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Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

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.

We're taking nominations for Hispanic Heritage, Disability Awareness and American Indian Heritage months until June 1.

Nominate a Hero Now

Sophak Yem Stands Up For Human Rights

Asian Pacific Heritage Month 2013 Honoree

May 15
By Monica Medina
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There are little girls who dream of princesses, playing with friends, or discovering a new and exciting book. And, there is Sophak Yem. What she longed for were gooseberries, a bright green berry that grows wild in Cambodia and has a particularly tart taste. Gooseberries. How she loved them when served with a mixture of salt and chili mixture. For Yem, a 2013 Asian Pacific Heritage Month Local Hero honoree, growing up in a Cambodian concentration camp, gooseberries represented one of the few joys in her young life.

Elmer Bisarra Helps HIV Patients Heal

Asian Pacific Heritage Month 2013 Honoree

May 15
By Monica Medina
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Elmer Bisarra learned early on what was expected of him. As the son of a Filipino father and a Chinese Hawaiian mother, he knew that the man is supposed to be the provider for his family, and that women serve best as educators, healers and nurturers. He remembers how this belief was embedded in his culture, passed down to him by his parents.

Ikunosuke "Mike" Kawamura

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: 2012 Honoree

May 10
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Kawamura was one of five production engineers from the Kyoto Ceramic Company, Ltd. ( now Kyocera Corporation), who left Japan in 1971 for a bold new assignment in California – opening the first manufacturing plant outside of Japan. Mr. Kawamura’s ideas and relentless efforts at Kyocera helped create a new generation of semiconductor packages that paved the way for the mass-commercialization of many important semiconductor technologies. In addition to his work as a chemist, manufacturing engineer and training/education professional, Mike Kawamura is actively involved in promoting intercultural understanding and harmony.

Dennis-Michael Broussard

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: 2012 Honoree

May 10
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A New Orleans native, Mr. Broussard is the founder of Silk Road productions, an event management and production firm, through which he has created acclaimed special events and raised thousands of dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. He is responsible for bringing several important events to San Diego: the Asian Cultural Festival; the Filipino American Culture and Heritage Festival; and the AMP Music Festival. Mr. Broussard has a reputation for being down to earth, inspirational to others, a leader in the community and willing to take action for the benefit of the San Diego community.

Thomas Hom

Asian Pacific Heritage Month: 2011 Honoree

May 24
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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
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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.

Divya Kakaiya Ph.D., CEDS

Asian Pacific Heritage Month: 2010 Honoree

April 19
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One of San Diego County's first Indian psychologists, Dr. Divya Kakaiya has been treating eating disorders since 1985, specializing in cultural issues within eating disorders.

Lee Ann Kim

Asian Pacific Heritage Month: 2010 Honoree

April 19
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Lee Ann Kim is founder of the San Diego Asian Film Foundation, which serves more than 100,000 audiences and over 1,000 individual artists through its annual film festival and year-round programs.