Indian-New Zealand doctor and former Young New Zealander of the Year Diyva Dhar claims she was threatened with a knife and racially abused in California the day after Donald Trump was elected president.
The incident was among a wave of hate crimes since the shock US election result on November 9.
In a Facebook post, Dhar said: "I just had a white man shove me, point a knife at me and call me n***** very aggressively for several minutes. And...I'm in California. I'm praying for my friends and all targeted minorities across the country."
Dhar said she and two to three bystanders called police about the incident.
"I just wanted people to know because change often happens quietly and if we aren't aware it can catch us unguarded. Please reach out to your friends and tell them to stay safe," she said.
She also thanked her Facebook friends for their support.
"One thing I know is that beauty comes out of pain. And America is undergoing a very painful tragic time right now.
"If we can band together and reach out to those that believe there is an 'other', I know we'll come out to be a better, safer and more inclusive society for everyone."
Dhar was awarded the inaugural Young New Zealander of the Year Award in 2010 and inaugural Indian New Zealander of the Year Award 2011.
In addition to her medical career, Dhar is the founding CEO of the P3 Foundation, an organisation which encourages action and advocacy around poverty in the Asia-Pacific region.
When she lived in New Zealand, she was involved in the United Nations Youth New Zealand branch. She is also a former vice president of the New Zealand Medical Students' Association.