The head of the Chinese Welfare Association and the daughter of a man killed by the IRA are among the 47 council candidates unveiled by NI21 yesterday.
Eileen Chan-Hu will be running for the Botanic ward in south Belfast.
Several years ago she was approached by the DUP to run for the party, but said she was more comfortable in NI21.
"I was born in Belfast to parents who came here from Hong Kong in the 1960s to make a life," she said.
"I do believe in NI21's ethos of fresh politics, it's where I feel more suited."
Ms Chan-Hu has been working in the community sector for 18 years.
"Being second generation Chinese, I would hope that other cultures will understand they can make this place a home if I step forward," she said.
"I do believe we have a great future.
"I feel like a child with a dream. Hopefully one day I am seen as a proper citizen of Belfast and I can do some good work."
Jayne Olorunda from south Belfast, whose father Max was killed in an IRA bomb on a train in 1980, is running for Ormiston in east Belfast.
"I was involved with the Haass talks, all these different politicians came along making promises but none could agree," she said.
"It was just after that I started reading more about NI21.
"It was the first time ever I found a party that was completely honest and I felt I could identify with them.
"They didn't promise anything but told the truth and I really liked that."