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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

Brandie Taylor

Native American Heritage Month: 2011 Honoree

Nov. 1

Brandie Taylor is the vice chairwoman of the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel, an Indian tribe in Northern San Diego County. Ms. Taylor has dedicated her life to advocating for tribal rights, preservation of tribal culture, improvement of health and safety of native peoples, and she is an avid supporter of higher education for youth. Ms. Taylor’s many accomplishments include securing funding for Iipay Nation’s Tribal Social Services, which handles child dependency cases and culturally focused assistance for family preservation.

Michelle M. Parada

Native American Heritage Month: 2011 Honoree

Nov. 1

Michelle M. Parada is the co-founder and lead teacher of All Tribes American Indian Charter School. Since 2001, All Tribes Charter School has provided culturally focused assistance to reduce the dropout rates among Native American students in San Diego by graduating 46 high school seniors to date. Ms. Parada has been a recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the 2010 Educator of the Year from the National Indian Education Association and San Diego’s 10News Leadership Award.

Pamela Finkel

Disability Awareness Month: 2011 Honoree

Oct. 5

Pamela Finkel is a professor emeritus, counselor and an advocate for the academic success of students with disabilities. Ms. Finkel has dedicated her life to making sure students with disabilities have the necessary resources to ensure their educational success. For nearly 20 years, she has been a professor at San Diego Community College (SDCC). Her work with SDCC includes the Disability Support Programs & Services (DSPS), a campus resource center that provides academic support, counseling services and reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities, helping them to be independent and achieve their academic and vocational goals.

Bill Bodry

Disability Awareness Month: 2011 Honoree

Oct. 5

Bill Bodry is the founder and president of the Challenge Center, which he established after a spinal cord injury left him paraplegic at the age of 27. Faced with the challenge of finding affordable medical and physical therapy services, Mr. Bodry has made it his life's work and mission to provide programs and services to people living with severe disabilities. The Challenge Center has been recognized as one of the fifteen "Best of the Best" nonprofit rehabilitation facilities in the nation by the Christopher Reeves Foundation. In 2010, Mr. Bodry received San Diego’s ABC/Channel 10 News Leadership Award.

Rachel Ortiz

Hispanic Heritage Month: 2011 Honoree

Sept. 7

Rachel Ortiz is the founder and director of Barrio Station, a youth program that saves the lives of thousands of troubled young people by offering them alternatives to delinquency. Ms. Ortiz lives her life with a passion for justice and a commitment to youth advocacy. Ms. Ortiz is a recipient of numerous awards, including the César Chávez Humanitarian Award, California Legislature's Women of the Year and the Aztec Achievement Award.

Richard Nares

Hispanic Heritage Month: 2011 Honoree

Sept. 7

Richard Nares is the executive director of the Emilio Nares Foundation (ENF), which he founded along with his wife Diane in 2003 after losing their son Emilio to leukemia. Mr. Nares turned the tragic experience into a program that assists children fighting cancer throughout Southern California. Under his direction, the Emilio Nares Foundation serves as a resource center providing various community services including transportation, healthy meals, financial assistance and staffing for two Family Resource Centers at Rady Children’s Hospital.

Nicole Murray Ramirez

LGBT Pride Month: 2011 Honoree

June 2

San Diego City Commissioner Nicole Murray Ramirez has been a Latino and gay activist for more than 40 years. He is a national board member of the Harvey Milk Foundation and chairman of the International Court Council, one of the oldest and largest predominantly gay organizations in the world with chapters in the USA, Canada and Mexico. Mr. Murray Ramirez is also serving a four year term on the board of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

Dr. Delores Jacobs

LGBT Pride Month: 2011 Honoree

June 2

Delores A. Jacobs, Ph. D., is the chief executive officer of the San Diego LGBT Community Center, one of the oldest, largest LGBT community centers in the country. Dr. Jacobs is a trained psychologist who has devoted considerable time and talent to training and education efforts in the public health and non-profit sectors. Dr. Jacobs participates in the San Diego LGBT Leadership Council, the Advisory Board for the University of San Diego’s Non-Profit Leadership and Management Program, and the county of San Diego’s HIV Planning Council.

Thomas Hom

Asian Pacific Heritage Month: 2011 Honoree

May 24

Thomas E. Hom is a community leader and philanthropist. He was the first Asian American elected to the San Diego City Council in 1962 as deputy mayor, and later served in the California State Assembly. Mr. Hom is also a successful entrepreneur, having been president of Tom Hom & Associates Realtors, Tom Hom Investment Corporation and chairman of The Tom Hom Group. He is also the founder of the Hom Family Foundation that has helped launch the Chinese Historical Museum.

Robin Tarr

Asian Pacific Heritage Month: 2011 Honoree

May 24

Robin Tarr is founder of the Jonathan Tarr Foundation, education-based nonprofit that provides scholarships to a diverse population of underserved boys and girls. The Jonathan Tarr Foundation was established in memory of her son Jonathan who died in a tragic car accident at 17.

Jackie Gmach

Jewish History Month: 2011 Honoree

May 3

Jackie Gmach is the community outreach coordinator for San Diego State University's Initiative for Moral Courage (IMC). The new interdisciplinary think-tank focuses on the critical study, promotion and recognition of moral courage through a mentoring project that brings together academics, world leaders and students.

Barbara Bry

Women's History Month: 2011 Honoree

March 7

Barbara Bry is responsible for the foundation of San Diego Athena, the leading organization for local women in the technology and life sciences fields. She also supports her community by contributing to organizations such as Voice of San Diego, CONNECT, Run Women Run, Planned Parenthood, San Diego’s Jewish Women’s and Community foundations, Rotary Club 33 and Women Give San Diego.

Kathi Anderson

Women's History Month: 2011 Honoree

March 7

Combining her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in international relations and counseling, Kathi Anderson serves as the executive director and co-founder of Survivors of Torture, International (SURVIVORS). Ms. Anderson also contributes to the San Diego community as a board member of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, the San Diego Young Artists Symphony and the National Consortium of Torture Treatment Programs.

Martha and Theophilus Logan

Black History Month: 2011 Honorees

Jan. 31

Martha Logan recognized a great need for legal counseling in her San Diego community, earned her Juris Doctor degree and in 1976, began practicing law with an emphasis on protecting senior citizens, and their assets, through estate planning and personal counseling. Theophilus Logan has also devoted his life to helping others. After serving in the United States Army for 20 years, Mr. Logan turned to his passion for real estate, helping buyers achieve what may sometimes seem an impossible dream of owning a home.

Veverly E. Anderson

Black History Month: 2011 Honoree

Jan. 31

Veverly E. Anderson is devoted to bettering the lives and circumstances of underprivileged youth in the impoverished neighborhoods of southeast San Diego.