Vina Kay is Director of the Piper Fund, an initiative of the Proteus Fund, which connects and provides resources to grassroots organizations committed to advancing an inclusive and representative democracy. Prior to joining the Proteus Fund, she served as Vice President of Movement Capacity Building at Race Forward, which works at the national level to build awareness, solutions, and leadership for racial justice. Vina was Executive Director at Voices for Racial Justice, working to support a healthy ecosystem of racial justice organizing in Minnesota through training and leadership development, culturally rooted policy tools and research practices, and convening and network building.
The daughter of immigrant parents from Thailand, Vina was raised in Omaha and is a graduate of Carleton College and the University of Minnesota Law School. She has benefitted from the mentorship of great teachers, including the late Senator Paul Wellstone at Carleton and john powell and the University of Minnesota Law School. Following law school, she worked with john powell at the Institute on Race and Poverty, first as legal fellow and then as senior researcher and director of the Racial Justice and Regional Equity Project.
Vina is a writer of creative nonfiction and poetry, and has received the Loft Mentor Series award in creative nonfiction and a Jerome Foundation Emerging Artist Residency at Tofte Lake Center for poetry. She is Co-Director and Co-Producer of INSIDE MONTESSORI, a documentary film that reframes the conversation about education to focus on learning environments that support children, regardless of race, class, age, or community, in reaching their full potential.
Vina is committed to living and working at the intersection of food justice, racial justice, economic justice, and environmental sustainability. She believes that there is power in people coming together to create the world they dream is possible. Vina has two young adult sons who were raised on food from local co-ops and share an appreciation for how food brings people together.