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2011 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Month Heroes - KCET

As part of the Union Bank ongoing Heritage Month celebrations, we are proud to sponsor the inaugural Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month Local Heroes Awards honoring five outstanding individuals for their exemplary dedication and service to the community.

Over the past 14 years, Union Bank, in partnership with public television station KCET, has formally recognized over one hundred local heroes from diverse communities throughout Southern California. Throughout the month of June, the station will broadcast video profiles of the remarkable honorees during our month-long commemoration of LGBT Pride Month.

Congratulations to our 2011 LGBT Pride Month Local Heroes.

DAVID_DAMIAN_FIGUEROA.jpg     David Damian Figueroa 
     Vice President, Strategic Development & Communications

     Watch video

David Damian Figueroa is the vice president of strategic development and communications for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), the nation’s leading Latino civil rights organization. He helped launch the AARP’s Segunda Juventud bilingual magazine in Los Angeles and has also played an influential role in connecting celebrities to non-profit organizations.

ALEX_H_FUKUI.jpg      Alex H. Fukui 
      API Equality-LA 
      Gay Asian Pacific Support Network 

      Watch video

Alex H. Fukui has been an advocate in the fight for equality for LGBT communities, especially the Asian Pacific Islander (API) community, for nearly 20 years. He is a founding steering committee member of API Equality-LA and currently serves as the co-chair of the organization’s Faith Committee.

JAMES_W_GILLIAM.jpg      James Gilliam 
      Deputy Executive Director
      ACLU of Southern California

      Watch video

James Gilliam is an attorney and longtime activist for the LGBT community. He is currently the deputy executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California (ACLU/SC), where he also heads the LGBT Rights Project.  Mr. Gilliam has published several articles addressing LGBT issues. He is also an adjunct professor at Loyola Law School, and co-chair of the Sexual Orientation Bias Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association.

KARINA_SAMALA.jpg      Karina Samala 
      Transgender Advisory Board
      City of West Hollywood 

      Watch video

Karina Samala has been actively involved in campaigning for equal rights for the entire LGBT community for more than 25 years. Ms. Samala is currently chairperson for the Transgender Advisory Board for the City of West Hollywood. She has served as chairperson for the City of Los Angeles Human Services Commission’s Transgender Working Group, and Christopher Street West. Ms. Samala has also been on the board of the County of Los Angeles Sherriff’s GLBT Advisory Council, the Imperial Court of Los Angeles and Hollywood, and the Asian Pacific Islander Pride Council.

MARQUITA_THOMAS.jpg      Marquita Thomas  
      Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian
      Chamber of Commerce  

      Watch video

Marquita Thomas is the president of the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Thomas is also the founder of Out & About Events for Women. Since creating the organization in 2002, she has been involved in the promotion of many events for the lesbian community. She also created the Serafemme Queer Women of Color Music Festival and is an active member of the Lesbian Visibility Committee, having spoken and emceed the organization’s Dyke March. In 2009, Ms. Thomas realized one of her dreams by launching Serafemme Magazine, a publication specifically tailored to lesbian women of color.

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