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APAICS Women’s Collective Announces Spotlight Awardees

WASHINGTON—Wichita Mayor Lily Wu and Kentucky State Representative Nima Kulkarni will receive Spotlight Awards at the annual Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) Women’s Collective Summit in Seattle on June 28, 2024. The award honors Asian American or Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AA & NH/PI) women for breaking barriers and outstanding leadership in elected office. 

The APAICS Women’s Collective Summit brings powerful Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander women together to share, inspire, and take bold action towards creating a more representative democracy.

“We are pleased to honor Mayor Lily Wu as a Spotlight Awardee,” said Madalene Mielke, President & CEO of APAICS. “As the first Asian American mayor of Wichita, the largest city in Kansas, Mayor Wu represents a historic win for the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander community. Her inspiring victory is a step toward a more inclusive and representative democracy.”

Wichita Mayor Lily Wu ran against incumbent Brandon Whipple in 2023. She was sworn into office as Wichita’s 103rd mayor and is the first Asian American woman elected to a full-term in the state’s largest city. Prior to her victory, she worked 12 years as a journalist for Wichita television stations KAKE and KWCH 12 News.

“We congratulate Representative Nima Kulkarni on receiving this honor,” said Mielke. “Rep. Kulkarni is paving the way for Asian Americans in Kentucky. She is the first Indian American ever to be elected to the Kentucky Legislature and is a trailblazer for others in our community who are called to lead.”

Kentucky State Representative Nima Kulkarni represents House District 40. After defeating incumbent Dennis Horlander in the 2018 Democratic Primary, Rep. Kulkarni went on to win the general election. In 2010, she founded Indus Law Firm, specializing in immigration and employment law. She is also the founder of the New Americans Initiative, a nonprofit that aims to uplift and empower immigrants in her state.

APAICS congratulates both awardees on their leadership and accomplishments in public office. For more information about the Women’s Collective Summit, please visit

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The Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) is a national non-partisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander participation and representation at all levels of the political process, from community service to elected office.

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