Born and raised in Rock Island, Thurgood is a passionate and dedicated advocate for his community. Thurgood is a graduate of Rock Island High School and earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Western Illinois University, majoring in History with a minor in political science. Immediately upon graduating from college, Thurgood returned home to get to work.
Thurgood is a community builder and organizer who believes deeply in the power of citizens to create positive change. He has spent his career advocating for youth, businesses, and the development of partnerships for the betterment of our community. Thurgood has been able to work with community partners to bring people together. Importantly, he emphasizes collaborating with communities, rather than simply speaking on their behalf.
In the spring of 2021, with the help of a 21-person volunteer team, Thurgood received 48% of the vote in the Rock Island Mayoral race. In 2021, he was named Rock Island Citizen of the Year, and Community Caring Conference Individual Hero. He also received the 2019 Rock Island County NAACP Youth Development Image award, and the Rock Island Football Assistant Coach of the Year award (the only two-time winner, in 2019 and 2021),
Throughout the spring and summer of 2021, Thurgood worked with the City of Rock Island to establish a Police Community Relations Commission to improve relationships between the police and citizens.
Most recently Thurgood has announced his candidacy for Illinois State Representative district 72.