LOS ANGELES (Sept. 24, 2010) - As part of its ongoing commitment to cultural diversity and in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Union Bank, N.A., has partnered with KCET to honor four extraordinary Southern California Latinos as local heroes. The Local Heroes award recognizes the exemplary leadership and dedication of the recipients to serving their community. The 2010 honorees are: Lalo Alcaraz, Sal Castro, Alex Nogales and Ozomatli. The awards will be presented on Thursday, October 7, 2010, at the KCET studios in Los Angeles.
The honorees will be formally recognized as part of the 13th Annual Local Heroes Awards, which Union Bank sponsors in conjunction with public television station KCET. Union Bank and KCET created the Local Heroes Awards to help celebrate the national commemorative heritage months for the African American, Latino and Asian Pacific American communities. The awards honor outstanding individuals in the community who strive to enrich the lives of others.
"Union Bank is very proud to once again partner with KCET to celebrate these heroes in our community," said Senior Executive Vice President Pierre Habis, head of Community Banking at Union Bank. "These outstanding individuals have contributed so much and exemplify our core values of diversity and community involvement. We are pleased to recognize the honorees and highlight their dedication and the tremendous efforts they make every day."
"KCET is honored to continue its partnership with Union Bank to celebrate Local Heroes during Hispanic Heritage Month," said Al Jerome, president and CEO of KCET. "Through their efforts in our communities, these extraordinary individuals improve the quality of life for all. Their accomplishments embody public television's mission to serve the community."
The 2010 honorees are:
Lalo Alcaraz: Lalo Alcaraz is one of the most prolific Chicano artists in the Nation. He is the creator of the first nationally syndicated politically themed Latino daily comic strip, "La Cucaracha." He has produced editorial cartoons for LA Weekly since 1992. His work has also appeared in dozens of publications including The New York Times, The Village Voice, The Los Angeles Times, Hispanic Magazine, Latina Magazine and Mexico's La Jornada. Alcaraz co-hosts the popular radio satirical talk show, "The Pocho Hour of Power" and co-founded the seminal Chicano humor'zine, Pocho Magazine and the political satire comedy group Chicano Secret Service. He has received numerous awards for his comics and his contributions to the Latino community.
Sal Castro: A life-long educator, Sal Castro is well known for his passionate activism and commitment to improving educational opportunities for Mexican-American students. As a graduate student at California State University he joined fellow activists to form the Mexican -American Youth Leadership Conference. First held in 1963, the conference continues today as the Chicano Youth Leadership Conference. A founding member of the association of Mexican-American Educators, Castro has been honored by many organizations. Retired after working 42-years as a teacher, Castro continues to advocate for culturally relevant education and systemic reforms that place students on track for higher education and youth leadership.
Alex Nogales: Alex Nogales is president and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC). As a television writer and producer at KCBS Television in Los Angeles, Nogales received three Emmy Awards for his work on public affairs and children's programming. As president of NHMC he has been an ardent advocate for the Latino community. Under his leadership NHMC has filed over 50 petitions to deny broadcast licenses with the Federal Communications Commission, advocating for greater diversity in news reporting , is working with the A.C. Nielsen Research Company to address under representation in Latino-themed programming and continues to push for diversity initiatives at the four major television networks.
Ozomatli: Ozomatli is a Grammy® Award-winning Latin fusion band. As global ambassadors of Latin music, they are respected by rock enthusiasts around the world for both their music and dedication to human rights, peace and environmental issues. Ozomatli has served as cultural ambassadors for the U.S. State Department, championing the idea that "diversity promotes change" through their unique multicultural sound. Ozomatli was the first Western band to perform in Nepal as part of the celebration recognizing the ratification of an historic peace accord in that nation.
During Hispanic Heritage Month, KCET introduces viewers to the honorees through video profiles that highlight how each has made a difference in his or her community. The spots can also be viewed on the Web at kcet.org. For more information on the Local Heroes Awards, please also visit unionbank.com/heroes.
From history to performing arts to independent film, KCET offers viewers the opportunity to explore the rich and vibrant history and cultural contributions of Hispanic Americans throughout the year, but will offer a special slate of new and encore programs in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month in October 2010. A complete list is available at kcet.org. Programs include:
American Masters "Cachao: Uno Mas" (Monday, September 20, 2010, 9:00-10:30 p.m.) - Narrated and produced by actor Andy Garcia, American Masters "Cachao: Uno Mas" is an in depth celebration of the legendary Father of the Mambo, Israel "Cachao" Lopez, who died March 2008 in Coral Gables, Florida. Cachao's remarkable life from his childhood in Cuba, to his early career in America, to his resurgence in the 1990s, is told through performances and interviews with the maestro himself, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Arturo Sandoval and many others.
When Worlds Collide (Monday, September 27, 2010, 9:00-10:30 p.m.) - When Worlds Collide, with host Rubén Martínez, illuminates the origins of today's Latino culture in the United States through the untold story of what happened in the Americas after Columbus. The journey begins in 2010 Los Angeles and travels to Latin America and Spain for a vivid exploration of the first century after the "Old World" encountered the "New World."
The Tenth Inning (Tuesday and Wednesday, September 28 and 29, 2010, 8:00-10:00 p.m.) - Thousands of bats, three home run records and one "curse" have been broken since Ken Burns last explored the history of America's national pastime with his landmark 1994 PBS series Baseball. Now, Burns and co-director Lynn Novick update the series with The Tenth Inning. Beginning with a crippling strike that alienated millions of fans and brought the game to the brink, this new film tells the tumultuous story of our national pastime up to the present. It celebrates baseball's new Golden Age -- an era of unprecedented home run totals, popularity and prosperity -- and sheds light on one of the game's darkest chapters -- the steroid era. The two-part, four-hour film examines the compelling stories of Joe Torre, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Pedro Martinez, Ichiro Suzuki, Cal Ripken Jr. and Barry Bonds and features insightful commentary from an eclectic lineup of writers, broadcasters, fans and all-stars.
Independent Lens "The Longoria Affair" (Tuesday, November 9, 2010, 10:00-11:00 p.m.) - Private Felix Longoria died fighting the Japanese during World War II. But when his body was sent home to Three Rivers, Texas, the town's only funeral parlor refused to allow his family to use their chapel because "the whites wouldn't like it." The incident sparked national outrage and brought together two savvy political leaders, Senator Lyndon Johnson and Dr. Hector Garcia. Their complex, sometimes contentious relationship would help Latinos become a national political force for the first time in American history.
About UnionBanCal Corporation & Union Bank, N.A.
Headquartered in San Francisco, UnionBanCal Corporation is a financial holding company with assets of $84 billion at June 30, 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 396 banking offices in California, Oregon, Washington and Texas as well as two international offices, on June 30, 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 www.unionbank.com for more information.
KCET, public media for Southern and Central California, is watched by four million viewers a month in 11 counties. KCET has the largest broadcast reach of any public media television station in the United States. National PBS series produced from the station's Hollywood studios include four-time NAACP Award winner Tavis Smiley, the educational animated series Sid The Science Kid, co-produced for PBS by KCET and The Jim Henson Company, and the Peabody Award-winning series A Place Of Our Own and Los Niños En Su Casa. KCET also produces the Emmy® 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 Web site, kcet.org. KCET is a nonprofit donor-supported community institution. Nearly 60 percent 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 www.kcet.org.