Advancing Justice | AAJC’s Announces 2017 American Courage Awards Honorees

A Former Congressman, Women’s March Organizer, Attorney Fighting the Muslim Ban, and Corporation Supporting DACA and Refugees Receive Top Recognition
For Immediate Release
Michelle Boykins (202) 296-2300, ext. 0144

Washington, D.C. — Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC will celebrate its 2017 American Courage Awards, an opportunity to recognize and celebrate individuals, groups, and corporations for their commitment and contributions to civil rights, on October 5, 2017. Among this year’s honorees are the Starbucks Coffee Company, former Congressman Mike Honda, prominent Supreme Court attorney Neal K. Katyal, and co-founder of the Women’s March – Linda Sarsour, were announced today as the honorees for the Advancing Justice | AAJC’s annual American Courage Awards event.

Neal K. Katyal, former Acting Solicitor General of the United States and is the representing attorney for the state of Hawaii in its challenge to the President’s Muslim ban, is receiving the American Courage Award. The honor is for an individual who has shown extraordinary courage or commitment to civil rights. Katyal has argued more Supreme Court cases in U.S. history than any other minority attorney, with the exception of Thurgood Marshall (with whom Neal is currently tied).  Neal’s prolific body of work includes defending the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act and defending the rule of law and due process in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld.

Linda Sarsour, will receive the Changemaker Award to recognize how her leadership and civil rights activities have effected change on both a local and national level, especially benefitting marginalized communities. Sarsour’s activist flame burned brightly as she and her co-organizers led the largest movement in history with the Women's March in Washington. In the face of personal adversity, Sarsour has never let her commitment to social justice be deterred. She has led coalitions intersecting across lines of race, ethnicity, and religion to affect both ideological and physical change.  

Beloved champion for Asian Pacific Americans in Congress for more than a decade, the Honorable Mike Honda was the former Congressman from California has been a longtime champion for the Asian American community.  Congressman Honda is being honored with the President’s Award for his invaluable championing of civil rights and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) organizations alike—dedicating his life to public service and fighting for income equality, LGBT rights, AAPI access to technology and education, and so much more.

Many in the public do not know of the Starbucks Coffee Company’s deep commitment to immigrant, refugee, and voting rights issues. As a civil rights organization, Advancing Justice | AAJC knows firsthand the company’s commitment to hiring 10,000 refugees in the next few years and its support of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients as employees and small business partners. Starbucks receives the Bridge Builder Award for recognizing and representing diversity and fairness in the workplace.

The honorees will headline a night of celebration and reflection at the 2017 Advancing Justice | AAJC’s American Courage Awards on October 5, 2017 at the Capital Hilton, Washington, DC.