National Conference for Community and Justice

Helping Humans Human Better Together.

Our Mission

NCCJ promotes inclusion and acceptance by providing education and advocacy while building communities that are respectful and just for all.


Our Story

The National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ) promotes inclusion and acceptance through education and advocacy to building inclusive, respectful  communities. Since 1927, NCCJ’s mission has evolved to include nine areas of social justice identity: Ability, Age, Body Size, Class, Gender, Race, Religion, Sex, and Sexual Orientation. 

Headquartered in Middletown, CT, NCCJ designs and delivers Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programs and consulting services to thousands annually. NCCJ offers a continuum of services including fee for service DEI Consultive, executive coaching, focus groups, community conversations, customized curriculum, assessments tools and development of affinity groups. Helping humans human better together is not only our mission, it is our call to action. 


Our Staff

Monique Lorenzo

President & CEO

Sandra Vonneissen-Applebee

Director of Operations

Nyaunu Stevens

Director of Programs

Lisa Tatko

Director of Community Engagement & Partnerships

Kristen McNamara

Development & Marketing Manager

President & CEO

Monique Lorenzo

About Monique Lorenzo

Monique Lorenzo’s social justice journey has been defined by several pivotal life-transforming experiences that have coursed her personal, educational, and professional trajectory. As a Dominican woman she was raised with a foundation of faith which ingrained tenets of virtue, value of human rights and life. Lorenzo is a fierce Afro-Latina who has dedicated over two decades as a relentless civil leader, tireless change agent, and fearless disrupter. She has a wealth of experience in the areas of nonprofit C-suite and corporate management.

In July 2022, Lorenzo joined the National Conference for Community and Justice, NCCJ. As President and Chief Executive Officer, Lorenzo leads the human relations organization in its mission to advance equity and equality, promote justice, and build diverse and inclusive communities in Connecticut, Massachusetts and nationwide. Lorenzo is an adaptive leader, strategic visionary, and critical thinker whose results-based approach and transformational leadership support systems change. She believes intrinsic motivation and a growth mindset allow one to leverage strengths to guide positive change. For Lorenzo social justice is standing in the face of oppression, standing with marginalized communities, leading change, and social transformation one person at a time. At NCCJ we understand that life is complex, and it’s our mission to create safe spaces to ‘help humans, human better,’ together.

Lorenzo has a Master of Science in Urban Policy Analysis and Management from Milano, The New School for Management and Urban Policy, and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Legal Studies from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. In her personal life, she loves to garden year-round, collect vinyl records, write, and play crossword puzzles. Lorenzo lives with her beloved husband, adored son, dog, kittens, and turtle in Connecticut.


Board Officers

Erica M. Dean

Senior Director of Inclusion and Diversity, Comcast Western New England Region

Susan Dunn

Non-Profit Consultant

Edmund S. Kindelan, CPA

Office Managing Partner – Boston, CohnReznick

Calvin R. Hill, PhD

Vice Chair III
VP for Inclusion and Community Engagement, Springfield College

Edward Lewis

Senior Managing Director & Head of Alternative Investments, CIGNA Investment Management

Brooke Penders

Executive Director of Career Services, University of Hartford

James Ray, Esq.

Robinson & Cole, LLP

Board Members

Matthew Cambi

Principal, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, LLP

Dianne Fuller Doherty

Senior Business Advisor, UMASS Amherst

Ellen Weiss Freyman, Esq.

Shatz, Schwartz & Fentin, PC

Matthew J. Guanci, Jr., Esq.

Partner, Robinson + Cole, LLP

Paul E. Lambert

Interim Executive Director, Springfield Symphony Orchestra

Jane Lehman

VP, Guest Experience & Programming,  Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

Robert J. Martino, Esq.

Updike, Kelly & Spellacy, PC

Ryan S. McCollum

Owner/Principal,Marketing Consultant, RMC Strategies/Get Set Marketing

Tracy McMillan

Managing Principal, Broadview Talent Partners

Andrea O’Connor

Principal, Fitzgerald Attorneys at Law, P.C.

Paul Robbins

President, Paul Robbins Associates

David B. Rosenthal

Partner, BlumShapiro

Yolande Spears

Senior VP, Education and Community Relations, The Bushnell Center for Performing Arts

Mark A. Wasilefsky

Senior VP, Marketing Commercial Credit Mgr., TD Bank

Our Supporters


Grants and Partnerships

Equity Leadership Alliance | Partnership with Liberty Bank & CT Humanities

State of CT Department of Education | Anytown Interdistrict Grant

Hartford Foundation for Public Giving | Sestero Grant


About the National Conference for Community and Justice

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LinkedIn @NCCJ

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Instagram @NCCJPics

Twitter @NCCJTweets


When there is an act of bias or hate, NCCJ speaks out…and we empower those we work with to find their voice for change.

Join, support, and add your name to building inclusive communities for all.

Copyright 2023 National Conference for Community and Justice