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Community Heroes

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KPBS and the National Conflict Resolution Center present Community Heroes, honoring individuals who give selflessly to build civility and community in San Diego.

Questions about the Community Heroes project? Contact Clare Pister, KPBS Community Engagement Manager, at (619) 594-2487 or

The Opioid Epidemic

Community Conversation On The Opioid Epidemic

Wednesday, June 26 2019 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Scripps Miramar Ranch Library Center

Event photo

Join us for an in-person interview with Sherrie Rubin, founder of Hope2gether Foundation, and Kinsee Morlan, KPBS podcast producer.

Opioid Addiction Educator Sherrie Rubin Named KPBS Community Hero

Rubin founded a nonprofit to reduce and prevent opioid addiction and overdoses.

The Opioid Epidemic in the News

Fentanyl Is Flowing Through Mexico To The US, Often As Fake Oxycontin

Experts say the nation’s deadliest drug — fentanyl — is increasingly coming in from Mexico, through ports of entry like San Ysidro.

Deaths Surge From Fentanyl-Laced Street Drugs In San Diego County

San Diego County’s fentanyl overdose mortality rate in 2017 was two times higher than the California rate, according to state health officials. Nearly 275 deaths in San Diego County were attributed to opioid overdoses, with more than half involving fentanyl.

Opioid Class Trains Workers To Protect Themselves From Deadly Fentanyl Exposure

The training comes as opioid overdose death rates continue to soar. More than 250 people in San Diego County died in 2018 of opioid-related causes, and 90 of those were a direct result of fentanyl, according to preliminary numbers from the Medical Examiner’s office.

Education Leader Urges Opioid Overdose Training In San Diego County Schools

San Diego County teachers are already trained on school shooting drills and identifying sex trafficking victims. Now, they may be tasked with learning to revive students who overdose on opioids.

Pala Band Of Mission Indians Sues Opioid Manufacturers, Distributors

The Pala Band of Mission Indians in San Diego announced Monday that they have filed a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers and distributors in an effort to hold them accountable for the impact opioids have had on the tribe.

County Officials Warn Of Fentanyl Deaths In Ocean Beach And Pacific Beach

County law enforcement and health officials are warning residents of three deaths this past weekend caused by fentanyl-laced cocaine in Pacific Beach and Ocean Beach. Two others overdosed but survived.

Soaring Fentanyl-Related Overdoses Prompt New San Diego Response Team

“People don’t know what they’re getting when they ingest these drugs (cocaine and heroin), and it leads to overdoses, and sometimes those overdoses result in death," said Colin Ruane, DEA assistant special agent in charge.

Substance Abuse Treatment Gets Boost From San Diego County

The county will triple spending on treating addiction over the next three years.

What is Community Heroes?

In January 2017, KPBS and the National Conflict Resolution Center were pleased to launch a new local initiative: Community Heroes. The goal of Community Heroes is to honor ordinary individuals who give selflessly to benefit their community and have actively made it a better place.

KPBS and NCRC seek nominations for heroes from the public based on topics, ranging from health to poverty, from inequity to the environment. Four heroes are chosen annually, with the first honored in the spring of 2017. In selecting the honorees, a committee of volunteers look for individuals who embody service and selflessness, who have shown a commitment to effectively collaborating with those around them, and who reflect the diversity of our region.

See a full list of the Community Heroes.

Archive of Local Heroes

Community Heroes is a continuation of a program called Local Heroes, a partnership between KPBS and Union Bank. The program ran from 1998 - 2016 and was structured around heritage months, honoring individuals who were and are making a difference in sixteen diverse communities in San Diego.

Click here to see an archive of the remarkable San Diegans who were honored as Local Heroes in the past.