrative teams to center equity and inclusion via professional development and curriculum support.
Lauren attended Miami University (OH), where she earned her Bachelor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies. She went on to earn a Master of Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
John Paul Arellano Bio
John Paul Arellano received a BA in Ethnic Studies from UCLA and a Masters in Instructional Leadership from UIC. His career in education began in a dual language setting in San Diego, California where he practiced a humanistic approach to instruction. These were formative years for John Paul as his time at Chula Vista Learning Community Charter School helped ground his pedagogy in critical thinking and the belief that we do not learn alone, we learn together. 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. It was through these years that he developed a passion for dialogue and how critical and honest conversations could lead to collective and individual clarity. He began to set up systems for dialogue that were grounded in process and the understanding that when we allow room for doubts and questions, we open up the possibility for critique and most importantly, connection. This focus on dialogue has continued in all his work and remains the center of his philosophy as he aims to create spaces for honest, critical, and collective reflection and dialogue.
In Chicago, he 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 work in leadership has allowed him to implement protocol that aims at addressing the whole learner as well as the teacher’s role in creating a space for human reflection and connection. His passions include creating systems of dialogue and reflection that support critical pedagogy and equity. This next stage to his career has brought into play one of his most fundamental beliefs that the true way to establish a humanizing experience is through leading by example. Whether a teacher, leader, or facilitator, one must take himself through a critical and reflective journey in order to create a safe space for others to do the same. This is the perspective that he holds close to him in facilitating groups of adult learners. He 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.
“The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie