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Black History Month 2010: KCET

2010 Black History Month Heroes

2010 Black History Month Heroes - KCET


As part of Union Bank's Heritage Month celebrations, we are proud to sponsor the Local Heroes Awards and to honor various individuals for their positive contributions in the African American community.

The honorees will be formally recognized as part of the 13th Annual Local Heroes Awards, which Union Bank sponsors in conjunction with public television station KCET. The station will also broadcast video profiles of the honorees throughout its Black History Month programming from February 1 through 28.

Congratulations to our 2010 Local Heroes of the Year:

Shonte Henderson     Shonte Henderson
      Los Angeles County Superior Court
      Bellflower, CA 

      Watch video



Shonte Henderson is a judicial assistant to Judge Leland Tipton of the Los Angeles County Superior Court in the Bellflower courthouse. With a master's degree in public administration and 20 years' experience, Ms. Henderson brings a strong knowledge of the judicial system to her position. However, it is her personal victory as a four-time breast cancer survivor and her fund-raising efforts for breast cancer awareness and research for which she is most proud. Ms. Henderson is an avid breast cancer advocate and has helped raise more than $6,000 for breast cancer initiatives. As the leader of Team Shonte, she has helped raise $5,300 individually for Avon Breast Cancer Walks. An inspiration to those around her, Ms. Henderson was first diagnosed with breast cancer at the young age of 25 and has persevered with a passion to continue helping others through her example and fund-raising efforts.

MillicentHillBHM.jpg     Millicent Hill 
     Mama Hill's Help
     Los Angeles, CA

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Millicent "Mama" Hill is CEO and founder of Mama Hill's Help, an after-school program started in her own home to help troubled students in the Los Angeles area. With a 40-year background as a Los Angeles Unified School District schoolteacher, Ms. Hill educates and empowers at-risk children who need the most guidance in her community. She estimates having saved nearly 2,000 children from death due to violence. Ms. Hill was the driving force in creating and popularizing a special museum dedicated to Martin Luther King, Jr. at Crenshaw High School, and she continues her outreach and leadership programs, focusing on gang prevention and intervention as well as voter registration outreach. During 2010, Ms. Hill will lead a weekly seminar on Black History/Brown History/Life Skills.

ArevaMartinBHM.jpg     Areva Martin, Esq.
     Special Needs Network, Inc.
     Los Angeles, CA

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Areva Martin is president and founder of Special Needs Network, Inc. (SNN), a nonprofit launched to support families with special needs children. A graduate of Chicago University and Harvard Law School, she is also a managing partner of Martin & Martin, LLP, recognized as one of the premier African-American, woman-owned law firms in Los Angeles. Through grassroots outreach programs, SNN's efforts have led to significant gains in the quality of diagnosis and treatment options available to thousands of families of special needs children in South Los Angeles, including Ms. Martin's own family, as her son was diagnosed with autism. SNN has received commendations from the U.S. Congress, mayors, county supervisors, and the city's top leaders. Ms. Martin has appeared on programs such as Fox News, NPR, and Court TV, and she has also contributed her expertise to the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Redbook, and Heart and Soul magazine. In 2010, Ms. Martin will oversee SNN's partnership with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Hospital opening in South Los Angeles.

Billy Mitchell     Billy Mitchell
     Scholarship Audition Performance Preparatory Academy
     South Pasadena, CA

     Watch video



Fueled by a passion for jazz, Billy Mitchell is executive director of the Scholarship Audition Performance Preparatory Academy (SAPPA). He founded SAPPA in 2002 to teach young, talented musicians how to hone their musical skills in a professional atmosphere. SAPPA's success also came from helping students build character, self-esteem, and discipline while encouraging excellence. Other groups took notice, and SAPPA eventually partnered with the Music Center Education Division, LAUSD's Beyond the Bell program, and the NAACP ACT-SO program. SAPPA's programs have earned Mr. Mitchell several awards, including the Pasadena Arts Council's "Gold Crown" award and America West's "Jazz for the Next Generation" award. Mr. Mitchell is also the music director of the Music Performance Academy, an international music network based in Alhambra, California. He plans to continue his advocacy during 2010 as the executive director of the newly formed Watts-Willowbrook Music Conservatory.

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Black History Month 2010: KPBS

2010 Black History Month Heroes

2010 Black History Month Heroes - KPBS


As part of Union Bank’s Heritage Month celebrations, we are proud to sponsor the Local Heroes Awards and to honor various individuals for their positive contributions in the African American community.

The honorees will be formally recognized as part of the Cultural Diversity Partnership Awards, which Union Bank partners with public television station KPBS. The station broadcasts video profiles of the honorees throughout its Black History Month programming from February 1 through 28.

Congratulations to our 2010 Local Heroes of the Year: 

RandyJonesBHM.jpg     Randy Jones
     Office of the U.S. Attorney
     San Diego, CA

     Watch video



Randy Jones has spent more than 20 years as the assistant United States attorney for the Southern District of California in San Diego and currently holds the rank of commander in the United States Naval Reserves. He is also the local coordinator for Project Safe Neighborhoods, serves as a mentor and tutor, and volunteers on the board of directors of numerous organizations, including the YMCA of San Diego County. Mr. Jones is a former president of the National Bar Association and founded the Neighborhood Law School, a program designed to provide lay people of modest financial means an opportunity to understand the law. He has received numerous honors, including being named one of the "100 Most Influential California Lawyers" and one of Ebony magazine’s "100 Most Influential National Leaders."

AhmedSahidBHM.jpg     Ahmed Sahid
     Somali Family Service
     San Diego, CA

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Ahmed Sahid has worked with refugee communities for more than 20 years. He is the president and chief executive officer of the Somali Family Service, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the well-being of Somali and other East African families in San Diego County. He has served on numerous foundation and organization boards, including the State Advisory Council, San Diego Foundation Intergroup Relations Committee, and the San Diego Refugee Forum. Mr. Sahid has developed and administered programs that assure accessibility of culturally and linguistically competent services to the underserved East African refugee populations. He has also received several awards for his work, including the San Diego County Commission on Children, Youth, and Families' Nonprofit Management Solutions Certificate of Achievement in Transforming Nonprofit Leadership.

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Black History Month 2010: KQED

2010 Black History Month Heroes

2010 Black History Month Heroes - KQED


The honorees will be formally recognized as part of the 15th Annual Local Heroes Awards, which Union Bank sponsors in conjunction with public television station KQED. The station will also broadcast video profiles of the honorees throughout its Black History Month programming from February 1 through 28.

Congratulations to our 2010 Local Heroes of the Year:

DeniseColemanBHM.jpg     Denise Coleman
     Huckleberry Youth Programs
     San Francisco, CA

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Denise Coleman is the director of Juvenile Justice Programs at Huckleberry Youth Programs in San Francisco. Ms. Coleman has led Huckleberry's Community Assessment and Referral Center (CARC) since 1999, and the center has become one of the foremost programs in San Francisco. It provides youth arrested for nonviolent crimes with a rehabilitative, supportive alternative to incarceration. Under Ms. Coleman's leadership, CARC has supported over 5,000 at-risk youth and is a national model of excellence for community-based juvenile justice alternative programs. Ms. Coleman also serves as a national juvenile justice consultant for the Vera Institute of New York, and she was a 2008 fellow of the Women's Policy Institute sponsored by the Women's Foundation of California and a 2009 fellow of the National Institute of Out-of-School Time. She also co-chairs the Juvenile Justice Providers Association in San Francisco.

ReginaJacskonBHM.jpg      Regina Jackson
      East Oakland Youth Development Center (EOYDC)
      Oakland, CA

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Since 1994, Regina Jackson has served as the executive director of the East Oakland Youth Development Center (EOYDC), where she develops and oversees the center's general administration and program management and supervises public relations and fiscal management. Ms. Jackson has helped build the center into one of the community's most valuable resources -- a safe, nurturing environment where young people can learn, dream, and aspire by developing their self-esteem and leadership skills. She has served on statewide and local community boards and task forces, and the International Diplomacy Council has sought Ms. Jackson's expertise in sharing best practices with international visitors to the United States. Her ongoing, tireless efforts to gain corporate, local business, and hometown celebrity support have been instrumental to the stabilization of the center and its continued growth.

HarrietLarkinBHM.jpg     Harriett Larkin
     Renaissance Youth Movement Program
     San Francisco, CA

     Watch video



Harriett Larkin is the retention mentor of the Renaissance Parents of Success Youth Movement Program in San Francisco, California, where she began in 2004. She has many roles, including that of a nurturing "parent" to her students, and her career has been rich in giving back to the community. She's worked as a counselor at Nailah House Group Home and for Foster Family Agency and also worked with youth at Gastinell's and New Directions, where she provided tutoring, prepared meals, and led field trips. At New Directions, her program expanded to include gang members, an often challenging aspect of her job that was balanced by uplifting stories of youth who professed the positive changes they wanted to make in their lives. Ms. Larkin has developed strong relationships with youth that have lasted more than 20 years and is often thrilled to see some of her students raising their own children. She credits her genuine love and passion for at-risk youth to the love and ongoing compassion of her own parents.

MonaVaughnScottBHM.jpg     Dr. Mona Vaughn Scott
     Black Repertory Group
     Berkeley, CA

     Watch video



An accomplished dancer, actress, writer, producer, director, and teacher, Dr. Mona Vaughn Scott has spent the last 20 years as the artistic/executive director of the Black Repertory Group (BRG) in Berkeley, California, following her late mother, BRG founder Nora Vaughn. Dr. Scott mentors actors, develops after-school programs, facilitates self-esteem-building workshops, and utilizes performance to reach people affected by substance abuse and violence. Dr. Scott earned her Ph.D. from Stanford University and has received numerous awards and recognitions throughout her career. She was recognized by the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre for her contributions to the arts and in 2001 received the Mayor of Berkeley, California's Commendation for Mentoring in the Arts. She was also inducted into the Alameda County Women's Hall of Fame and received the Washington, DC Ambassador's Youth Award for establishing the Inner-City Youth Orchestra. Dr. Scott is also listed in Who's Who in Black America and holds a lifetime membership in Orchesis, the National Modern Dance Society's honor organization.

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