American Courage Awards

Get your tickets here for our 2022 awards celebration, which will take place in-person in Washington, DC at the National Press Club on Friday, October 21! Donate to support us in honoring the resilience of our community and sign up for our email communications to receive updates on registration and event speakers.

View a list of our past awardees here.

2022 ACA Save the Date

2022 American Courage Awards: October 21, 2022

Our 2022 American Courage Awards signature event will honor individuals and those in the corporate sector who have shown extraordinary commitment to civil rights. Advancing Justice - AAJC is honored to recognize our honorees at our in-person celebration at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on Friday, October 21. The description of the award categories are below: 

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 community 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.

The Changemaker Award 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. 

The Norman Y. Mineta Spirit Award recognizes a youth advocate whose community-centered leadership has exemplified dedication, compassion, and resilience benefitting Asian Americans on a local or national level. The award was established in honor of the trailblazing legacy of former Secretary of Transportation, Norman Y. Mineta.

The President’s Award is a special honor given to individuals and organizations that have been longtime supporters of Advancing Justice | AAJC's mission to advance civil and human rights for Asian Americans and to build and promote a fair and equitable society for all.

Register today to join us in-person or online! Please contact with any questions.

Interested in becoming a sponsor of the American Courage Awards? Please view our Sponsorship Brochure for details regarding event sponsorship opportunities. For additional questions, please contact Gayle Yamada, VP of Development at

2021 American Courage Awards: November 18, 2021

We spent our virtual night commemorating the contributions of individuals, groups, and corporations for their extraordinary courage and commitment to the cause of Asian American and Pacific Islander civil rights.

New York City Youth Poet Laureate Serena Yang recited her poem "Rage Woman," which celebrates Asian American women's rage, and Ruby Ibarra performed two songs highlighting the Filipino American experience. Mari Shiratori (a PhD student) and Reina Guartico (an early childhood special educator) joined for an Anti-Asian Hate fireside chat to share how they've taken action to protect themselves and their communities.

We were honored to present the American Courage Award to CBS Senior White House Correspondent to Weijia Jiang, the Changemaker Award to Emily May on behalf of Hollaback!, and the Bridge Builder Award to Thong Nguyen on behalf of Bank of America.

Thank you to our speakers and award presenters Broderick Johnson from Comcast NBCUniversal, Ren Guartico, Mari Shiratori, Maulik Pancholy, Jason Ve, Parkin Lee, Gina Shishima, Michelle Ye Hee Lee, Alex and Maia Shibutani. Special thanks to Sen. Mazie Hirono, Rep. Judy Chu, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, Rep. Ted Lieu, Rep. Andy Kim, and Rep. Grace Meng for their appearances.

Watch a full recording of our virtual celebration here!

2020 American Courage Awards: Fighting Racism and Rising in Solidarity

The American Courage Awards is an annual event hosted by Advancing Justice | AAJC, honoring individuals, groups, and corporations in recognition of their extraordinary courage or commitment to the cause of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) civil rights.

In addition to using a virtual platform for this year’s event, we are shifting our traditional programming. The goal is to maintain the “spirit” of the American Courage Awards event while for the sake of relevancy we shift our focus from producing our traditional awards format to one that is more reflective of this year’s changing landscape. Of special focus will be our call-to-action on the spike of anti-Asian and anti-Asian American sentiment as a result of the pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement, and our ongoing efforts in delivering on our mission.

The event is FREE this year! We appreciate any contributions you would like to make to enable Asian Americans Advancing Justice  - AAJC to continue protecting our communities and promoting civil and human rights for all. 

Read our President and Executive Director John C. Yang's thank you message.