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Nina Vinik

Founder and Executive Director

Considered one of the architects of the modern gun violence prevention movement, Nina Vinik has spent two decades creating and investing in what works to reduce gun violence. An attorney and policy expert, Nina has a passion for diving deep into the data – and it led her to spot an unaddressed problem: Over the last twenty years, more Americans than ever before have bought into the myth that having a gun makes them safer, leading to more people buying more guns. And where there are more guns, there is more gun violence.

Nina founded Project Unloaded to take on this myth directly and bring the facts about using guns to young people. Why young people? Because studies show that they’re still forming their views on guns and open to learning and considering the facts. Changing America’s gun culture will take time. But Nina believes it’s essential to making the nation safer for generations to come. And early signs indicate that Project Unloaded’s approach is working. Join the movement today.

More about Nina Vinik

For more than two decades, Nina Vinik has been a leading voice in the fight to stop gun violence. At the Joyce Foundation, Nina served as director of gun violence prevention and justice reform for 13 years. In that role, she oversaw more than $50 million in grant-funded projects focused on evidenced-based policies and practices to reduce gun violence. Initiatives funded under Nina’s direction include some of the nation’s most significant research into the impact of local, state, and federal gun violence prevention strategies.

Nina knows that partnership is key to success, building broad stakeholder coalitions to keep communities safe, including the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence, the Fund for a Safer Future, and the Toward a Fair and Just Response to Gun Violence cohort. Nina serves on multiple professional boards, as an Advisory Board member of the NYU Policing Project; an Advisor to the American Law Institute, Principles of the Law-Police Investigations; a Member of the Council on Criminal Justice; and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

She also chaired the board of directors of the March For Our Lives Action Fund until 2021.

Prior to joining the Joyce Foundation, Nina had a successful career as a civil rights attorney with the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Inc., and the ACLU Foundation of Florida. She also served as Legal Director of Legal Community Against Violence (now Giffords Law Center), and Director of the American Bar Association’s Litigation Assistance Partnership Project.

Nina earned her law degree from the University of Chicago and her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan. She lives in Chicago.