Vietnamese refugee Thu Nguyen makes history as first nonbinary city council member in Massachusetts

Thu Nguyen

Thu Nguyen has become the first nonbinary Worcester City Council member in Massachusetts.

LGBTQ+ representation: Asian Americans have made history across the nation on local election day on Tuesday. Nguyen made history for the LGBTQ+ community as well.

About Nguyen: The political newcomer grew up in poverty in Worcester, and they have spent their career giving back to the community.

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  • Nguyen, a Vietnamese refugee, sought asylum with their family in Worcester at age 1.
  • Their father fought in the Vietnam War and was a prisoner for seven years.
  • They attended Worcester public schools and graduated from Clark University with a bachelor’s of arts in studio art and sociology.
  • Nguyen launched a program to help students get into college at Claremont Academy.
  • They co-founded an organization that showed young people how to use art to tell their stories.
  • Over the last decade, Nguyen facilitated after-school programs at the Worcester Youth Center to hire young people to work for Recreation Worcester at local parks and schools across the city.
  • Nguyen works at the Southeast Asian Coalition, an organization that supports small businesses, promoting civic engagement and strengthening communities.
  • Nguyen helped build Mutual Aid Worcester, which raised nearly $75,000 to support families in Worcester and started an immigrant and refugee pantry, and hot meals program during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Featured image from Thu Nguyen

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