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Project Unloaded Launches Youth Council, Expands Its Work to Reshape Gun Culture

The Youth Council is Comprised of a Dozen Teens from Across the Country Who Are Passionate about Changing Gun Culture and Saving Lives

According to a Recent Project Unloaded Survey, at Least Half of Young People Worry About Shootings Daily or Weekly

CHICAGO Project Unloaded, an organization changing the cultural narrative about gun ownership and safety, today unveiled its first youth council, a group of young leaders committed to making communities safer through empowering Gen Z with the facts on gun violence. Council members include students who’ve personally survived gun violence, students with experience advocating against gun violence, as well as young people who have grown up worrying about shootings.

“Today’s teens are growing up fully aware of the threat of gun violence,” said Nina Vinik, founder and executive director of Project Unloaded. “Gun violence is the top cause of death for their generation. They can’t ignore this crisis, so instead, they’re working to stop it by dispelling the myth that we need guns to be safe. We’re grateful to the young people who’ve stepped up to join Project Unloaded’s youth council and do their part to reshape our deadly gun culture. There’s so much we can do to stop gun violence, and Gen Z will lead the way.”

Members of the youth council provide strategic guidance to Project Unloaded on its work to change gun culture, including the Safer Not Using Guns (SNUG) campaign, a TikTok-driven campaign that leverages fact-based content and influencer voices to share the message that guns make us less safe. Council members also work on projects to expand Project Unloaded’s footprint via social media, offline events and partnerships.

“We must change gun culture because the status quo is killing us,” said Dhruv Gupta, a 17-year-old member of Project Unloaded’s youth council from Fremont, CA. “Thankfully, my generation has no problem questioning social norms and behaviors. By reaching young people with the facts on gun risks, Project Unloaded can help young people decide against gun ownership and save lives.”

The Project Unloaded Youth Council members were selected following a national application and interview process. Their first term of the youth council will run through June 2023.

The members include:

  • Anvesha Guru, 15, Brookfield, WI

  • Arusha Ramaswamy, 15, Syracuse, NY

  • Ayisat Bisiriyu, 18, Pittsburgh, PA

  • Dhruv Gupta, 17, Fremont, CA

  • Isaac Law, 18, Houston, TX

  • Jacob Hoyt, 17, Highland Park, IL

  • Jordan Phan, 19, Charlottesville, VA

  • Karly Scholz, 19, Madison, WI

  • Lillian Lee-Sin, 15, Evans, GA

  • Lucas Braiman, 17, Brooklyn, NY

  • Paige Carter, 19, Evansville, IN

  • Sophie Szew, 19, Los Angeles, CA

To learn more about the inaugural youth council or Project Unloaded, please visit www.projectunloaded.org/youth-council.


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