Past Awardees

Since 1997, we have recognized and awarded individuals, companies, and organizations of merit in our annual American Courage Awards.

Mee Moua and Khizr Khan

American Courage Award

The American Courage Award goes to an individual, company, or organization that has shown extraordinary courage or commitment to the cause of civil rights. This may include a corporate leader who has taken an important stand, an activist who overcame extraordinary challenges, an artist with a unique vision, or a journalist breaking an important story.

2016 – Vanita Gupta
2015 – Eric H. Holder, Jr.
2014 – The Director and Producers of Linsanity: Evan Jackson Leong, Christopher Chen, Allen Lu and Brian Yang
2013 – Valarie Kaur
2012 – Jim Shee
2011 – Diana Lee Inosanto
2010 – Lt. Dan Choi
2009 – Mallika Dutt
2008 – Eric K. Yamamoto
2007 – Carol C. Lam
2006 – Susan Ahn Cuddy
2005 – Major General Antonio Taguba
2004 – Japanese American MIS Veterans
2003 – Ramu V. Potarazu
2002 – Justin Lin, Filmmaker, Better Luck Tomorrow; Lou Diamond Phillips
2001 – MTV Network, Fight For Your Rights Campaign
2000 – Rose Ochi
1999 – George Takei
1998 – Ms. Anna Deavere Smith
1997 – Dr. Chang-Lin Tien

Changemaker Award

The Changemaker Award, established at our 25th anniversary American Courage Awards in 2016, honors an individual, company, or organization who is a catalyst for change. This may include an entrepreneur, student or activist whose leadership has inspired action that has led to change on a local or national level that benefits Asian American communities.

2016 – Jimmy Ferguson

Bridge Builder Award

The Bridge Builder Award recognizes an individual or corporation that has developed an innovative approach to successful community empowerment and strives to overcome obstacles for the Asian American community, as well as other minority communities. This may include programs for citizenship, voter participation, community education, or other community programs. 

2016 – Walt Disney Company
2015 – Google
2014 – Time Warner Cable
2013 – The Nielsen Company
2012 – National Education Association
2011 – Comcast/NBCUniversal
2010 – State Farm Insurance Companies
2009 – Edison International
2008 – The Prudential Insurance Company of America
2007 – AT&T
2006 – The Honorable Norman Y. Mineta
2005 – Bill Imada and the IW Group, Inc.
2004 – ChevronTexaco Corporation
2003 – Anheuser-Busch Companies
2002 – SBC Pacific Bell
2001 – Merrill Lynch

Distinguished Service Award

2015 – Dr. Prabhjot Singh
2014 – Richard Lui
2013 – Barney Frank
2012 – Curtis Chin
2011 – Wade Henderson
2010 – Dr. Franklin Odo
2009 – Gloria T. Caoile
2008 – Irene Y. Hirano and John C. Yang
2007 – Peggy Saika
2006 – O’Melveny & Myers LLP
2005 – Current sitting Asian Pacific American Federal Judges: The Honorable A. Wallace Tashima, The Honorable Ronald S.W. Lew, The Honorable Denny Chin, The Honorable Susan Oki Mollway, and The Honorable Dana Makoto Sabraw
2004 – Gilbert Heintz & Randolph, LLP
2003 – Hogan & Hartson, LLP
2002 – Service Employees International Union
2001 – The Ford Foundation

American Spirit Award

2011 – Jose Antonio Vargas

President’s Award

The President's Award is presented at the discretion of the president and executive director of Advancing Justice | AAJC to recognize extraordinary service to the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, as well as the civil rights community at large. 

2016 – Ghazala and Khizr Khan
2011 – Congressman Mike Honda, Stewart Kwoh, World Journal, Congresswoman Doris O. Matsui, Prof. John O. Calmore, Geraldine P. Mannion, Anthony Romero