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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.

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Opioid Addiction Educator Sherrie Rubin Named KPBS Community Hero

June 1
By Linda Ball

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

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

March 1
By Linda Ball

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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Jewish American Heritage Month Local Hero Virginia Gordon is a Lifelong Activist

Jewish American Heritage Month 2015 Honoree

May 4, 2015
By Monica Medina

Throughout her life, Virginia Gordon’s passion for activism has been front and center. She remembers how her grandmother Sadye was deeply involved in Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, and served as an organizer for Youth Aliya, an organization that was founded during World War II to bring Jewish children out of Germany and relocate them to England and Palestine.

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Jewish American Heritage Month Local Hero Robin Rady Helps Cancer Patients Get Organized with ‘Binder of Hope’

Jewish American Heritage Month 2015 Honoree

May 1, 2015
By Monica Medina

Four years ago, Robin Rady was diagnosed with breast cancer. Though it was caught early, it’s the kind of news that could have been enough to put anyone in a deep funk or a tailspin. But Robin, who is known for her warmth and positive energy, searched for clarity and calm. She found it in a binder–and that binder ended up seeing her through one of the toughest periods of her life, a time filled with surgeries, reconstructive surgeries, physical therapy and so much more.

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