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Black History Month: San Diego

2014 Black History Month Heroes - KPBS

Congratulations to our 2014 Local Heroes of the Year:

     Tessie Bonner
     Community Volunteer  

      Watch video

Tessie Bonner is a former professor of cosmetology at San Diego City College and longtime salon owner who partnered with the UC San Diego Cancer Center to create Black Beauticians Promoting Health. This community outreach program trains salon professionals to educate their clients on breast cancer awareness, prevention, early detection, prompt treatment, and clinical trial opportunities. Since the program began in 1994, it has expanded throughout the U.S. and helped thousands of women. Ms. Bonner continues her work with the program today through the UCSD Moore’s Cancer Center.

In recognition of her contributions to women’s health, Ms. Bonner has been honored by the National Organization of Black Legislators (NOBLE), and she has received the Soroptimist International Woman of Accomplishment award and Women Helping Women award, as well as the Woman of Distinction award from San Diego Women, Incorporated.

     J.T. Inge 
     Retired Gunnery Sergeant    
     Original Montford Point Marines of San Diego  

     Joe Earl Jackson 
     Retired First Sergeant   
     Original Montford Point Marines of San Diego  

     Dr. Carrel Reavis 
     Retired Gunnery Sergeant    
     Original Montford Point Marines of San Diego  

      Watch video 

J.T. Inge, Joe Jackson, and Carrel Reavis are members of the original Montford Point Marines of San Diego –– a non-profit veteran organization, established to celebrate the legacy of the first African Americans entering the United States Marine Corps.

Mr. Inge, Mr. Jackson, and Mr. Reavis were among the first 20,000 black American men who enlisted in the Marines, and were sent to the segregated Montford Point Camp for training in New River, NC from 1942 - 49. All three men served more than 20 years in the Marine Corps before moving on to other careers in the San Diego area.

In 2012, after nearly seven decades, the former Marines received recognition on the floor of the United States House of Representatives when they were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the nation's highest civilian honor, “for outstanding perseverance and courage that inspired social change in the Marine Corps.”

View KPBS Black History Month Honorees for 2013


Black History Month: Los Angeles

2014 Black History Month Heroes - KCET

Congratulations to our 2014 Local Heroes of the Year:

      Daryl L. Osby
     Fire Chief
     Los Angeles County Fire Department  

      Watch video

Daryl L. Osby, the first African American fire chief of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, has volunteered for many community organizations, including the department’s Fire Explorer Program and Pomona Valley Hospital. He is the former president of the Los Angeles County Stentorians, an organization founded to end segregation and discrimination in local firehouses. Chief Osby is a true role model and a champion of life-long learning, having participated in continuing education and leadership development programs at Harvard University, Dillard University and Loyola Marymount University. He is also a California State Certified Incident Commander and Chief Officer.

      Anthony J. Tolbert

      Watch video

Anthony J. Tolbert is associate director of admissions and outreach at the UCLA School of Law. He is passionate about helping homeless families, and for two years he’s opened his home to families in need, charging them only $1 a month in rent while they get their lives back on track. Mr. Tolbert works with social service agencies to identify prospective tenants, and in 2012, a family lived in his South Los Angeles home after leaving an abusive situation. In 2013, he opened his door to a woman and her four children, and at the beginning of 2014, he welcomed a new family into his home. Mr. Tolbert has been honored with the Justice Cruz Reynoso Community Service Award by the Mexican American Bar Association (MABA).

View KCET Black History Month Honorees for 2013


Black History Month: San Francisco

2014 Black History Month Heroes - KQED

Congratulations to our 2014 Local Heroes of the Year:

     Kimberly Bryant
     Founder/Executive Director
     Black Girls CODE  

      Watch video

Kimberly Bryant is a biotechnology and engineering professional, who founded the San Francisco–based Black Girls CODE in 2011 to help close the digital divide for girls of color. Her organization has trained more than 1,500 girls to work in technology fields, including robotics, video game design, mobile phone application development, and computer programming. She aims to reach one million girls by 2040.

Ms. Bryant was one of 11 recipients of the 2013 White House Champions of Change Tech Inclusion Award, celebrating Americans, “who are doing extraordinary things to expand technology opportunities for young learners — especially minorities, women and girls and others from communities historically underserved or underrepresented in tech fields.” She was also selected by Business Insider in 2013 as one of the 25 Most Influential African-Americans in Technology. She received the prestigious Jefferson Award for Community Service in 2012 for her work to support communities in the Bay Area.

     Gina M. Fromer
     District Vice President
     Bayview, Mission, Buchanan YMCA 

      Watch video

Gina Fromer is district vice president of the Bayview Hunters Point YMCA in San Francisco. Born and raised in Bayview, Ms. Fromer has more than 35 years experience working with children and adolescents in a variety of different Bay Area organizations. During her time at the YMCA, she has focused on three major issues with the youth of the neighborhood: literacy, obesity and truancy.

After discovering that Bayview has the highest truancy rate in San Francisco, she spearheaded the Center for Academic Reentry and Empowerment — an academic recovery program that helps young people realize the value of education and ensures that truants can return to school, improve academically, and eventually graduate. Ms. Fromer was recently recognized with the Jefferson Award for Public Service, a local award for outstanding contributions to the community.

View KQED Black History Month Honorees for 2013

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