40 Under 40 Class of 2020

Marcus Williams

Springfield City Councilor; Actor; Partnerships Associate, Proteus Fund; Age 31; Education: Boston College (BA)

Marcus Williams

Marcus Williams   Photo by Leah Martin Photography

Williams works for the Proteus Fund, a full-service philanthropic organization that brings together like-minded partners to build effective social movements and create lasting change. He’s also serving his third term as a Springfield city councilor, this time as vice president. Meanwhile, he rediscovered his passion for acting, and in 2019 alone, he booked roles on Hulu’s Castle Rock; the film Love, Weddings & Other Disasters, starring Diane Keaton; and commercials for workforce-innovation giant Kronos and Bose audio equipment.

What three words best describe you? Driven, principled, destined.

What’s been your biggest professional accomplishment so far in your career? I am the youngest person of color to be elected to the Springfield City Council and led the charge for the city to hire its first chief Diversity officer. I also authored the ordinance to regulate mobile food trucks in the city for the first time, ending an eight-year stalemate. In my part-time acting career, I have been cast in three motion pictures (New York, I Love You; Love, Weddings & Other Disasters; and Frills), three commercials (AT&T, Kronos, and Bose), and two television shows (Castle Rock and City on a Hill). In my time as a grant writer, I have secured more than $6 million from local, state, and federal sources to combat issues such as intimate-partner violence and housing instability in my community.

What do you do for fun? Fun is always needed. To take a load off, I typically enjoy playing competitive tennis when the weather permits or spending time with friends playing either spades or video or board games.

How do you relieve stress? I separate myself from my phone and social media and focus on being present in the moment in whatever I choose to do. A good day of pampering also never hurts, from a clean haircut to getting a pedicure — all bases covered.

What person, past or present, would you like to have lunch with, and why? My grandmother comes to mind immediately. She was the best grandmother anyone could ask for and would give her last to make sure I was first. I would want her to know that she had a lasting impact on my life and that the family misses her humor, cooking, attention to detail, and, most of all, love.

What goal do you set for yourself at the start of each day? To let go and let God.

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