Harvard Students Supporting Affirmative Action To Receive Changemaker Award Honor at the 2019 American Courage Awards

Award is Given Annually by Advancing Justice | AAJC
For Immediate Release
Michelle Boykins 202-296-2300, ext. 0144 mboykins@advancingjustice-aajc.org

Washington D.C. — Advancing Justice | AAJC (Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC) announced today it will honor the affirmative action student advocates from Harvard University at its 2019 American Courage Awards on October 3rd at the National Press Club.

This year the Changemaker Award is recognizing the student advocates from Harvard University whose work and testimony was central to the arguments in support of affirmative action in the Harvard v. SFFA lawsuit.  Their tireless efforts to fight for educational equity and diversity have been vital in helping the public understand the necessity of affirmative action.

Accepting on behalf of the Harvard students are recent college graduates, Sally Chen and Jang Lee.  Along with their fellow Harvard student advocates, they testified in federal court — sharing their personal experiences and emphasizing the importance of race in being able to share their whole stories. Their courage, bravery, and strength were demonstrated in their moving testimony. 

“These young advocates demonstrate that the next generation of Asian American leaders is ready to safeguard the rights of our communities and advance social justice,” said John C. Yang, president and executive director of Advancing Justice | AAJC. “From their testimony in the case to their interviews in the media, these students have illustrated how Asian Americans benefit from affirmative action and why we must care about this fight.” 

The Changemaker award honors an individual, company or organization who is a catalyst for change and whose leadership has inspired action that has led to change on a local or national level that benefits Asian American communities. The students have been outspoken in their advocacy on behalf of affirmative action – asserting that an attack on affirmative action is an attack on racial justice, social mobility, Black and Brown communities, immigrants, and refugees.

Sally Chen and Jang Lee will join fellow honorees, the 2019 American Courage Award recipient, Karen Narasaki, and President’s Award recipients Karen Korematsu and Paul Lee. All will be celebrated on October 3, 2019 at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C.