KCET's Local Heroes Awards Cultural Diversity Celebration Airs for the First Time on Nov. 19 at 8 p.m.

Burbank, CA - November 12, 2012 - For the first time, KCET, the nation's largest independent public television station, will broadcast its annual Local Heroes Awards Cultural Diversity Celebration on Nov. 19 at 8 p.m.  KCET, in collaboration with Union Bank, N.A., celebrates diversity all year long by recognizing remarkable individuals in our community.  The celebration culminates with this spectacular event.

Hosted by KCET's own Val Zavala and Roy Firestone, the two-hour program will celebrate the extraordinary contributions of 13 outstanding leaders, with performances by the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, Jazz in Pink, pianist Ray Ushikubo and poet Gabriela Garcia Medina. The event took place last month at Club Nokia at L.A. Live.

The program repeats Thursday, Nov. 22 at 1:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 25 at 3:30 p.m.

The 2012 Local Heroes Award honorees include:

 Ivy Bottini, Lesbian and Feminist Activist

Bea Cohen, World War II Veteran and Community Volunteer

Roslyn and Abner D. Goldstine, Community Volunteers; Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles

Stewart Kwoh, Co-Founder, President and Executive Director; Asian Pacific American Legal Center

Sergeant Joe G. Leal, United States Army; Founder, Vet Hunters Project

Dr. Samella Lewis, Artist and Professor Emeritus; Scripps College of the Claremont Colleges

Steven Llanusa, School Board Member; Claremont Unified School District

Annette Shapiro, President of the Board; Beit T'Shuvah

Shirlee Smith, Founder and CEO, Talk About Parenting with Shirlee Smith, Inc.

Carlos Antonio H. Vaqueráno, Executive Director, Salvadoran American Leadership & Educational Fund

Bill Yoshiyuki Watanabe, Founding Executive Director, Little Tokyo Service Center

Billie P. Weiss, M.P.H., Founder, Violence Prevention Coalition of Greater Los Angeles

To nominate a hero, please visit kcet.org/socal/local_heroes/.



As part of KCET's ongoing commitment to the diverse communities in Southern California, KCET, in collaboration with Union Bank, launched the annual Local Heroes Awards in celebration of national commemorative heritage months. The awards honor exemplary community leaders who strive to enrich the lives of others, and whose tireless contributions are inspiring hope in the minds and hearts of future generations. The year-long program introduces diverse local heroes to viewers on-air and online, and culminates in October when all of the honorees are formally recognized as part of the Local Heroes Awards: Diversity Celebration.  Over the past decade, KCET has showcased the remarkable stories of over 150 leaders.


On-air, online and in the community, KCET plays a vital role in the cultural and educational enrichment of Southern and Central California. KCET offers a wide range of award-winning local programming as well as the finest public television programs from around the world. KCET currently produces the Emmy®, duPont-Columbia and Peabody Award-winning SoCal Connected, a hard-hitting prime-time nightly television news program that examines the issues and people of Southern California. Throughout its 48-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.org. KCET is a donor-supported community institution. For additional information about KCET productions, web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit kcet.org.


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