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2011 Black History Month Heroes

2011 Black History Month Heroes - KCET


As part of the Union Bank 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 14th 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 2011 Local Heroes of the Year:

Charemaine_Jefferson_2011.jpg        Charmaine Jefferson
        California African American Museum 
        Los Angeles, CA 

        Watch video



Charmaine Jefferson is the executive director of the California African American Museum. She is deeply dedicated to enriching her community and the lives of others through the promotion of artistic endeavors. Her innovative advocacy of arts education and programming has earned her wide acclaim in both the private and public sectors. Ms. Jefferson is also very committed to charitable works and philanthropic organizations. Her advisory board and consulting memberships are as varied as they are extensive, and she is particularly involved with the California Institute for the Arts, Arts for LA, and the California Arts Council.


Ruett_Rhonda_Foster_2011.jpg        Pastor Ruett Stephen Foster and Rhonda Foster
        Evan Leigh Foster Foundation 
        Compton, CA 

        Watch video



Pastor Ruett Stephen Foster has over 30 years of experience as a teacher; counselor; and advocate for the children, youth, and families of Los Angeles. For the past 13 years, Pastor Foster has served as an ardent public activist for violence prevention. He became an assiduous advocate after the tragic and senseless loss of his innocent seven-year-old son, Evan, to gun violence in 1997. Pastor Foster and his wife, Rhonda, have partnered with several causes in the hopes of eradicating youth violence by instilling empathy and cultivating emotional growth in incarcerated youth.

Rhonda Foster has dedicated her life to helping children reconcile with their families and their communities as a whole. She and her husband, Pastor Foster, established the Evan Leigh Foster Foundation in memory of their son to provide care and services for children who have perpetrated crimes against society as a result of being separated or estranged from their families. Her commitment to youth is reflected in her position as the case manager for Community Build and the Gang Reduction Youth Development Program of Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa’s office. She coordinates therapy, tutoring, sports, arts activities, and life coaching for children between the ages of 10 and 15.

View Black History Month Past Honorees
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