🎉 Executive Director Manjusha Kulkarni Selected as Recipient of The James Irvine Leadership Award!

We are proud to announce that our Executive Director, Manjusha (Manju) Kulkarni, is a recipient of The James Irvine Foundation’s 2024 Leadership Award! Each year, Irvine’s Leadership Awards recognize innovative leaders whose breakthrough solutions to critical state challenges improve lives, create opportunity, and contribute to a better California.

As a teenager, Manju observed her mother file a successful class action lawsuit against the state of Alabama over discriminatory policies against non-European doctors. This experience, along with incidents that made her feel “othered” as one of the only South Asian students in school, inspired Manju’s activism and compelled her to pursue a law degree and a career in civil rights. After engaging in critical work in civil rights and health law and policy, she was selected to lead AAPI Equity Alliance (formerly A3PCON) in 2017.

Manju has led AAPI Equity into a new era of groundbreaking work in health care access, interpersonal violence, and mental health. Today, we are a coalition of over 40 organizations that together serve the 1.6 million Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in Los Angeles and beyond, confronting discrimination, fighting mental health disparities, and pushing for legal and policy changes.

Manju is recognized with eight innovative leaders who are addressing a wide range of challenges including youth justice, teacher preparation, college access and completion, and ensuring the health and safety of Asian American and Pacific Islander, LGBTQ+, refugee, and immigrant populations. Learn more about the recipients here.

We celebrate Manju’s trailblazing leadership and the dedication of our member organizations and partners. On behalf of our team, we thank The James Irvine Foundation for this recognition.