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Local Heroes

For over 20 years, the Local Heroes initiative has recognized activists, educators, community leaders and visionaries – the ones doing the critical work in our region that often goes unrecognized. The KCET and PBS SoCal Community Advisory Board (CAB) nominated 12 men and women as finalists who are making a difference in our region and selected three remarkable Heroes from that group. Meet all the finalists and nominees below.
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Community Advisory Board

KCET and PBS SoCal’s community engagement efforts with its viewers and supporters would not be possible without the help of the Community Advisory Board (CAB).
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Video: Meet the Local Heroes 2020 Honorees

Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Ben Caldwell and Tam Nguyen are 2020’s three Local Heroes honorees.
2020 Local Heroes Honorees Ben Caldwell, Dr. Barbara Ferrer and Tam Nguyen.
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Meet the Local Heroes 2020 Honorees

Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Ben Caldwell and Tam Nguyen are 2020’s three Local Heroes honorees.
Local Heroes
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Meet the Local Heroes 2020 Nominees

Get to know our 2020 Local Heroes Nominees.
Barbara Ferrer smiles wearing a black top and her signature white curly hair.
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Meet Local Hero Nominee: Dr. Barbara Ferrer

At the start of the pandemic, Dr. Barbara Ferrer became the voice of calm to millions of residents by sharing the facts and encouraging Southern California residents to follow evolving guidelines.
Dr. Philip Lance
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Meet Local Hero Nominee: Dr. Philip Lance

Philip Lance, Ph.D., is a psychoanalyst, community organizer, and Episcopalian priest. He began his career in 1988 when he became one of the first openly gay persons ordained in the Episcopal Church.
Frances Montoya wears her long brown hair down and smiles at the camera in a purple plaid shirt.
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Meet Local Hero Nominee: Frances M. Castro-Montoya

Whether it’s refurbishing a garden, providing homeless vets with some of the essentials for life on the streets or preparing meals at the Ronald McDonald House, Castro-Montoya is a true Local Hero.
Carlos Aguilar smiles while wearing a grey button-down shirt.
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Meet Local Hero Nominee: Carlos Aguilar

As part of the Coalition for Economic Survival, Carlos Aguilar works to ensure that L.A. tenants have access to safe, healthy and affordable housing and provides people with tools to empower them.
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