Bay Area Local Heroes Honored

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA  – As part of its ongoing commitment to cultural diversity and responsible banking, and in celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Union Bank, N.A., partnered with KQED for the Local Heroes program to honor four extraordinary individuals.  The 2013 Asian Pacific American Heritage Month honorees — Evelyn Nakano Glenn, PJ Hirabayashi, Hyon-Chin (HC) Lee, and David Lei — will be recognized Wednesday, May 1, 2013, during an awards celebration at Yoshi’s San Francisco hosted by special guest Olympic gold medalist and champion figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi and featuring popular musician Jake Shimabukuro.

The Local Heroes program recognizes and pays tribute to exemplary leaders who are making a difference and enriching the lives of others by improving their workplace, community, region and the world. The program premieres on KQED 9 Sunday, May 19, 2013, at 7 p.m. and has repeat airings on KQED 9 Thursday, May 23 at 11 p.m. and Saturday, May 25 at 6 p.m.; on KQED Plus Sunday, May 26 at 5 p.m.; and on KQED Life Friday, May 24 at 10 p.m. and Sunday, May 26 at 8 p.m.

The honorees will be formally recognized as part of the 18th Annual Local Heroes Awards, which Union Bank sponsors in conjunction with public television station KQED. Union Bank and KQED created the awards to help celebrate the national commemorative heritage months for the African American and Asian Pacific American communities.  In 2011, it was expanded to also recognize honorees as part of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month.

“Union Bank has been a proud partner with KQED on the Local Heroes program for nearly 20 years, and the program has allowed us to recognize the accomplishments and success of local heroes who have contributed so much to our community,” said Union Bank Senior Executive Vice President Pierre P. Habis, head of Community Banking. “The honorees embody our core values of diversity and community involvement, and they continue to inspire us.”

Evelyn Nakano Glenn

Evelyn Nakano Glenn

“KQED is pleased to join our long-term partner Union Bank as we celebrate the 2013 local heroes,” said KQED President John Boland. “These individuals are doing remarkable work to benefit the local Asian Pacific American community, the Bay Area community in general and the world at large. We are also pleased to introduce these heroes to our viewers through the video profiles airing on KQED throughout Asian Pacific American Heritage Month as we also celebrate with programming that focuses on Asian Pacific American themes and culture.”

The 2013 Asian Pacific American Heritage Month honorees are:

Evelyn Nakano Glenn is one of the country’s leading sociologists; her scholarship on the intersectionality of race, gender, citizenship and labor is groundbreaking. She is a professor of gender and women’s studies, ethnic studies and is the founding director of the Center for Race & Gender at the University of California, Berkeley. Her books include Forced to Care: Coercion and Caregiving in America; Unequal Freedom: How Race and Gender Shaped American Citizenship and Labor; and Issei, Nisei, Warbride: Three Generations of Japanese American Women in Domestic Service.


PJ Hirabayashi

PJ Hirabayashi is a taiko artist, teacher, artistic director emeritus and founding member of San Jose Taiko (SJT), a nonprofit professional performing arts company celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2013. Based in the heart of San Jose’s Japantown, SJT is an active catalyst in its cultural preservation and contemporary vitality. Ms. Hirabayashi has helped guide SJT’s longevity through extensive educational and outreach programs, performances, collaborations and national and international touring.

Hyon-Chin (HC) Lee is the current executive director at The Link to Children (TLC), an Oakland-based nonprofit that provides Early Intervention Programs at eight locations in Alameda County and at the Alameda County Family Justice Center.  TLC strives to reduce stress and conflict in families and childcare settings. In her current role at The Link to Children, Ms. Lee has created momentum and opportunity for vulnerable children.

David Lei

David Lei

David Lei is an accomplished entrepreneur with a deep-seated commitment to community development.  In his 40 years of involvement with Bay Area nonprofits, Mr. Lei has volunteered his time for numerous charitable events and has served on the boards of several organizations, such as the Chinatown Community Development Center and the Asian Art Museum. Most recently, he co-founded the Chinese American Community Foundation to support donors who want to be resources for nonprofits serving Chinese American communities.

To view the videos profiles of each honoree and to get more information on the wide range of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month programming KQED offers in May, or to nominate a future local hero,  2014 Asian Pacific American Heritage Month nominations are now open.  For more information about the Local Heroes Awards, please also visit




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