Twenty residents are being honored by the Orange County Human Relations Commission for their efforts toward the elimination of prejudice, intolerance and discrimination and for fostering mutual understanding and respect.
Alma Buis, minority affairs officer for the Fullerton Police Department, brought the community together after cultural differences, violence and drugs tore it apart.
Roger Embrey, general manager of the Southern California Gas Co., brought together CEOs to form the Board of Governors of the commission.
Lt. Andrew Hall, Westminster Police Department, developed a Southest Asian Refugee Outreach program to reduce victimization in the refugee community.
Melvin Hall, dean of UC Irvine Extension, helped develop the UCI Institute for Intercultural Communication.
Elena Layland, a Latina mother of a gay son, focused on the need for education and tolerance, primarily through the group Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.
Katherine J. Lazarus worked to involve diversity specialists from the private sector in the cross-cultural concerns of communities.
Barbara Leon, a youth advocate, has been an activist for disabled children and now works to rescue dropouts from gangs and violence.
H. Fred Mickelson, co-chairman of Orange County Together, volunteers with a number of social service groups, including the American Red Cross.
Michael Matsuda has served as a diversity trainer on high school campuses and headed youth cross-cultural projects.
Ted Purinton and Francisco Flores, Ocean View High School students, volunteer with several organizations, including the Constitutional Rights Foundation Youth Leadership program.
George Paley founded the B'nai B'rith Newport Harbor Lodge and has served with several Jewish organizations to foster human relations.
Sandi Mori, a part-time teacher at Santiago High School, has developed programs to further understanding among ethnic and cultural groups on campus.
Orange Police Chief John R. Robertson, serving as Garden Grove's police chief, developed a community policing philosophy that values cultural diversity.
Maria Rosales has worked with the Santa Ana Unified School District and its Parent Leadership Institute.
Dr. Max Schneider, co-founder of Southern California Physicians for Human Rights, which is dedicated to fighting prejudice and discrimination in the medical profession.
Nghia T. Tran, director of the Vietnamese Community Inc., has worked to increase understanding of Asian-American issues among police, educators and social services providers.
Mario Valadez, a key leader in the strike by drywall workers in Southern California, which led to an agreement providing increased wages and basic benefits.
Sumner and Shirley Williams helped establish a program that provides small-business loans, training and support to the poor.
Source: Orange County Human Relations Commission