Nov 5, 2018
Kathy Tran is a change maker. She has worked across the sectors to make life better for all people seeking to fully live the American Dream. Her own journey started as a 2 year old with her family's exodus from Vietnam to America in search of hope, opportunity and freedom. Kathy witnessed her parents hard work and perseverance after settling here and making the accommodations and sacrifices needed to sustain their family. She was inspired to carry on their legacy through her service at the US Department of Labor, where she focused on education and skill building for immigrants and refugees and on veterans transitioning to the civilian workforce. At the National Immigration Forum, Kathy launched a workforce development program to address the needs of low and high skilled refugees. She collaborated with a number of nonprofit partner organizations to shed light on and advocate for federal policies and programs that connect people to adult higher education, community colleges and other pathways to success. The 2016 election prompted Kathy to rethink her own path and to find a new way to uplift communities. She ran for the Virginia House of Delegates and won, the first Vietnamese American to serve in this important body. Her energy for her constituency, her 4 young but community engaged children and for other progressive voices in the Commonwealth seems unstoppable. We talk about gerrymandering, Census 2020, her insights about effective advocacy campaigns and how to be hopeful in challenging times.