Leadership in Community


The circular symbol in the Story Stitchers logo comes from the West African Adinkra symbol called Adinkrahene, chief of the Adinkra symbols. It stands for greatness, charisma and the importance of playing a role in community leadership.

Adinkra cloth is hand-stamped in Ghana and worn by people in a variety of social and festive gatherings. Adinkra symbols express various themes related to the history, beliefs, and philosophy of the Asante people of Ghana. Sometimes they are related to wisdom as taught through traditional proverbs. Adinkra cloth has been called story cloth, as numerous symbols are stamped in blocks on one cloth, perhaps telling the story of a person’s life.

Saint Louis Story Stitchers board members met last night for the annual meeting and election at the .ZACK on Locust in Grand Center.

The Board held the annual election and reviewed finances and programming. Susan Colangelo, President, gave the annual report and the group discussed fundraising, growth and the direction of the organization.

The board is pleased to welcome three new members.

Serving as Secretary, Sarah Gaby, Ph.D. is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Department of Sociology and the Wiedenbaum Center on the Economy, Government and Public Policy at Washington University in St. Louis. Her research and community interests focus on the ways organizations engage youth in social change work. Sarah received her doctorate from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Sarah described her reasons for joining the board, “I am excited for the opportunity to serve an organization that uses the arts to help youth process their lived experience and better their communities.”

Hedy Lee, Ph.D., a new Member-at-Large, is a Professor at the Department of Sociology with a Courtesy Joint Appointment in the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. Hedy shared, “My research focuses on understanding the social determinants of health and health disparities, including gun violence. I am excited to work with an organization that actively engages with youth community members to address important issues, like gun violence.”

“I often find that my professional work identifies and examines social problems, but I want to do more to actively address these problems and I can do that through my volunteer work. I think actively working with my community is critical to being a good citizen and scholar.”

Chu (Wanda) Wang, a new Member-at-Large, is a staff accountant at Martz & Wilson, LLP. She received her MACC from Washington University in St. Louis. Wanda has worked on a consulting program to help not-for-profit organizations develop fundraising strategies. Wanda says, “I am ready to contribute my passion and professional knowledge to Story Stitchers and become part of the power to communicate the concepts and raise people’s attention on youth gun violence.”

These passionate people join the rest of the board – Susan Colangelo, Cassandria White, Maggie Wu, CPA, Donna Campbell, Ph.D., Ebony Carter, MD, MPH, Mary Chandler, Chris Hanson, Keisa Johnson, Esq., Eric F. Kayira, Esq., and Tim Portlock, to give freely of their time and resources in support of Saint Louis Story Stitchers.

We add Adinkrahene, symbol for leadership in community, to the stories of their lives.

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