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Local Heroes

Gracia Molina Enriquez de Pick - Hispanic Heritage Honoree

Between 1998 and 2016, KPBS partnered with Union Bank to recognize heroes in San Diego's diverse communities.

Tease photo for The Future of Policing in San Diego

The Future of Policing in San Diego

July 27

San Diegans brainstormed potential changes in policing during the KPBS and National Conflict Resolution Center Community Conversation held virtually on July 13, 2020.

Tease photo for Amber Pairis, Founder of Climate Scie...

Amber Pairis, Founder of Climate Science Alliance, Named KPBS Community Hero

Dec. 1, 2019

Climate Change Expert Brings People Together

Tease photo for Opioid Addiction Educator Sherrie Rub...

Opioid Addiction Educator Sherrie Rubin Named KPBS Community Hero

June 1, 2019
By Linda Ball

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

Tease photo for Marine Corps Veteran, Praised for His...

Marine Corps Veteran, Praised for His Efforts to Assist Wounded Warriors, Named Community Hero

March 1, 2019
By Linda Ball

Operation Rebound's senior program manager sees sports as key to injured veterans' recovery.

Tease photo for Longtime Gender-Equity Proponent Kim ...

Longtime Gender-Equity Proponent Kim Sontag-Mulder Selected As A KPBS Community Hero

Dec. 1, 2018
By Linda Ball

Gender-equity champion credited with restarting San Diego chapter of National Organization of Women

Tease photo for Gun Violence Prevention Activist Corn...

Gun Violence Prevention Activist Cornelius Bowser Recognized As A KPBS Community Hero

Sept. 1, 2018
By Linda Ball

Bowser is a community activist who seeks to make neighborhoods safer by preventing gun violence.

Tease photo for Imam Taha Hassane Named KPBS Communit...

Imam Taha Hassane Named KPBS Community Hero For His Efforts To Address Politically Sensitive Issues

June 1, 2018
By Linda Ball

Hassane hopes that dedicated effort and energy will open up channels of communication.

Tease photo for Steve Binder, Co-founder Of Innovativ...

Steve Binder, Co-founder Of Innovative Court Program, Recognized As A KPBS Community Hero For His Work With The Homeless

March 2, 2018
By Linda Ball

Court program pioneer seeks solutions to legal problems faced by the homeless.

Tease photo for Attorney Elizabeth Lopez Named KPBS C...

Attorney Elizabeth Lopez Named KPBS Community Hero For Her Work With Asylum Seekers

Sept. 7, 2017
By Linda Ball

The San Diego attorney is recognized for her pro bono immigration work with individuals fleeing persecution.

Tease photo for Affordable Housing Advocate Anne Wils...

Affordable Housing Advocate Anne Wilson Named KPBS Community Hero

May 26, 2017
By Linda Ball

The Community HousingWorks veteran sees affordable housing as a critical need in San Diego.

Tease photo for Health Advocate Elizabeth Bustos Name...

Health Advocate Elizabeth Bustos Named KPBS Community Hero

March 30, 2017
Linda Ball

Bustos has spent decades promoting health and justice in Southeast San Diego.

Tease photo for LGBT Pride Month Local Hero Terry Cun...

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

LGBT Pride Month 2015 Honoree

June 9, 2015
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...

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

LGBT Pride Month 2015 Honoree

June 8, 2015
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 He...

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

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month 2015 Honoree

May 6, 2015
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.

Tease photo for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month...

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

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month 2015 Honoree

May 5, 2015
By Monica Medina

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.

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