Our Staff


Giovanna Adams

Director & Founder

Giovanna Adams is a District Level Equity Specialist, Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Consultant, Equity Coach, and Strategic Equity Planner with over 15 years experience across sectors.


She has a background in Social Work and has experience with both adults and teens with dual psychiatric diagnosis's in a private Psychiatric facility in New England. 


Giovanna is certified as a Curriculum Developer and facilitator/trainer with comprehensive knowledge of Racial Equity, Antiracism, SEL, Cultural Responsiveness Training, and more. She holds certifications in Teaching for Equity and Justice, Conversations on Race, Bias and Equity, Inclusive Leadership, Intercultural Competency in Education, Race, Gender, and Equity in the Workplace, Empathy and Emotional Intelligence in the workplace, and 120 hour TESOL. She is also skilled in data analysis and REDIJ research methods.

In addition to her work with A.C.E., Giovanna is also a Senior Equity Consultant for a social impact organization that focuses on organizational equity development, an Equity Coach with Sustainable CT, a CT Governor endorsed member of the CT Council on Teacher Professional Standards, and the REDI Chair of the CT Arts Alliance.

Giovanna is a classically trained vocalist and an award-winning illustrator. 

Pronouns: She, her & hers



Julie Hansen

Project Manager

Julie is a resident of Simsbury. She has a background in communications, marketing, and design, which she hopes to use in support of the mission and vision put forth by HB4 Diversity. Having lived in a variety of places and worked in a range of jobs, Julie believes that communication and the sharing of personal stories is essential to understanding and celebrating the differences that make each of us unique and valuable to the world. If everyone took the time to listen actively and engage with our fellow humans, each of us would better understand that we all have the same basic needs and wants: to feel safe, valued, and fulfilled in life. Through Alliance for Collaborative Equity (formerly, HB4 Diversity), Julie hopes to see more acceptance and understanding in our communities.


In her free time, Julie and her family are involved in geek culture and cosplay.

Pronouns: She, her & hers


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Traci Wells

Facilitator & Assistant Curriculum Developer 

​My name is Traci Wells, and I live in Harwinton with my husband, two school-aged children, two cats, many koi, and a chameleon. We have lived here for nine years, having chosen Harwinton for the educational opportunities and homey community it offered.


I grew up in Waterbury, CT, attending their public schools and then returned to work as an educator and school counselor for fifteen years. Even at a young age, I believed in the power of advocacy, and as such spoke out for students and communities whom I felt needed an ally.


My statements regarding the need for education and understanding for people and communities whom the dominant culture sees as “other” were acknowledged in the Republican-American newspaper as well as The Advocate.


As an adult, I have carried that passion for positive change forward in my teaching and counseling positions. I strive to help my students find and use their voices to speak up for themselves as well as to stand up for those who struggle to speak out. I also focus on finding common ground among diverse opinions in order to help break down the dividing walls between people. I believe communication and education are the cornerstones of understanding and equality.


I look forward to the development of curriculum that helps our communities have open conversations, where we can recognize the diversity that exists within ourselves, embrace diversity in others, and work toward building a more equitable community for all.

Pronouns: She, her & hers


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Jeanne Lowrey

Social Media Coordinator

​Jeanne Lowrey is an archivist by training and is very passionate about using history to understand our past, present, and future. She is also interested in the intersection of identities and how this impacts how we understand ourselves and each other.


Jeanne has lived in Burlington for 20 years and has deep roots in the town, which has been her family's home for eight generations. She is committed to creating an accepting and welcoming community well into the future.

Pronouns: She, her & hers



Michelle Weaver

Legal Counsel 

Michelle Weaver is an education consultant and in-house counsel at the State Education Resource Center (SERC) in Middletown, CT.  Her consultant work centers on helping to improve school climates, specifically as they relate to behavior and equity.  She trains schools on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). She is endorsed by the Northeast PBIS Network. 

Michelle enjoys reading and listening to books and also listens to a variety of podcasts. Her interests are public education, equity and racial identity. 

When Michelle was a child, her family immigrated to the United States from London.  She lives in Harwinton with her husband and sons.

Pronouns: She, her & hers



Lynn Paulella Beard

Advocate Team Coordinator

Lynn has been teaching in higher education and the performing arts for over 20 years, is a member of the National Association for Teachers of Singing (NATS) and Massachusetts Teacher Association (MTA) and is an adjunct professor at Westfield State University. Lynn’s experience is in the performing arts as a director, producer, teacher, and writer.  She has a Master of Arts from New York University and is completing a Master of Social Work degree.  She has worked with non-profit performing arts organizations developing curriculum, managing events and maintaining lasting relationships within the arts community and public school systems. 


When teaching and directing, I have found it vital to instill trust and support while encouraging inner strength; always investing in a safe space for students and performers to share.  With creative momentum, artists expand their personal truth and become ready for what the world calls them to be. In these trying times, it is heartening to be a part of empowering, listening, holding space, and journeying with other human beings for diversity.

Pronouns: She, her & hers




KC Rachuba

Grant Writer

KC Rachuba lives in Thomaston and works in Finance for a local Hospital.

She is a local Community Theatre actor, and has been seen in productions at Phoenix Stage Company in Oakville, as well as Theatreworks, in New Milford. KC is also an adoring cat mom and a part-time student at NVCC.

KC is committed to working with Alliance for Collaborative Equity (formerly, HB4 Diversity), to promote compassion, and inclusion to enrich communities in Connecticut and beyond.

Pronouns: She, her & hers


Pride Parade
happy family