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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.

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Tease photo for Meet Jewish American Heritage Month Local Hero Marjorie Morrison

Meet Jewish American Heritage Month Local Hero Marjorie Morrison

May 1
KPBS Local Heroes Project

Marjorie Morrison champions a rare cause: to educate the community that surrounds veterans — to shift a culture's view toward service members. She's being recognized as a Jewish American Heritage Month Local Hero for her success in achieving this shift.

Tease photo

Meet Jewish American Heritage Month Local Heroes Rose And Max Schindler

May 1
KPBS Local Heroes Project

Holocaust survivors Rose and Max Schindler are on a mission. They won't stop, they won't say no, and they're among the few who can still fulfill it. For this dedication, they're 2016 Jewish American Heritage Month Local Heroes.

Tease photo for Meet Women's History Month Local Hero Jeeni Criscenzo

Meet Women's History Month Local Hero Jeeni Criscenzo

Women's History Month 2016 Honoree

March 1
KPBS Local Heroes Project

Jeeni Criscenzo is the 2016 Women's History Month Local Hero. She's a poet, activist, former congressional candidate, and champion for homeless San Diegans.

Tease photo for Meet Women's History Month Local Hero Teodora Purcell

Meet Women's History Month Local Hero Teodora Purcell

Women's History Month 2016 Honoree

March 1
KPBS Local Heroes Project

Local attorney Teodora Purcell has a passion for helping others, and a proclivity for law. Her dedication to both earned her recognition as a Local Hero for Women's History Month.

Tease photo for Meet Black History Month Local Hero Marc Chery

Meet Black History Month Local Hero Marc Chery

Black History Month 2016 Honoree

Feb. 4
KPBS Local Heroes Project

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.

Tease photo for Meet Black History Month Local Hero Makeda Marianne Cheatom

Meet Black History Month Local Hero Makeda Marianne Cheatom

Black History Month 2016 Honoree

Feb. 2
KPBS Local Heroes Project

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.

Tease photo for American Indian Heritage Month Local Hero Stan Rodriguez

American Indian Heritage Month Local Hero Stan Rodriguez

American Indian Heritage Month 2015 Honoree

Nov. 1
KPBS Local Heroes Project

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.

Tease photo for American Indian Heritage Month Local Hero Vickie Gambala

American Indian Heritage Month Local Hero Vickie Gambala

American Indian Heritage Month 2015 Honoree

Nov. 1
KPBS Local Heroes Project

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.

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

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

Disability Awareness Month 2015 Honorees

Oct. 1
KPBS Local Heroes Project

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.

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

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

Disability Awareness Month 2015 Honoree

Oct. 1
KPBS Local Heroes Project

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.

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

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

Hispanic Heritage Month 2015 Honoree

Sept. 15
KPBS Local Heroes Project

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.

Tease photo for Hispanic Heritage Month Local Hero Karemi Alvarez Champions Health

Hispanic Heritage Month Local Hero Karemi Alvarez Champions Health

Hispanic Heritage Month 2015 Honoree

Sept. 15
KPBS Local Heroes Project

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.

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

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

LGBT Pride Month 2015 Honoree

June 9
By Monica Medina

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.

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

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

LGBT Pride Month 2015 Honoree

June 8
By Monica Medina

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.

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

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

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.

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