Phi Nguyen is a second-generation Vietnamese American whose parents fled Vietnam by boat in 1978 following the Vietnam War. Ms. Nguyen was born in a tiny town in Missouri but came of age in the suburban South with her parents and four sisters. She moved to Atlanta in 2006 to attend Georgia State University for law school and has called Atlanta her home ever since. A medical malpractice defense attorney by trade, Ms. Nguyen also constantly seeks ways to advocate for marginalized individuals or communities outside of her legal practice. These days, she dedicates a significant amount of time and energy to increasing civic and political engagement among Vietnamese Americans and other AAPIs, a project she felt compelled to undertake after learning last spring that AAPIs historically have the lowest voter turnout among all races. In the months leading up to the 2016 presidential election, Ms. Nguyen spearheaded Vietnamese Voices, a grassroots initiative to educate and engage Vietnamese voters in Atlanta. Through these efforts, she was able to help register roughly 600 new Vietnamese voters in the span of four months, as well as contribute to the threefold increase in the number of registered AAPI voters that Georgia saw from 2012 to 2016. The biggest reward of all, though, came when she helped her mother vote for the very first time on November 8. (Yes, her mother was #WithHer).
Ms. Nguyen's dedication to this work stems from her belief that governments work best when they represent all communities. She also believes that AAPIs themselves must lead the effort to educate their communities and bring their voices to the table. Currently, she is leading PIVOT's effort to engage with Vietnamese voters in Georgia's Sixth Congressional District about why Jon Ossoff will represent the interests of the Vietnamese-American community and ask them to vote for him on April 18.