- The California-based Indian American established Stop AAPI Hate in March 2020 with Cynthia Choi and Russell M. Jeung to address the rise of anti-Asian and Pacific Islander racism in the U.S.
Educator and community advocate Manjusha (Manju) P. Kulkarni, co-founder of the ‘Stop AAPI Hate’ campaign, has won Bank of America’s inaugural Neighborhood Builders: Racial Equality Award for her contributions to breaking down systemic racial barriers and creating opportunities for people of color across the country. She was among five leaders recognized by the bank for advancing racial equality and economic opportunity in Black, Hispanic-Latino, Asian American, and Native American communities.
The California-based Kulkarni currently serves as the executive director at the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON), a coalition of organizations working for the rights of the oppressed. She co-founded Stop AAPI Hate in March 2020 with Cynthia Choi and Russell M. Jeung to address the rise of anti-Asian and Pacific Islander racism in the United States. It has become one of the leading voices in the effort to identify and oppose hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. It also runs the Stop AAPI Hate Reporting Center, which tracks incidents of hate and discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.
Recently, Kulkarni and the other co-founders of Stop AAPI Hate were named to the Time Magazine “Most Influential People of 2021” list. South Asian Network will be the recipient of Kulkarni’s grant. She was previously executive director of the South Asian Network (SAN), an organization dedicated to advancing the health, empowerment and solidarity of persons of South Asian origin in Southern California.
Last year, Kulkarni was recognized by TIME magazine as one of the 100 most influential individuals and by Bloomberg/Business Week as one of the 50 individuals “with the ability to move markets or shape ideas and policies” with the co-founders Choi and Jeung. The trio was also awarded the 2021 Webby Social Movement of the Year.
A member of the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission, she was recently appointed to the California Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board by CA Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon.
In 2014, she received the White House Champions of Change award from President Barack Obama for her dedication to improving health care access for Asian American communities. In March 2021, she testified before Congress at the House Judiciary Committee on the issue of anti-Asian hate.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University and a Juris Doctor degree from Boston University School of Law. She lives in Los Angeles with her daughters Vaishali and Meghana and her husband Shai Halbe.