US honours two Indian-Americans as `champions of change`

The US has honoured 15 Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women, including two Indian-Americans, as "champions of change".

Last Updated: May 07, 2013, 11:19 AM IST

Washington: The US has honoured 15 Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women, including two Indian-Americans, as "champions of change" in recognition of their significant contribution to the community.

The two Indian American women -- Aparna Bhattacharyya from Atlanta and Pramila Jayapal from Washington State -- were recognised at a White House event on Monday.

A passionate advocate for immigrant survivors of family and sexual violence and ensuring they have access to safety, justice and healing, Bhattacharyya is the Executive Director of `Raksha`, in Atlanta, Georgia.

She has worked to ensure that attorneys, law enforcement, and service providers are culturally competent to serve immigrant survivors.

Bhattacharyya is currently a board member for the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, VIDA Legal Assistance and the National Immigrant Women`s Advocacy Project.

In the aftermath of 9/11, Jayapal founded the non-profit organization `OneAmerica`, now the largest immigrant advocacy organisation in Washington State.

She has worked to advance immigration reform in the state as well as nationally, and served in leadership roles for the Fair Immigration Reform Movement and the Rights Working Group.

She continues to advocate for immigration reform as the Co-Chair of `We Belong Together: Women for Common-Sense Immigration Reform campaign`.

Jayapal is currently the Distinguished Taconic Fellow at Center for Community Change and a Distinguished Fellow at the University of Washington Law School.

The `Champions of Change` programme was created as an opportunity for the White house to feature groups of Americans, individuals, businesses and organisations, who are doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities.

Other awardees of the "Champions of Change" are Myrla Baldonado from Chicago; Minh Dang from California; Catherine Eusebio from California; Atsuko Toko Fish from Boston, Lusiana Tuga Hansen from Alaska, Arline Loh from Delaware, Mia Mingus from California, Natalie Nakase from Los Angeles, Mary Frances Oneha from Hawaii, Karen Suyemoto from Boston, Nancy Tom from Chicago, Van Ton-Quinlivan from California and Shireen Zaman from Washington, DC.