Karen Narasaki Recognized as 2019 American Courage Award Honoree

Asian Americans Advancing Justice| AAJC honor Narasaki's legacy of pushing organizations and individuals to do more for the communities that rely on them
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 longtime civil rights advocate, Karen Narasaki, at its 2019 American Courage Awards on October 3rd at the National Press Club. The American Courage Awards is an annual event honoring individuals, groups, or corporations for their extraordinary commitment to the cause of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) civil and human rights.

“Karen Narasaki is a pioneer who grew Advancing Justice | AAJC into the powerhouse that it is today and we are proud to have the chance to say thank you as we honor her with the American Courage Award,” said John C. Yang, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC.  “A part of Karen’s legacy is pushing organizations and individuals to do more for the communities that rely on them – a job she did so well as the president of Advancing Justice | AAJC - and she has been instrumental in creating the infrastructure for today’s Asian Pacific American advocacy landscape.”

In her 20-year career as Advancing Justice | AAJC’s president, she led a delegation of Asian American leaders to the United Nations World Conference on Racism and Xenophobia in South Africa that explored effective methods to eradicate racial discrimination and examined ways to promote awareness in the global struggle against intolerance. In 2014, President Obama appointed Narasaki to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights where she instrumental in the successful effort to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act and she produced groundbreaking reports on topics including police use of force, voting rights, and environmental justice.

Narasaki’s numerous other accomplishments include expanding the federal hate crimes law to cover everybody; reducing the undercount of minorities in the census; and defending the family immigration system.

Karen Narasaki has been named multiple times as one of the 100 most powerful women in the nation’s capital by Washingtonian Magazine. She continues her work as a Commissioner while consulting with the Bauman Foundation where principal in her work is ensuring that communities of color are fairly and accurately counted by fully funding the organizations dedicated to getting full participation in the 2020 Census.

Narasaki’s work has left an indelible mark in civil and human rights and her efforts to promote and protect the Asian American community will never be forgotten. She along with honorees, Karen Korematsu, Paul Lee, and the student advocates supporting affirmative action in the Harvard case will all be celebrated on October 3, 2019 at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C.