In commemorating Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, the White House honored 15 AAPI women as “Champions of Change,” an award that recognizes individuals across the U.S. building extraordinary efforts to create a more equal, safe and prosperous future for their communities and country.

Pramila Jayapal, founder of statewide immigrant advocacy organization OneAmerica, co-chair of the “We Belong Together” campaign for common-sense immigration reform and distinguished fellow at the Center for Community Change, was just one of seven West Coast recipients and the only Washingtonian to receive the “Champions of Change” award on May 6th.

“I’m so honored to be receiving this award, and in the company of such wonderful women across the country!” said Jayapal before heading to Washington, D.C. to receive the award. “I have been privileged to work with the most amazing immigrants from around the world, people who work hard every day to organize for justice and better policies. This award belongs to them — I salute their courage in speaking out collectively for democracy and justice.”

Jayapal joined an outstanding group of AAPI advocates — from as Northwest as Anchorage, Alaska, to Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Atlanta and Waimanalo, Hawaii. Each has paved a path for justice through policy work, sports, the arts, medicine or education.

“I’m looking forward to meeting my other sisters who are being honored, and continuing to work together for a better world,” she said. “I am so grateful, in particular, to all the Asian American women in my life who have guided me along this path, and to my Seattle friends who have been part of the successes we achieved.”

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