HomeIndian AmericanAAPI Equity Alliance leader wins James Irvine Leadership Award

AAPI Equity Alliance leader wins James Irvine Leadership Award

Civil rights leader Manjusha Kulkarni of the AAPI Equity Alliance in Los Angeles is one of nine people to be honored this year with the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award, the foundation announced Tuesday.

The award goes to leaders recognized for their innovative solutions to critical state challenges.

Kulkarni turned an organization known for its behind the scenes work to one that leads a coalition of 40 organizations that serves 1.6 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Los Angeles.

Formerly known as A3PCON, she joined the 40-year organization in 2017 to work in such areas as health care access, interpersonal violence and mental health.

In 2020 she co-founded Stop AAPI Hate in response to the growing anti-Asian racism that spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This year’s Award recipients are an impressive group of innovators working on a wide range of challenges including teacher preparation, youth justice, college access and completion, and ensuring the health and safety of Asian American and Pacific Islander, LGBTQ+, refugee, and immigrant populations,” the foundation said in a statement to the American Bazaar.

Kulkarni grew up in an immigrant Indian household and witnessed her mother filing a successful class action lawsuit against the state charging discrimination against non-European doctors.

The AAPI Equity Alliance has worked hard to build bridges within the AAPI community and with other groups.

“We’ve always been a coalition that works with other marginalized communities. That’s really for us about building power,” Kulkarni said. “There’s a lot of work to be done to know and understand what’s happening in our communities and then bring about belonging for significant populations.”

Each winner will receive a grant of $350,000 for their organization to further their mission and their work.

Other winners of the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award include Hector Camacho Jr and Elizabeth Baham of Reach University, Frankie Guzman of National Center for Youth Law, Blanca Melendrez and Amina Sheik Mohamed of UC San Diego Center for Community Health, Brian Poth and Nick Vargas of The Source LGBT+ Health Center and Michele Siqueiros of The Campaign for College Opportunity.

AsAmNews is published by the non-profit, Asian American Media Inc. Follow us on FacebookX, InstagramTikTok and YouTube. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to support our efforts to produce diverse content about the AAPI communities. We are supported in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library in partnership with the California Department of Social Services and the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs as part of the Stop the Hate program. To report a hate incident or hate crime and get support, go to CA vs Hate.

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