Manjusha Kulkarni wins James Irvine Leadership award

The James Irvine Foundation named California -based activist Manjusha Kulkarni one of the nine recipients of the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards for 2024. 

The award recognizes her trailblazing work to confront hate and discrimination against AAPI communities with data, partnerships, and policy solutions.

Kulkarni is the executive director of Los Angeles-based AAPI Equity Alliance, a coalition of community-based organizations that advocates for the rights and needs of the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in Los Angeles County and beyond. 

Under Kulkarni’s leadership which began in 2017, the Alliance grew from a behind-the-scenes organization to a coalition of over 40 organizations that serve the 1.6 million Asian American and Pacific Islanders across the country.

Aside from her work with the AAPI Equity Alliance, Kulkarni co-founded Stop AAPI Hate, a national coalition fighting against racism and racial injustice targeting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The organization became the nation’s leading aggregator of COVID-19-related hate incidents against AAPIs, Kulkarni presented its data during a House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing  on the issue of anti-Asian hate in 2021.

In 2014, Kulkarni received the White House Champions of Change award from President Obama for her dedication to improving health care access for Asians American communities. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University and a Juris Doctor degree from Boston University School of Law.

The James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards recognize leaders whose innovative solutions to critical state challenges improve people’s lives, create opportunity, and contribute to a better California. The Foundation spotlights these leaders, helps share their approaches with policymakers and peers, and provides each of their organizations with a grant of $350,000 and additional resources.

Read more at New India Abroad