2012 Latino Heritage Local Heroes
Shown with the honorees (top row): Verizon Wireless Director of B2B Joe Cayero and KQED President John Boland. Cynthia Gomez-Jackson and Liz Gallwitz, both with Verizon Wireless.
Dr. Rafael Díaz
Retired, Professor of Ethnic Studies
San Francisco State University
Dr. Rafael Díaz has a longstanding career at the intersection of academic research and community service, devoting most of his scholarly work and social activism to HIV prevention with Latino gay men at the local and national levels. His research into the impact of social discrimination and social oppression on the risk for HIV among Latino gay men has demonstrated that the risk for HIV is not simply an outcome of individual behavior but the result of oppressive factors such as poverty, racism, homophobia and forced migration. Until his retirement in 2010, Dr. Díaz was a professor of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University and Director of the Cesar Chavez Institute, Dr. Díaz has been published more than 70 times and is the author of the book Latino Gay Men and HIV: Culture, Sexuality, & Risk Behavior. Dr. Díaz contineus to be active in the community conducting clinical work at Lomi Psychotherapy Clinic and as a consultant to the Family Acceptance Project.
Dr. Concha Saucedo
Retired, Founder/Executive Director
de la Raza
Born to a Mexican family on August 6, 1934 Dr. Concha Saucedo has been a part of everything from the United Farm Worker's (UFW) to the civil rights and peace movements. She earned her doctorate in Psychology with an emphasis in clinical, social, and cultural methods. Before that, she was a high school teacher in theatre arts and earned a master's degree in History.
In 1978 she went on to become a founding member and Executive Director of Instituto Familiar De La Raza (IFR), a family mental health institute with a mission to, "promote and enhance the well being of Chicanos/Latinos and multicultural/multiracial youth." At the time and still today, IFR met a huge need by breaking the stigma or taboo around mental health services in the Latino community. She believes in empowering her clients through a philosophy of self-determination. Familiar de la Raza operates 5 programs: La Clinica, Si a la Vida, Indigena Health and Wellness Collaborative, Chicano/Latino Family Resource Program, and the one that sums up their philosophy nicely, La Cultura Cura (culture cures). IFR includes indigenous practices in treatment methods, including cultural ceremonies and drumming. They also host several culturally relevant community celebrations such as Día de los Muertos. Under Dr. Saucedo's leadership IFR has also lead in HIV/AIDS education and prevention, which is another taboo in the Latino community.
Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs
Eva Margarita Terrazas, who grew up in San Francisco's Mission District, is commited to work on behalf of voices not heard or members of our society that have been marginalized.
In the mid 1980s, Eva, along with Maribel Alvarez and Ric Sajor, created a new alternative cultural arts institution in San Jose known as MACLA — Movimiento de Arte y Cultural Latino Americana, also serving as the organization's Founding Board President, a position she was again elected to in 2012. After a hiatus from the board in 2001, Eva returned as a trustee in 2009 and was selected as Board President in June 2012. MACLA's national reputation for excellence in cutting-edge programming has had a meaningful and significant relevance in the neighborhood in which it is anchored.
Eva currently serves as the Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs at EMQ FF, a state-wide children's behavioral, mental health, and foster care organization.
Eva has also served on numerous other boardsand has mentored young Chicanitas from her neighborhood along with students from Lincoln High School through their Future Visions Programs.
Strengthening Families Facilitator
Community Action Partnership
of Sonoma County
A current student at the Santa Rosa Junior College, Deisy Vargas has been a volunteer in her community donating over 1500 hours to Community Action Partnership of Sonoma County. Deisy's service includes advocacy for healthy eating, active living, and for the prevention of problems related to underage drinking .In addition, Deisy has helped to organize the South Park Day and Night Festival to build a safe and healthy community for all. In 2008 Deisy spent part of the summer going door-to-door in a low-income neighborhood to register Latino voters to vote, resulting in a 13 percent increase in Latino voter registration in the area. With Deisy's interest in becoming a journalist she speaks about the issues that matter most to her.
Also on KQED.org this week ...
KQED Summer Fun Adventures
This summer, KQED is partnering with tons of fun places in the Bay Area offering exciting adventures and special savings when you show your MemberCard.
KQED's Hot Summer Days and Night Guide
Our critics pick for the season's best concerts, books, movies, outdoor plays, visual arts and more.