Updated: Dec 21, 2021
Lisa Pina-Warren, NVI’s Director of Intervention Services, oversees our Street Outreach Specialists and Victim Advocates. Lisa was born in Providence and is connected to every neighborhood in the city through relatives, friends, and the schools she attended. Everyone knows Lisa. As a child she often witnessed violence and understood that violence is part of inner-city life. She knew early on that she wanted to help stop it. She wanted to be a peacemaker.
Lisa became involved with the Nonviolence Institute in 2009 after meeting our first executive director, Teny Gross, at a vigil for a young man who had been murdered. Lisa had been working with the victim at another nonprofit. She was intrigued by what Teny had to say about the work of NVI. She quickly realized that a focus on nonviolence was what the community needed, and she wanted to be a part of it. She started her career
at NVI as a Nonviolence Trainer and moved through the ranks. If you ask Lisa about her work today she will say, “This isn’t a job to me. It’s who I am. This is my life’s work.”
In 1996, Lisa’s brother and only sibling was killed in an act of violence. Growing up she had lost many friends to the streets, to violence, and to prison. Those losses were painful. Losing her brother was devastating. She was just 22, and she pledged that she would do whatever she could to help those impacted by violence. She did not want anyone else to experience the grief that she and her family were feeling. When she found NVI her real work began.
Lisa understands deeply how trauma affects victims and their families. She knows that her team is needed in the community every day, and at the hospital following a violent act to offer peace and support. In 2018, when she was promoted to Director of Victim Services, Lisa made a personal commitment to respond to every violent homicide herself no matter when it happened. Previously, Victim Advocates had responded Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lisa created rotations for staff to be
on-call seven days a week, 24 hours a day.
Recently, Lisa was certified as a Homicide Specialist by the National Advocate Credentialing Program (NACP). As far as we know, she is the only person in Rhode Island to hold this distinction. She is also a certified Program Specialist. As the
Director of Intervention Services, Lisa uses her endless empathy and deep knowledge to be there for everyone who needs her, whenever they need her.
Congratulations, Lisa! We’re so proud of you for the work you and your team do every day.