WORDS

From Our Founder

I am proud to work with directly impacted people like myself. As a mother of three who survived rape, drugs, prison, homelessness, and the cold streets, I connect with those who have had similar survival experiences.
Those of us with lived experience are most knowledgeable of best practices and procedures. I, and members of SWAN, work closely with community members to help develop better harm reduction policies that will help keep people safer and healthier.

Beatrice Codianni

Founder and Executive Director

OUR TEAM

Organization Leadership

Beatrice Codianni

Founder and Executive Director
bcodianni@yahoo.com

Beatrice is SWAN’s Founder and Executive Director. She is a lifelong political activist and a Just Leadership USA Fellow. Beatrice has not only lived through the realities of street-based sex work and addiction, she also survived over fifteen years of incarceration. Beatrice Codianni is a longtime community activist who was sentenced to 17 years prison for racketeering. As a high ranking member of the Latin Kings, she used her community activism skills to fight for jobs, education and mental health and substance abuse treatment for disenfranchised youths.

During her time in federal prison Beatrice was active in the Danbury FCI AIDS Awareness Group which sought to educate women in prison about HIV prevention and lessen the stigma against HIV+ people. She also taught reading skills to the women at Danbury. In prison her greatest achievement was taking the Bureau of Prisons to court in an effort to eliminate cross-gender pat searches for women who had been sexually or physically abused. Beatrice was granted an exemption that opened the door for other women in the federal prison system to apply for an exemption.

Beatrice is now the Managing Editor of Reentry Central, a nationally recognized website on reentry and criminal justice reform issues. She is also co-founder of the groups Real Women Real Voices, the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls, and the Women’s Resettlement Working Group. Additionally she is on the Connecticut Bail Fund’s Community Advisory Board.

Karolina Ksiazek

Director of Operations

Karolina (they/she) is an activist, dancer, and educator who brings to SWAN their experience in urban planning and community organizing. Their work with SWAN is rooted in the belief that dismantling stigma and uplifting the voices of marginalized people is central to our collective liberation.

Jaclyn Lucibello

Director of Outreach

A New Haven native, formerly incarcerated person and drug user with a passion for dismantling abusive systems and practices, building community, and empowering those most marginalized by society.

Photos by Graham MacIndoe

Additional Team Members

Sally Graveline

Outreach Worker

Patrick Lynch

Outreach Worker

Marcus Alexander

Outreach Worker

Christine Thompson

Outreach Worker

Marta Lopez

Outreach Worker

John Burroughs

Outreach Worker

Jason Crowell

I have lived in CT most of my life, but was born in Waterville ME. I grew up in Norwalk but was sent to New Haven through the judicial system in 1998 and never left. I am a recent MSW Graduate at Southern Connecticut State Universities Master of Social Work Program and completed Gateway Community Colleges Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Counseling program as an undergrad. I spent the majority of my life as an IV drug user and was homeless here on the streets of New Haven before I began pursuing a higher education in 2015. I plan to continue my education and will begin the Master of Public Health program at SCSU in the Fall of 2021 and then plan to apply for the Doctor of Social Work program at SCSU so that I can continue as an educator. I Have been an artist my whole life with a focus on graffiti and also dabble in many other mediums, play various stringed instruments rather poorly, but have fun doing it and am very proud of my undergrad thesis which is slated to be published this summer. I also continue to pursue research projects such as the current project we are doing in collaboration with Yale and the APT Foundation surrounding fentanyl test strip use and knowledge.

 

In Memoriam

In July 2020, SWAN suffered the indescribable loss of our friend and beloved community advocate, Jason Crowell. In addition to being SWAN’s Outreach Director, Jason was also a Substance Abuse Counselor with Cornell-Scott Hill Health Center. He was a recent graduate from Southern Connecticut State University’s Master of Social Work program with plans to start his Master of Public Health this fall.

As many know, Jason was a tireless community advocate and harm reductionist. He dedicated himself to supporting and building power with people most marginalized and dehumanized in our world. It is impossible to capture his profound impact on so many lives over the years. He was passionate about ending the war on drugs, opening safe injection sites, and uprooting stigma against drug users and other oppressed people. He fought, humbly and unapologetically, with and for his communities.

We will miss, every day, Jason’s compassionate and courageous spirit. He was a beacon of hope and love to many. We know Jason can never be replaced, but we will do our best to carry forward his legacy and honor his visions of justice and a better world for all.