Tackling Six Critical Challenges Facing California – James Irvine Foundation Award Recipients

Annually, the James Irvine Foundation celebrates leaders who are driving solutions to significant challenges impacting millions across California. This year’s award recipients talked about the particular issues their organizations address in a media briefing on March 26, hosted by Ethnic Media Services. They highlighted their personal commitments to addressing these issues and outlined the innovative approaches they are spearheading to effect change.


  • Héctor Camacho Jr. and Elizabeth Baham, Reach University
  • Brian Poth and Nick Vargas, The Source LGBT + Center
  • Manjusha Kulkarni, AAPI Equity Alliance
  • Michele Siqueiros, Campaign for College Opportunity
  • Blanca Meléndrez and Amina Sheik Mohamed, UC San Diego ACTRI Center for Community Health
  • Cindy Downing, The James Irvine Foundation

Inspired by her family’s history of activism and personal experiences of discrimination, Kulkarni leads AAPI Equity Alliance, advocating for health equity and civil rights. Under her leadership, the organization has expanded its impact, addressing healthcare access, mental health disparities, and legal reforms for AAPI communities.

Read more at Siliconeer