Indian American Activist Mallika Dutt Wins Courage Award

By Arun Kumar

Washington, Sep 29 (IANS) Indian American civil rights activist Mallika Dutt will be honoured by the Asian American Justice Centre (AAJC), a leading US civil rights organisation, with the American Courage Award Oct 1.

Dutt is the executive director of Breakthrough, an innovative, international human rights organisation using the power of popular culture, media and community mobilisation to transform public attitudes and advance equality, justice, and dignity.

Through initiatives in India and the US, Breakthrough addresses critical global issues, including violence against women, sexuality and HIV/AIDS, racial justice and immigrant rights.

Anita Botti, deputy director of the President's International Women's Initiatives InterAgency Task Force, will present the award on behalf of Ambassador-at-Large, Melanne Verveer at a ceremony here.

Mallika Dutt has a long history of activism and commitment to social change and has addressed global issues ranging from women's rights to racial justice and immigrant rights, AAJC said.

For the last decade, she has been spearheading efforts to stop the erosion of fundamental human rights in the US, particularly in the aftermath of 9/11.

Most recently, Breakthrough has partnered with the AAJC, along with 25 other leading organisations, to produce "Restore Fairness", a powerful documentary that calls on the government to bring back due process to immigration in the US.

"Restore Fairness" features interviews with members of Congress, immigration judges and individuals directly affected by unfair immigration policies.

"Restore Fairness" follows the successful launch of the groundbreaking video game ICED - I Can End Deportation (, and interactive website End Homeland Guantanamos ( - two multimedia initiatives that have brought national attention to the harsh impact of unfair detention and deportation policies on immigrant communities.

"I am deeply honoured to be the recipient of the American Courage Award," said Mallika Dutt. "We hope that our collective efforts will result in new immigration policies that respect fundamental American values of fairness and due process."


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