By Sharon Aron Baron
Arming policymakers, advocates, and the public with facts and data to create an evidence-based policy to reduce gun violence, GVPedia announced this week, Patricia Oliver has joined its Board of Directors.
Oliver and her husband Manuel founded Change the Ref in honor of their son, Joaquin, who was killed in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
Devin Hughes, Founder, and President of GVPedia, said Patricia brings a passion and dedication to ending gun violence that will further our work to ensure public policy is based on facts and research.
“Patricia has strong relationships in the gun violence prevention community that will allow GVPedia to expand the number of advocates we can reach with the studies, research, and myth-busting content that will help policymakers create more effective gun violence prevention policy.”
Growing up in Venezuela, Patricia graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and an associate’s degree in public relations.
She, Manuel, and their children Joaquin and Andrea immigrated to the United States in 2003. They moved to Coral Springs for its proximity to safe schools.
After her son, Joaquin was killed on February 14, 2018, in the massacre that left him and 16 others dead and over 30 injured by a teen who had access to an AR15, Oliver became an activist, founding Change the Ref, which fights for common-sense gun reform.
“I look forward to working with GVPedia to ensure that advocates, media, and policymakers have access to accurate and reliable evidence-based information about gun violence prevention,” she said.
GVPedia serves as a bridge connecting advocates, policymakers, and the media with academic research and best practices. Its comprehensive gun study database makes research accessible to the public, and its university translates that research into digestible fact sheets and white papers.
Patricia said, “Facts matter, especially when it comes to public policy.”
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