Press Releases «
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February 15, 2011
SAN DIEGO (February 15, 2011) - As part of its ongoing commitment to cultural diversity, Union Bank has again partnered with KPBS to continue the Cultural Diversity Partnership, a year-long program designed to celebrate local heroes who are making a difference to enrich the lives of others. The 2011 expanded program will recognize and pay tribute to 16 San Diegans - active members of the community who are making a difference by improving their workplace, profession, neighborhood, community, region and the world.
The program kicks off with Black History Month in February and Women's History Month in March. The 2011 Black History Month Local Heroes are: Theophilus Alonzo Logan and wife Martha Nash Logan and Veverly Anderson. The 2011 Women's History Month Local Heroes are : Kathi Anderson and Barbara Bry.
Throughout the year, honorees will also be identified during Jewish American Heritage Month (May), Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (May), Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Month (June), Hispanic Heritage Month (September/October), Disability Awareness Month (October) and American Indian Heritage Month (November). The year-long celebration of diversity will culminate in January 2012, at an event where recipients will be formally recognized as part of the 14th Annual Local Heroes Awards, which Union Bank sponsors.
For each heritage month, KPBS and Union Bank are requesting community nominations. You may visit www.kpbs.org/heroes to submit a nomination.
"Union Bank is very proud of its expanded partnership with KPBS," said Pierre P. Habis, senior executive vice president and head of Community Banking at Union Bank. "The Local Heroes program has grown to reflect the vibrant and diverse communities we serve, and we are delighted to again partner with KPBS as we recognize the achievements of these outstanding individuals who have contributed so much to the San Diego community."
"Year after year, KPBS has had the pleasure of partnering with Union Bank to meet and honor extraordinary individuals who live in our community," said Tom Karlo, KPBS general manager. "KPBS is proud to profile the honorees on all our media because their stories are inspiring and remind us of the local heroes who make a positive difference in our diverse neighborhoods."
The 2011 honorees for Black History Month are:
- Veverly E. Anderson is devoted to bettering the lives and circumstances of underprivileged youth in the impoverished neighborhoods of southeast San Diego. Ms. Anderson is currently the community coordinator and youth program coordinator for the San Diego Community Housing Corporation and the Town & Country Village Learning Center, respectively. She has also made it her life's mission to create opportunities that address the social and economic needs of children, their families and their communities. After 14 years with the military, Ms. Anderson also worked as an outreach specialist for the Black Infant Health Program/SDSU Foundation and as a parent educator for the Say San Diego Early Literacy Project.
- Theophilus Logan has devoted his life to helping others. After serving in the United States Army for 20 years, Mr. Logan turned to his passion for real estate, helping buyers achieve what may sometimes seem an impossible dream of owning a home. Mr. Logan established Logan Real Estate in 1962 and in 1978, became the first African American president of the San Diego Board of Realtors. When he retired, his office became a landmark in the southeast community, where residents could seek advice and guidance regarding buying, selling and investing in real estate.
- Martha R. (nee Nash) Logan was taught to focus on the needs of others by her mother and grandmother after the death of her father when she was a baby. Ms. Logan recognized a great need for legal counseling in her San Diego community, earned her Juris Doctor degree and in 1976, began practicing law with an emphasis on protecting senior citizens, and their assets, through estate planning and personal counseling. Ms. Logan is also a 60 year member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and has been an integral part of its local service programs for over 30 years.
The 2011 Honorees for Women's History Month are:
- Combining her bachelor's and master's degrees in international relations and counseling, Kathi Anderson serves as the executive director and co-founder of Survivors of Torture, International (SURVIVORS). SURVIVORS is a non-profit agency that assists survivors of politically motivated torture, educates the public about the effects of torture and works towards the abolition of torture. Ms. Anderson also contributes to the San Diego community as a board member of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, the San Diego Young Adult Symphony and the National Consortium of Torture Treatment Programs. She has also served on the national board of directors of Amnesty International USA.
- Barbara Bry is an entrepreneur who uses her passion and business savvy to level the playing field for women and girls, especially in conventionally male fields. Her truly inspiring contributions have emanated from her involvement with non-profit organizations and the San Diego community. Ms. Bry is responsible for the foundation of San Diego Athena, the leading organization for local women in the technology and life sciences fields. She also supports her community by contributing to organizations such as Voice of San Diego, CONNECT, Run Women Run, Planned Parenthood, San Diego's Jewish Women's and Community foundations, Rotary Club 33 and Women Give San Diego.
Throughout the respective commemorative heritage months, KPBS will air video profiles of the winners, highlighting how they made a difference in their community. The spots can also be viewed on the Web at www.kpbs.org/heroes. For more information on the Local Heroes Awards, please also visit unionbank.com/heroes.
June, 26, 2008
SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In recognition of June 26 as a “Day in Support of Victims of Torture,” representatives from the California Consortium of Torture Treatment Centers and survivors of torture joined together at a press conference today to educate state lawmakers about the long-term psychological and physical effects of torture and how treatment centers in California are playing an important role in the recovery process.
Thousands of people flee to California every year to seek asylum from the torture they encounter in their native countries. The specialized services offered by torture treatment centers help survivors of torture to heal, rebuild trust, and reconnect with their communities.
That is why Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has recognized June 26 as a “Day in Support of Victims of Torture” as an occasion to bring public attention to the pain and suffering of torture survivors around the world and their resiliency as they rebuild their lives in California. June 26, 2008, marks the 21st anniversary of June 26, 1987, the day the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment entered force.
“I applaud the Governor for his leadership and encourage members of the Legislature to also recognize this unique population and join our effort to ensure torture survivors have access to the specialized treatment they need to become healthy, productive members of our communities,” said Kathi Anderson, executive director of Survivors of Torture, International.
The California Consortium includes Survivors of Torture, International in San Diego; the Center for Justice and Accountability in San Francisco; the Center for Survivors of Torture at Asian Americans for Community Involvement in San Jose; the Institute for Redress and Recovery in Santa Clara; Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles; Program for Torture Victims in Los Angeles; and Survivors International in San Francisco.
States like Minnesota and New York have already taken the lead in creating health care programs that provide assistance to survivors of torture. California has been slower to recognize and respond to the needs of survivors.
Despite their successes, many treatment centers struggle to meet the needs of torture survivors who have come from more than 100 different countries, speak dozens of different languages, and have complex health and mental health needs.
Survivors from Bosnia and El Salvador were on hand to give personal accounts of the atrocities that they suffered and had to overcome.
“We needed a place where we would feel protected and safe. Once in the United States, we relied almost exclusively on our local treatment center in San Jose to help us get back on our feet,” said M.E., survivor from Bosnia.
California is home to the largest number of refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants in the United States, many of whom had to flee their homelands from unspeakable cruelty. Some were students, professors, or other professionals who excelled in fields such as medicine, government, business, agriculture and community leadership, yet were targeted for persecution by their governments for what they thought, said, or did.
Others were tortured as a way of punishing family members accused of opposition to political activities. Some were members of persecuted religious, ethnic, national, or social groups. Others were in the wrong place at the wrong time, tortured as part of a government's campaign to terrorize and intimidate populations.
June 26 reminds us that torture is a crime and provides an opportunity for all to stand united in support of the strong individuals who have survived.
Survivors of Torture International (SURVIVORS) was founded in 1997 as an independent, non-profit organization to serve survivors of torture. Since its inception, SURVIVORS has helped more than 750 victims of torture from more than 60 countries heal, rebuild trust in others, restore self-esteem and reconnect with families, friends and communities. The organization assists patients in recovering from their traumas through a holistic program that includes medical, dental, psychiatric, psychological, legal and social services.
The California Consortium of Torture Treatment Centers was founded in November 2001 to share information and best practices regarding the treatment of torture survivors residing in the State of California. It is the goal of the consortium and its team of professionals to provide services for survivors to become more functional and self-sufficient through well-supported treatment programs.
The 2008 advocacy day activities were funded by The California Endowment, a private, state-wide health foundation with a mission to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians.
February 11, 2008 «
SAN DIEGO, Calif.— Carlos Mauricio has an energetic, sparking personality. He loves to salsa dance, travels often, and teaches high school students in San Francisco.
But he still has memories of being abducted in El Salvador 24 years ago. In June of 1983, he was working as a professor at the University of El Salvador when he was abducted and taken to the national police headquarters. There, Carlos was detained and tortured for nearly two weeks. He suffered injuries to his ribs, eyes and mouth. He suspects that his torturers chose him because he had been outspoken against the government of El Salvador.
Upon his release, Carlos fled El Salvador for the United States. He went to graduate school, earned his teaching credential, and began teaching high school in San Francisco. In 2002, Carlos testified about his repeated torture in a U.S. federal court in Florida. In this landmark case, the jury found two retired Salvadoran generals responsible for torture, rape and other atrocities. Carlos is now dedicated to helping other survivors begin to tell their stories.
“Torture is so horrible and so humiliating that in many cases people try to dismiss or avoid believing in what happened to us,” he said. “Telling my story is important because I believe that it is the only way to leave prison.”
Carlos will be the featured speaker at SURVIVORS’ Celebration of Hope & Healing on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 2 p.m.
The expressive arts group Owl & Panther will join Carlos for the event. Based in Tucson, AZ, the Owl & Panther project offers creative writing, counseling, and community service programs to help youth whose families have been affected by trauma and torture. At our event on Feb. 24, youth from Mali, Uganda, and El Salvador will be reading their creative writing aloud.
Held at the University of San Diego’s Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice, the event will conclude with a reception featuring local musicians, fine wine, and gourmet chocolate desserts from local restaurant sponsors. A wine consultant will host complimentary wine tastings during the reception.
Tickets are $50 and may be purchased online at www.notorture.org or by calling (619) 278-2400. All money from tickets will go toward programs that help survivors of politically motivated torture to heal and become healthy members of our communities and our world. Donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.
Carlos Mauricio and Owl & Panther’s leader Marge Pellegrino are both available for interviews.
April 18, 2007 «
Where were the prison doctors and other healthcare professionals when the torture occurred at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay?
Who determined how much and what kind of mistreatment could occur during the interrogation of detainees?
SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Dr. Steven Miles, author of Oath Betrayed: Torture, Medical Complicity and the War on Terror, will speak at the University of San Diego on April 21. Dr. Miles will explore the neglect, mistreatment, and torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, Guantánamo Bay, and elsewhere, asking: “Where were the prison doctors while the abuses were taking place?”
The event marks the 10th anniversary of Survivors of Torture, International, a nonprofit healing resource for torture survivors and their families in San Diego County. The talk will be followed by a short discussion, book signing and a reception featuring gourmet chocolate, wine and coffee. At the reception, guests will be entertained by the sounds of DORNOB, a collective of musicians who have been playing Persian music in San Diego since 1985.
The full 100% of the money from ticket sales will go directly toward programs that help survivors of politically-motivated torture to become healthy members of our community and our world.
WHAT: “Oath Betrayed” with Dr. Steven Miles
WHO: Survivors of Torture, International (SURVIVORS) and the University of Minnesota
WHERE: University of San Diego’s Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice
5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110
WHEN: Saturday, April 21, 2007, at 6:30 p.m.
TICKETS: $50; available at HYPERLINK "http://www.notorture.org" www.notorture.org or by calling (619) 278-2400
The event sponsor is The California Endowment. Desserts will be provided by Claim Jumpers – La Mesa, The French Gourmet – Pacific Beach, San Diego Culinary Institute – San Diego, Sweet Factory – San Diego, Sweet Nicole’s – El Cajon, and Trader Joe’s – Hillcrest. Beverages will be provided by Beam Wine Estate, Got Great Wine – Carlsbad, Ralph’s – Hillcrest, Kearny Mesa, Mission Valley, Southern Wine & Spirits, and Starbucks Coffee – Sports Arena. Door Prizes will be provided by Great News Culinary School – Pacific Beach, and King Leo’s Candies – Alpine.
February 27, 2007 «
Communications and advocacy activities to build knowledge that “Survivors Live Here”
SAN DIEGO, Calif.—Torture treatment centers across the state are joining to raise awareness about torture survivors living in California. The campaign starts today and will culminate on June 26, the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.
The U.S. government estimates that 500,000 torture survivors live in the United States. University of the Pacific’s School of International Studies in Stockton, Calif. is in the process of developing baseline population data for torture survivors in California. The research will be conducted under the supervision of Professor Jean-Marie Stratigos, a former United Nations humanitarian affairs officer.
“Survivors are a hidden population in our state and many obstacles prevent them from receiving adequate healthcare,” said Kathi Anderson, executive director of Survivors of Torture, International. “We hope that this campaign will build knowledge among both medical professionals and the general public.”
This research project and the awareness campaign have been funded through a two-year grant of $326,628 from The California Endowment, a private health foundation that aims to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities.
“Little is known about these individuals who have, in many instances, suffered greatly in their countries of origin,” said Robert K. Ross, M.D., president and CEO of The California Endowment. “Through this effort we will be able to capture the specific numbers, location and demographics of this hidden population so we can educate policy makers about effective solutions to address their unique mental health and health care needs and where best to target resources for the greatest impact.”
In addition to its “Survivors Live Here” message, the campaign will circulate the information that:
- Although they feel isolated by their pain and trauma, survivors are brave and resilient individuals. Torture survivors are talented, trained and productive people who have resources and experiences to offer our communities.
- Survivors come to California as refugees, asylum-seekers and immigrants. Politically-motivated torture is practiced in more than 100 countries.
- Often, individuals were tortured because of their identity (ethnicity, gender, sexual identity, etc.) or because they promoted equal rights, labor rights and other causes.
- Survivors may be left with lifelong physical and mental health problems if not treated by trained professionals.
- Treatment helps survivors heal from their trauma, rebuild trust in others, and reconnect to their families and communities, restoring self-esteem, dignity and hope. As individuals heal, they are able to go back to school and find jobs.
This is the first awareness campaign and research study of this magnitude in the United States. June 26, 2007 marks the 20th anniversary of June 26, 1987, the day the UN first convened the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
The California Consortium includes Survivors of Torture, International in San Diego; Program for Torture Victims in Los Angeles; Survivors International in San Francisco; and the Center for Survivors of Torture at Asian Americans for Community Involvement in San Jose. To conduct the campaign, the consortium has selected The Border Agency, a community marketing agency in San Diego and Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, a law and consulting firm providing pro bono services from its Sacramento office.
For campaign materials go to www.notorture.org or to speak to a representative from one of the centers, please call (619) 278-2422.