In addition to Santa Ana Police Officer John Reed, the Orange County Human Relations Commission will honor these residents tonight for their "unsung" activism to improve human relations in the county:
Albert A. Chu of Fountain Valley: An Orange County licensed clinical social worker, Chu has worked to promote bilingual and minority services. He is chairman of the county Health Care Agency Affirmative Action Committee, organizer of the Chinese-American Social Workers Assn. and is developing a pilot project to combat Asian-Pacific substance abuse.
Sister Armida Deck of the Orange Diocese: An outspoken advocate of justice for the poor, she chairs the Orange County Sponsoring Committee, which organizes funding for low-income self-help programs, directs the Office of Hispanic Ministries of the diocese and speaks out for the rights of undocumented residents and other immigrants.
Brenda Dickerson of Costa Mesa: She has served for more than eight years as the volunteer office manager for Share Our Selves, a nonprofit agency helping the county's poor and homeless. She has arranged for volunteers and supplies to serve the hundreds of families that come every day for help. In February, the agency served 4,785 homeless people.
Mary Erickson of San Clemente: She has worked as a volunteer to obtain housing for low-income and minority people through the League of Women Voters, the City of San Clemente and the Housing and Community Development Department. She has worked for senior housing, to preserve older affordable housing and to include low-cost housing in new developments in the county.
Patricia Gomez-Lopp of Tustin: She has dedicated herself to working with the county's Latino community. She is director of education for the Coalition Concerned With Adolescent Pregnancy and also volunteers time with the American Cancer Society, Bowers Museum, the Hispanic Development Council, the Santa Ana Chemical People Task Force and the Summer Employment Expo.
Jose Cruz Gonzalez of Huntington Beach: He has worked to include Latino artists in the South Coast Repertory Theatre's Hispanic Playwrights Project, which he helped organize, and to preserve the theater arts movement in the Latino community among young people and adults.
The Rev. George B. Grose of Anaheim: He is the founder of the Academy for Jewish, Christian and Islamic studies. The goal is to build greater understanding of the common origin of the three faiths and thereby promote harmony and mutual understanding among their followers.
Peg Hall of Anaheim: As director of community relations, Hall has been one of the mainstays of the Dayle McIntosh Center for the Disabled since it opened in 1978. She does volunteer work with her church to help the homeless and battered women, with the AAUW raising money for scholarships for low-income women and with the Blind Children's Center.
Bob Johnson of Tustin: As a founding member, ex-president and now board member of the Orange County Fair Housing Council, Johnson has struggled to promote equitable housing in the county for 20 years. He has consistently fought racial discrimination and has supported the development of low-cost housing and the preservation of older affordable housing.
Pearl Jemison-Smith of Garden Grove: As chairwoman of the AIDS Coalition to Identify Orange County Needs (Action), Jemison-Smith played a pivotal role in identifying the disease as a priority for Orange County policy-makers. Under her leadership, Action was successful in working with the Board of Supervisors to develop a master plan to deal with AIDS issues.
Natalie Luther Kennedy of Fullerton: Kennedy volunteered countless hours over the last seven years to provide free and subsidized child care for very low-income families in north Orange County. She chairs the board of the Coalition for Children and Families and is a master teacher in a multi-ethnic elementary school in La Puente.
Alan Serge Kunski of Mission Viejo: Outraged by the injustice suffered by his customers, Kunski organized his fellow Santa Ana business owners to protest immigration raids in their city. His campaign to stop INS raids and to restore individual rights took hours of his time away from his business.
Vicki Mayster of Santa Ana: Mayster regularly raises her voice in support of decent medical care for the poor. As the director of the Share Our Selves Free Clinic she has in only two years obtained the services of hundreds of volunteers, including doctors who see more than 900 patients a month. She also is active on numerous fronts in a fight for an equitable medical service system for indigents.
Mary Perez of Santa Ana: In the face of escalating gang violence, Perez organized her neighbors to stand up to the threats to their community and establish improved police-community relations.