About Us





Evolving Communities 

Our mission is to ignite bold, candid, and essential conversations with children and their parents. We want to change the world through the future generation.


Let’s start having conversations about future generation’s essential topics.


We will create tools for children, and their essential adults, to have brave conversations, and take bold actions that impact cultures and communities.


Provide compact coaching conversations that are relevant, resonating, and “ready to work” for parents and children to create diversity and inclusion in their daily spaces.

Raising Dynamic World Citizens

At Candidly Connecting, we provide resources and an intimate community for parents and other essential adults to normalize conversations about diversity, equity, and belonging. This candid opportunity provides parents with nuanced and necessary exposure to "real life" dimensions of diversity, and ways to serve as catalysts for inclusive change in school, social settings and their
future careers. 

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Meet Our Founders

Khalilah Lyons

Khalilah serves as diversity and inclusion strategist for several nonprofits. Lyons aligns her passion to disrupt exclusive narratives and create opportunities for inclusion and diversity across Chicagoland. Her active spirit for inclusion extends in being a mentor, advisory council member, thought leader, notable keynote speaker, board member and avid volunteer. Lyons' purpose, experience and zeal drive her to present compelling stories, facilitate workshops, influence youth and create spaces for courageous -- and often provocative -- conversations. She’s often quoted in various publications and Lyons believes in the power of culture.

“I want to create an accessible, approachable, and practical repository for parents and children to turn to for discussions that create community and culture appreciation. I have had several parents reach out letting me know they’d like to begin engaging their children in the same topics we have as adults. I'm hoping this work helps answer that call.”


Veronica Appleton

Veronica is a scholar, practitioner and children’s author. At DePaul University, she serves as Professor of Intercultural Communications. Appleton's research interests include race, equity and behavior change. She completed her undergraduate education at Purdue University, graduate education at DePaul University, and doctoral degree at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Appleton's work has been recognized by Crain’s Chicago, FOX Chicago News, Chicago Sun-Times, WGN Chicago, Sinclair Broadcasting, and Diversity Journal’s Top Professionals in Higher Education.

Calling All Parents, Educators & Essential Adults…

Kickstart Inclusion Right On The Playground 

Sign up for our newsletter to receive ongoing resources on diversity and inclusion for parents, educators and essential adults, starting with free access to our Candid Conversations Module on Scanning for Triggers.

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