Whitney Austin is co-founder and executive director of the Whitney/Strong Organization. A fighter and survivor in every sense, Austin was shot 12 times as she entered the Fifth Third Bank headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio on September 6, 2018. Since that tragic day, Austin has dedicated her life to preventing gun violence through data-driven, responsible gun ownership solutions.
Under her leadership, Whitney/Strong has spearheaded a number of initiatives, including securing the first Kentucky General Assembly hearing on a gun safety measure to curb suicide and mass violence (Crisis Aversion and Rights Retention (CARR)) in over a decade – and with a bipartisan coalition of Kentucky State Senators.
In addition, she joined Ohio Governor Mike DeWine to announce STRONG Ohio legislation, a response to the community call of “Do Something” after the Dayton Oregon District shooting in 2019. Moreover, she helped lead the distribution of over 12,000 gun locks across Kentucky and Ohio in partnership with the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Finally, Whitney/Strong has facilitated over 300 evidence-based trainings to prevent gun violence in the communities that see it most.
Prior to founding Whitney/Strong, Austin was employed by Fifth Third Bank for 15 years as vice president, digital lending product manager. In 2018, Austin and her team launched the first omnichannel digital lending application in the industry.
Austin holds both a Bachelor of Art in Psychology and an Entrepreneurial Master of Business Administration from the University of Louisville.
Austin resides in Louisville, Kentucky with her husband and two children. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling to new locations with her family, musical theatre, college basketball and getting outdoors.
To learn more about Austin and the CARR bill, please visit https://www.whitneystrong.org/carr-2022.