Political Scientist Honored for Community Service

Asian Law Alliance recognizes Karthick Ramakrishnan for research and service that benefits Asian and Pacific Islander Americans

Karthick Ramakrishnan

Karthick Ramakrishnan ucr file

RIVERSIDE, California – The Asian Law Alliance (ALA) honored UC Riverside political scientist Karthick Ramakrishnan with its Community Impact award at its 40th Anniversary gala in San Jose on March 10.

Ramakrishnan, associate dean of the UCR School of Public Policy and professor of political science and public policy, was recognized for his research on immigration policy and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) civic engagement; his creation of AAPI Data, which presents demographic data and policy-relevant research in user-friendly formats; his work to increase the visibility of the AAPI community through the National Asian American Survey; and his service to the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs, which he now chairs.

Ramakrishnan was one of three people ALA recognized for having a positive impact on the Asian American community. The other recipients were Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Erica Yew, who was the Legal Impact honoree, and Larry Lowe, senior legal counsel for Tesla, who was the Business Impact honoree. Ramakrishnan and the other honorees also received certificates of recognition from members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the California State Assembly.

Ramakrishnan said he was honored to receive the award from an organization that advocates for underserved Americans and provides important legal and other services.

“The image of Silicon Valley is of a place of prosperity, but that image conceals the poverty and the needs of disadvantaged populations,” he said. “That is true of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders as well, and it is important that we pay attention to these populations in need.”

Ramakrishnan also pointed to the need for greater outreach and participation among AAPIs, including among higher-income populations. “There are a lot of opportunities for Asian Americans in California to be more visible. I hope to use the platform of the state commission to get more people involved,” he added.

The Asian Law Alliance is a community-based organization that advocates for immigrants, low-income residents, and those with limited English proficiency and assists them in obtaining decent housing, justice in the immigration process, and access to basic human and legal rights.

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