Print | Email



For Immediate Release

Jane Yedinak
(415) 765-3241

Steve Roth
(323) 951-0059

"Milk" Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black to Host Awards Ceremony

SAN FRANCISCO (May 22, 2012) – As part of its ongoing commitment to cultural diversity and responsible banking, and in celebration of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month, Union Bank, N.A., has partnered with KQED to honor four remarkable individuals from the Bay Area LGBT community as part of the Local Heroes program. The program recognizes and pays tribute to leaders who make a difference and enrich the lives of others by improving their workplace, profession, neighborhood, community, region and the world. The 2012 LGBT honorees are: Jei Africa, M.D., Jeff Cotter, Roger Doughty and Tom Nolan.

The awards will be presented in a celebratory program in June hosted by Academy Award® winning screenwriter, producer and director Dustin Lance Black. The program is scheduled to air on KQED 9 Sunday, June 24 at 6 p.m. and Wednesday, June 27 at 11 p.m., and on KQED LIFE Thursday, June 28 at 10 p.m.

The honorees will be formally recognized as part of the 17th Annual Local Heroes Awards, which Union Bank sponsors in conjunction with KQED, the public media station that serves Northern California. Union Bank and KQED created the awards to help celebrate the national commemorative heritage months for the Asian Pacific American and African American communities. In 2011, the program was expanded in San Francisco to also recognize honorees as part of LGBT Pride Month.

"Union Bank is very proud to once again join KQED to celebrate these LGBT community heroes and to recognize and highlight their dedication and the tremendous efforts they make every day,” said Union Bank Senior Executive Vice President Pierre P. Habis, head of Community Banking. “These outstanding individuals have contributed so much and exemplify our core values of diversity and community involvement."

"KQED is honored to partner with Union Bank to celebrate this year’s 2012 Local Heroes," said John Boland, president of KQED. "These heroes exemplify a tireless commitment to the Bay Area community. We are pleased to introduce them to our viewers through the video profiles airing on KQED throughout LGBT Pride Month so that millions of others will have an opportunity to learn more about the many contributions of these outstanding community leaders."

The 2012 honorees for LGBT Pride Month are:

Dr. Jei Africa is the health equity initiatives manager with the Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Division of the San Mateo County health system, where she promotes effective and culturally responsive services to her patients. Dr. Africa is a licensed clinical psychologist and a certified addiction treatment counselor, and she maintains a consulting and private psychotherapy practice in San Francisco. In 2005, she founded Alliance for Community Empowerment (ALLICE), an all-volunteer nonprofit that stages free biannual education seminars and resource fairs to promote healthy behavior and interaction. Dr. Africa uses her personal stories and professional experience to educate and engage people in dialogue about important social and health issues.

Jeff Cotter is the founder of Rainbow World Fund (RWF), the world’s only international LGBT based humanitarian aid organization that helps people who suffer from hunger, poverty, disease, oppression and war by raising awareness and funds to support relief efforts around the world. In 2006, Mr. Cotter also created the World Tree of Hope, a global holiday project promoting peace, love and humanitarianism, which is displayed each December in San Francisco’s City Hall. Mr. Cotter is a lifelong humanitarian and activist; he has worked on HIV/AIDS initiatives and LGBT civil rights since 1987. He is also a psychiatric social worker for the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

Roger Doughty is the executive director of San Francisco’s Horizons Foundation, the nation’s oldest LGBT community foundation. Mr. Doughty has worked with Horizons Community Services in Chicago and for the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center. He started his career as an attorney specializing in refugee, immigration and asylum cases involving gender-related persecution and sexual orientation. He has served on various boards and community organizations, including the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission and Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom. Mr. Doughty has a bachelor’s degree from Williams College and a master’s in public policy from the University of California, Berkeley. He also earned a juris doctor degree from the UC Berkeley School of Law.

For 17 years, Tom Nolan was the executive director of Project Open Hand, an organization that began by providing meals to San Francisco individuals suffering from HIV/AIDS. Under Mr. Nolan, it expanded its mission to include people in Alameda County suffering from serious illnesses other than AIDS, as well as all seniors. His activism and involvement with LGBT issues started early in his life. In 1987 he became the first openly gay person to serve as president for a board of supervisors in California’s 58 counties, where he co-created the county’s first response to the AIDS crisis, authoring legislation for domestic partner benefits and serving on the county's HIV/AIDS nonprofit board, ELLIPSE.

Throughout the month of June, KQED Public Media will air video profiles of each honoree, highlighting how they make a difference in their community. The on-air profiles, along with program listings and descriptions of the 25 programs celebrating the milestones and achievements of the LGBT community, can be viewed on the Web at For more information about the Local Heroes Awards, please also visit

About UnionBanCal Corporation & Union Bank, N.A.
Headquartered in San Francisco, UnionBanCal Corporation is a financial holding company with assets of $92.3 billion at March 31, 2012. Its primary subsidiary, Union Bank, N.A., is a full-service commercial bank providing an array of financial services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, and major corporations. The bank operates 407 branches in California, Washington, Oregon, Texas, New York and Illinois as well as two international offices. UnionBanCal Corporation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., which is a subsidiary of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. Union Bank is a proud member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG, NYSE:MTU), one of the world’s largest financial organizations. Visit for more information.

About KQED
KQED ( has served Northern California for more than 50 years and is affiliated with NPR and PBS. KQED owns and operates public television stations KQED 9 (San Francisco/Bay Area), KQED Plus (San Jose/Bay Area), and KQET 25 (Watsonville/Monterey); KQED Public Radio (88.5 FM San Francisco and 89.3 FM Sacramento); the interactive platforms and; and KQED Education. KQED Public Television, one of the nation's most-watched public television stations, is the producer of local and national series such as QUEST; Check, Please! Bay Area; This Week in Northern California; Truly CA; and Essential Pépin. KQED's digital television channels include 9HD, KQED Life, KQED World, KQED Kids, and KQED V-me, and are available 24/7 on Comcast. KQED Public Radio, home of Forum with Michael Krasny and The California Report, is one of the most-listened-to public radio stations in the nation with an award-winning news and public affairs program service delivering more than eighteen local newscasts each weekday. KQED Interactive provides KQED’s cross-platform news service,, and offers several popular local blogs, video and audio podcasts, and a live radio stream at KQED Education brings the impact of KQED to thousands of teachers, students, parents and the general public through workshops, community screenings and multimedia resources.