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Honoree Profiles

KPBS Celebrates Diversity

Gracia Molina Enriquez de Pick - Hispanic Heritage Honoree

Every year, KPBS recognizes heroes in San Diego's diverse communities. It's part of our ongoing commitment to diversity, and made possible through our long-standing partnership with Union Bank.

Nominate a Hero Now

San Diego Heirs Of Jewish Art Collector Get California Attorney General's Support

Feb. 5
By City News Service
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California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris asked a federal appeals court to reinstate a case brought by San Diego heirs of a Jewish art collector forced to give up a valuable Pissarro painting by Nazi functionaries.

Meet Black History Month Local Hero Marc Chery

Black History Month 2016 Honoree

Feb. 4
KPBS Local Heroes Project
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Marc Chery is a dedicated public servant. He's worked with boundless amounts of books and people in his San Diego tenure. And for all this work and effort, he's been nominated as a Black History Month honoree.

Meet Black History Month Local Hero Makeda Marianne Cheatom

Black History Month 2016 Honoree

Feb. 2
KPBS Local Heroes Project
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Black History Month Local Hero Makeda Marianne Cheatom is a woman on the go. But there's one place in San Diego more special to her than others, and her work there led to this nomination.

American Indian Heritage Month Local Hero Stan Rodriguez

American Indian Heritage Month 2015 Honoree

Nov. 1
KPBS Local Heroes Project
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He’s a U.S. Navy veteran, a Native linguist, an inspired musical can rattler, devout educator and student of local Native culture. Meet Stan Rodriguez, 2015 American Indian Heritage Month Local Hero.

American Indian Heritage Month Local Hero Vickie Gambala

American Indian Heritage Month 2015 Honoree

Nov. 1
KPBS Local Heroes Project
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She’s a Cherokee Indian from Oklahoma, a devoted leader of Native education in San Diego County, community uniter, mother of three, and powwow veteran. Meet Vickie Gambala, 2015 American Indian Heritage Month Honoree.

Disability Awareness Month Local Heroes William Stothers And Cynthia Jones Fight For Rights

Disability Awareness Month 2015 Honorees

Oct. 1
KPBS Local Heroes Project
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Behind great challenges are committed leaders like Cyndi Jones and Bill Stothers — two masterminds behind the fight to break down ignorance and barriers for people with disabilities.

Disability Awareness Month Local Hero Stephen Wampler: Conqueror Of El Capitan

Disability Awareness Month 2015 Honoree

Oct. 1
KPBS Local Heroes Project
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Known as the first person with cerebral palsy to climb El Capitan mountain, Stephen Wampler aims for a new challenge: opening a campsite where disabled children can have real wilderness experiences.

Hispanic Heritage Month Local Hero Enrique Morones — Titan At The Border

Hispanic Heritage Month 2015 Honoree

Sept. 15
KPBS Local Heroes Project
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Free legal consultations for deported immigrants on the border. This is just one of the dozens of ideas engineered by human rights activist, Enrique Morones.

Hispanic Heritage Month Local Hero Karemi Alvarez Champions Health

Hispanic Heritage Month 2015 Honoree

Sept. 15
KPBS Local Heroes Project
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Students finally got clean drinking water at San Diego's Sweetwater High School. That's thanks to Karemi Alvarez — a rising voice for healthy lifestyles in needy communities.

LGBT Pride Month Local Hero Terry Cunningham Dedicates Life to Fighting AIDS

LGBT Pride Month 2015 Honoree

June 9
By Monica Medina
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As Cunningham recalls the early days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and the 30 years he dedicated to combating it, the experience deeply affected him. Seeing so many around him die took its toll.

LGBT Pride Month Local Hero Christine Kehoe Improves Quality of Life for San Diegans

LGBT Pride Month 2015 Honoree

June 8
By Monica Medina
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Becoming a politician was the last thing on Christine Kehoe’s mind when she was growing up in Troy, New York. She didn’t even run for student government at her high school. Yet in 1993, Kehoe would open doors, becoming the first member of the LGBT community to hold an elected office in San Diego.

Asian Pacific Heritage Month Local Hero Azim Khamisa Teaches Principles of Non-Violence

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month 2015 Honoree

May 6
By Monica Medina
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Six weeks before Tariq Khamisa's 21st birthday, on a cold Saturday night in January 1995, the San Diego State University sophomore was gunned down while delivering pizza. It was part of a gang initiation, called "Jacking the Pizza Man," and Tony Hicks, the one being initiated, fired the fatal bullet. He was 14 years old.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Local Hero Daniel Hoang Makes a Difference Through Martial Arts

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month 2015 Honoree

May 5
By Monica Medina
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Daniel Hoang had set his dreams on becoming a physician. He volunteered at hospitals, and studied biochemistry at University of California, San Diego (UCSD), in 1994. He worked three years at Scripps Research Institute Department of Neurobiology, where he received an Excellence Award for Research and Development.

Jewish American Heritage Month Local Hero Virginia Gordon is a Lifelong Activist

Jewish American Heritage Month 2015 Honoree

May 4
By Monica Medina
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Throughout her life, Virginia Gordon’s passion for activism has been front and center. She remembers how her grandmother Sadye was deeply involved in Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, and served as an organizer for Youth Aliya, an organization that was founded during World War II to bring Jewish children out of Germany and relocate them to England and Palestine.

Jewish American Heritage Month Local Hero Robin Rady Helps Cancer Patients Get Organized with ‘Binder of Hope’

Jewish American Heritage Month 2015 Honoree

May 1
By Monica Medina
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Four years ago, Robin Rady was diagnosed with breast cancer. Though it was caught early, it’s the kind of news that could have been enough to put anyone in a deep funk or a tailspin. But Robin, who is known for her warmth and positive energy, searched for clarity and calm. She found it in a binder–and that binder ended up seeing her through one of the toughest periods of her life, a time filled with surgeries, reconstructive surgeries, physical therapy and so much more.

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