Ghazala and Khizr Khan also honored.
Vanita Gupta, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, received the American Courage Award in honor of her extraordinary commitment to the protection of civil rights and her leadership in advancing criminal justice reforms, by the Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC), at the Capital Hilton, in Washington, DC, earlier this month.
AAJC also presented a special President’s Award to Gold Star parents Ghazala and Khizr Khan, recognizing their family’s service and sacrifice for our nation and the courage with which they stood up for civil rights in the face of anti-Muslim and xenophobic vitriol in today’s political discourse, according to a press release.
The evening’s Master of Ceremonies, Emmy-Award-winning journalist Juju Chang, accepted the Bridge Builder Award on behalf of The Walt Disney Company.
Disney was recognized for its commitment to sharing stories that reflect diverse Asian American and Pacific Islander communities and experiences, including the new movie Moana about an adventurous Polynesian teenager who sails out on a daring mission to save her people.
Long-time community activist and McDonald’s Corporation franchise owner Jimmy Ferguson received the Changemaker Award for his extraordinary commitment to the Asian American business community and his leadership in the establishment of the Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship.
“Asian Americans Advancing Justice has much to celebrate from its 25-year history,” said Mee Moua, president and executive director of AAJC. “Our organization has been a powerful voice in fighting for opportunity, equality, and policies that protect the civil and human rights of Asian Americans. AAJC will continue our fight until we have a fair and just society for all Americans.”
Since 1996, AAJC has hosted the American Courage Awards whose past American Courage Award honorees have included: Eric H. Holder (2015); Lt. Dan Choi (2010); Professor Eric K. Yamamoto (2008); Major General Antonio M. Taguba (2005); George Takei (1999).