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For Immediate Release

Tanya Peebles-Hill
(213) 236-5329

Veronica Castro
(213) 236-7985

LOS ANGELES (March 24, 2011) - As part of its ongoing commitment to cultural diversity and in celebration of  Women’s History Month, Union Bank, N.A., has partnered with KCET to honor two extraordinary women who are making an impact in their communities to enrich the lives of others.  The 2011 Cultural Diversity Partnership, which kicked off during Black History Month in February and continues for Women’s History Month in March, recognizes and pays tribute to 10 local heroes who are making a difference by improving their workplace, profession, neighborhood, community, region and the world.  The 2011 Women’s History Month honorees are Gloria Lazalde and Lisa Watson.

"Union Bank is very proud to once again join with KCET to celebrate these heroes in our community," said Pierre Habis, senior executive vice president and head of Community Banking at Union Bank.  "These outstanding women have contributed so much and exemplify our core values of diversity and community involvement. We are proud of this expanded cultural partnership with KCET to celebrate Los Angeles’ diverse and vibrant community."

"KCET is honored to partner with Union Bank to celebrate this year’s Local Heroes. Through this partnership we have the unique opportunity to pay tribute to these extraordinary individuals and their commitment to improving our community," said Al Jerome, president and CEO of KCET.

Honorees will also be identified during Jewish American Heritage Month (May), Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (May) and Hispanic Heritage Month (September/October). The year-long celebration of diversity will culminate in an awards ceremony in October, where recipients will be formally recognized as part of the 14th Annual Local Heroes Awards, which Union Bank sponsors.

Union Bank and KCET will also identify Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month (June) Local Heroes as part of the expanded initiative and honor them during a similar event in June 2011.

For each heritage month, KCET will ask for nominations of local community members in the arts, business, community activism, education and/or social services. You may visit to submit a nomination.

The 2011 honorees for Women’s History Month are:

Lisa Watson is the executive director of the Downtown Women’s Center (DWC), a nationally recognized model program for women living in extreme poverty on Los Angeles’ Skid Row. Ms. Watson has initiated new programs, increased the organization’s capacity, and developed strategic partnerships to meet the dramatic rise in women’s homelessness. Most recently, she led the development and move of the DWC to its new home, a 67,000-square foot building made possible by a $35 million capital campaign and the work of more than 1,800 volunteers. Throughout her career, Ms. Watson has been dedicated to building communities and promoting social justice.

Gloria Lazalde is a well-known community organizer, manager and altruist. She began her career in 1988 while working for Nobles Property Management where she managed certification processes in a 430-unit public housing complex serving more than 2,500 residents where she organized groups for abused women. In 2005, she founded the "Celebrando Nuestras Madres," an annual event in the San Fernando Valley to honor the lives of both her late mother and sister. The event honors mothers who would not otherwise be able to celebrate Mother’s Day. Ms. Lazalde remains committed to motivate, inspire, and empower women and acknowledge the contributions they continuously make to their families and their communities at large.

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 also celebrates the rich and vibrant history and cultural diversity being honored with special programs throughout each featured month. For more information on 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 $79.1 billion at December 31, 2010. 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 operated 401 banking offices in California, Washington, Oregon and Texas, as well as two international offices, on December 31, 2010. 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 KCET

On-air, online and in the community, KCET plays a vital role in the cultural and educational enrichment of Southern and Central California. With a viewership of 3.6 million viewers in the average month, KCET is the largest independent public television station in the country. KCET is the second most-watched public television station in the U.S. and has the largest geographic reach of any public television station in California. KCET currently produces the Emmy®, duPont-Columbia and Peabody Award-winning SoCal Connected, a hard-hitting prime-time weekly television news program that examines the issues and people of Southern California. Throughout its more than 40-year history, KCET has won hundreds of major awards for its local and regional news and public affairs programming, its national drama and documentary productions, its quality educational family and children’s programs, its outreach and community services and its website, KCET is a donor-supported community institution. More than half of the funds raised to support KCET’s operating budget come from individual support. For additional information about KCET productions, Web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit