Project Bully Free Zone's founder Traciana Graves is a fanatic about helping schools, colleges and organizations create bully free zones. Her personal experiences, and those of the people closest to her, have formed and driven her passion to create bully free schools, companies and communities in which people are able to cultivate, contribute and celebrate their unique voices in a space of safety and respect.
Traciana Graves is a graduate of Georgetown University with a major in languages and a minor in international studies. In addition, she has a degree in organizational coaching from New York University. Traciana can be reached through e-mail atTG@projectbullyfreezone.com, on Twitter @TracianaGraves, and through Facebook at Project Bully Free Zone.
Growing up in the shadows of bullies who taunted her throughout her early school years, Traciana encouraged herself by studying the lives of heroes who used their voices to take a stand and empower others, including Dr. King, Gandhi and Anne Frank, to name a few. These leaders inspired Traciana to persevere even through the most terrible incidents of taunting and teasing. However, her charismatic stepbrother, Joel Harris, was not as fortunate. During a hazing incident at his college, Joel was brutally killed. Hundreds of bystanders witnessed the violence without stepping in or speaking up.
When Joel died, Traciana became determined to develop her individual voice to use it as a vehicle for change—just as so many of her heroes had done in times of adversity. This mission intensified Traciana's passion for singing and speaking. Traciana soon discovered that she had the power to inspire others to raise their voices in her concerts, workshops and in their everyday lives to prevent bullying while fostering self-esteem, potential and power.
Traciana has enjoyed a multifaceted career. She is an internationally acclaimed singer and has toured as a background vocalist for artists such as Celine Dion and six-time Grammy award winning Steel Pulse. A veteran educator, Traciana taught and consulted with New York Public Schools for nine years. During that time, she worked with adjudicated and incarcerated young people and started her own non-profit organization, Songs for Life and Change, dedicated to empowering children and young adults in situations of adversity. Traciana has served as a speaker and consultant for over 100 Fortune 500 companies (including Forbes Magazine, Goldman Sachs, UBS and Mount Sinai Hospital) and colleges (such as Columbia University, City College of New York and Lehman College) throughout the United States. Using her unique and varied background, Traciana has emerged as a compelling bullying prevention strategist.