Uyen “Winn” Khuong, co-founder of Action Together New Jersey (ATNJ), is one of six New Jersey women to receive the 2018 Evangelina Menendez Trailblazer Award, to be presented by Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) on Sunday, March 18, at 3 p.m. at Kean University.
Each year, in celebration of Women’s History Month, Senator Menendez recognizes outstanding New Jersey women with an award named in honor of his late mother. Recipients are selected based on their significant contributions to the state and their courageous, effective advocacy on behalf of New Jerseyans.
“It’s an honor to be included among this amazing group of honorees and to be recognized for my work with Action Together New Jersey” said Khuong. “I helped found ATNJ in order to support progressive candidates and fight for civil liberties, social justice, and environmental protection. It’s tough but rewarding work. I feel that, now more than ever, we at ATNJ are part of a growing movement of individuals and groups in New Jersey who share our progressive values and are organizing effectively for change.”
Khuong immigrated to the United States in 1980 from Vietnam. She traces the roots of her activism all the way back to grade school, when she wrote a letter to President Ronald Reagan -- and was surprised to receive a response.
While the 2016 election spun off many online groups wanting to take action, the idea that "change is local" motivated Khuong to quickly organize Action Together into county chapters in order to affect change at the local level by getting people off Facebook and building a force of activists on the ground. Khuong was recently honored in Washington D.C., as a We Are Emily Award recipient from Emily’s List and also serves on the Board of Advisors for NJ State Unity PAC.
Khuong’s work with ATNJ makes her a fitting recipient of an award created to recognize the achievements of extraordinary women. “My mother, Evangelina, for whom this award is named, showed me the meaning of courage, integrity and the importance of fighting for what’s right, every single day of her life,” said Sen. Menendez. “She blazed that trail for me, and I will continue to honor her and all of the women whose strength, wisdom and tireless determination to stand up for the people they serve make our country and our state a better, safer, cleaner place to live, work and raise a family.”
Along with Khuong, this year’s other honorees are Wilda Diaz, mayor of Perth Amboy; Amy Andersen, NJEA Teacher of the Year, from Ocean City High School; Ruth Mandel, director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics; Audrey Meyers, president and CEO of Valley Health System; and Rev. Tiffany Williams, founder of the Esther Project.
The 2018 Women’s History Month Celebration is free and open to the public. For further information and to RSVP, visit https://www.menendez.senate.gov/whm-rsvp.
About Action Together New Jersey
ATNJ, a non-profit, progressive, Democratic group, is the largest grassroots organization in New Jersey. ATNJ has chapters in every county, because change is local. Functioning as a central command for statewide initiatives and legislative actions, ATNJ’s teams work with coalitions of like-minded groups to serve the public by educating the electorate, providing a platform for progressive candidates, advancing legislative proposals with elected officials, and working in concert with advocacy groups for human rights. ATNJ seeks to promote equality and progressive ideals and to secure a more inclusive, fair and equitable future for New Jersey and the nation. For more information, visit www.ATNJ.org.
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