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UNION BANK AND KQED HONOR BAY AREA AFRICAN AMERICANS AS LOCAL HEROES
For Immediate Release
SAN FRANCISCO (February 1, 2011) - As part of its ongoing commitment to cultural diversity and in celebration of Black History Month, Union Bank has partnered with KQED to honor four extraordinary Northern Californian African Americans as Local Heroes. The Local Heroes award recognizes the exemplary leadership and dedication of the recipients in serving their communities. This year’s honorees are: Dr. Clayborne Carson, Naa Dodua (Diane Green), Reverend Carolyn Dyson and JoLynn Washington. The awards will be presented on Thursday, February 3, 2011, at 6 p.m. at the KQED Public Media Center in San Francisco.
The honorees will be formally recognized as part of the 16th Annual Local Heroes Awards, which Union Bank sponsors in conjunction with public television station KQED. Union Bank and KQED created the Local Heroes Awards to help celebrate the national commemorative heritage months for the African American and Asian Pacific American communities. The awards honor outstanding individuals in the community who strive to enrich the lives of others and have expanded in San Francisco to also recognize honorees as part of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month.
"Union Bank is honored to join with KQED to celebrate these local heroes in our community," said Pierre Habis, senior executive vice president and head of Community Banking at Union Bank. "These exceptional individuals have made enormous contributions to their communities and they exemplify our core values of diversity and community involvement. We are pleased to again partner with KQED to recognize the honorees and highlight their dedication and the tremendous efforts they make every day."
"KQED is honored to again partner with Union Bank to celebrate this year’s local heroes," said John Boland, president and CEO of KQED Public Media. "These individuals exemplify a tireless commitment to the local African American community and to the Bay Area community at large. We are pleased to introduce them to our viewers through the video profiles airing on KQED throughout Black History Month as we also celebrate with programming that focuses on African American themes and culture."
The 2011 honorees are:
- Dr. Clayborne Carson, founding director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University, has devoted his professional life to the study of Dr. King and the movements he inspired. Dr. Carson has served Atlanta’s Morehouse College as a Martin Luther King, Jr. distinguished professor and executive director of the King Collection. He has also been a visiting professor/fellow at American University, the University of California, Berkeley, Emory University, Harvard University, the Center for the Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, and the L'Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris.
- Naa Dodua, also known as Diane Green, is a widely respected community leader, mentor, educator, artist, and social entrepreneur known for her efforts on behalf of at-risk inner city youth. She is the founder and director of From Heart to Hand, an organization specializing in education, international relations, and Rites of Passage programs for African youth and young adults. Through her efforts, Ms. Dodua strives to change the current structure of violence and poverty to one of peace, to be of service to humanity, and to promote entrepreneurship and self sufficiency in our local communities.
- Having beaten breast cancer ten years ago, Reverend Carolyn Dyson now fights the disease on behalf of African American and other at-risk communities through the promotion of early detection, breast cancer education, and partnership building. Reverend Dyson is the manager of community health advocacy and outreach at California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC), where she heads both the African American Breast Health and Sister to Sister Breast Health programs. She has also served as spokesperson for CPMC before both the Health Committee and the Budget Committee of the California State Legislature and founded the Over-Flowing Cup Breast Health program.
- JoLynn Washington began working at Jose Ortega Elementary School in 1990, unaware that she was embarking on her life calling. She taught first and second grades, served as a reading coach and brought professional development opportunities to the teaching staff. In 2006, Ms. Washington became principal and in 2010, the school reached an Academic Performance Index of 811 for the first time. Ms. Washington believes that a good education can give children freedom and encourage them to break negative cycles and that educators are responsible for encouraging students to maximize their natural gifts to achieve academic success.Throughout each of the celebratory months, KCET will air a video profile of each honoree that highlights how they made a difference in their community. The 2011 on-air profiles, which begin in February, can also be viewed on the Web at kcet.org. KCET also celebrates the rich and vibrant history and cultural diversity being honored with special programs throughout each featured month.