Announcing 2014 Hero Awardees!


Hero Awards 2014 2




Equal Justice Society President Eva Jefferson Paterson will provide Keynote Remarks at the Awards Presentation


(San Francisco, CA) -- The San Francisco Human Rights Commission (“HRC”) and its Equity Advisory Committee (EAC) are pleased to announce the recipients of the Commission’s annual HERO Awards. This year’s Hero Awards commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act by recognizing organizations and individuals who advance uphold and embody the values of the civil rights movement.

The HRC and the Equity Advisory Committee put out a public call for nominations for individuals, organizations and students to engage the city on the collective importance of recent civil rights victories and achievements in San Francisco.   The finalists were selected based on their commitment to equity and their courageous contributions in the field of civil rights and economic justice.

The awards presentation will take place on the 50th Anniversary of when Mayor John F. Shelley signed ordinance 209-64, creating the HRC.


HRC “HERO” Legacy Award for Lifetime Achievement in Human Rights Advocacy

  • Linda Brooks Burton (Post-Humous)

Managing librarian of the Bayview Library for 15 years and, a 30-year veteran of the San Francisco Public Library


HRC “HERO” Award for Individual Leadership in Civil Rights

  • Christine Harris

Board of Directors, Jazz Heritage Center.  

  • Mary Wardell-Ghirarduzzi

Vice Provost & Chief Diversity and Community Engagement Officer at University of San Francisco, leverages the USF mission and commitment to diversity and inclusion to strengthen the campus for students, faculty and staff and expands the university's community engagement, particularly for multicultural and marginalized communities.

  • Monetta White

Entrepreneur and Owner  of 1300 Restaurant, Community Leader  advancing  Economic  Development in Fillmore District, Community Youth Job Training and  Professional Development  Mentor.

  • Rodney Williams

Retired San Francisco Police Department Officer, one of first African Americans to integrate the SFPD in 1955. First African American to achieve the rank of Inspector in the SFPD.


HRC “HERO” Award for Organizations Advancing Civil Rights


  • The Economic Opportunity Council

The Economic Opportunity Council of San Francisco (EOC) is a private, nonprofit corporation that was established under the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, and was designated by the Board of Supervisors to operate the Community Services Program. This mission of the Agency is to address poverty in San Francisco.  

  • The Fair Chance Campaign

Coalition of community based organizations including, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, National Employment Law Project, Community Housing Partnership, All of Us or None and Legal Services for Prisoners with Children.

  • The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights

Combining direct legal services, policy advocacy, and impact litigation strategies, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area advances the rights of immigrants, refugees and communities of color, with a specific focus on low income communities and a long-standing commitment to African Americans.

  • USCF First Generation Support Services

The UCSF First Generation Student Support Services Office (FG2C) helps support the university’s diverse student population, as they gain valuable, firsthand culturally competent healthcare experience with underserved and marginalized communities in San Francisco.


HRC “HERO” Award for Students Leadership in Advancing Civil Rights

  • Robert Bell

Apprentice Student with the Sheet Metals Union.

  • The Graduates and Current Students of 100% College Prep/Bayview Association for Youth

Since 1999, the Bayview Association for Youth has

  • DeAnthony Jones

Senior at Sacramento State University.


Congratulations to these individuals and organizations for fostering positive change in and throughout the City’s diverse and multicultural communities.


Honorees will be recognized during the San Francisco Human Rights Commission’s Special Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act on Thursday, July 24, 2014 @ 5:30 pm- City Hall Room 416.  Equal Justice Society President Eva Jefferson Paterson will provide keynote remarks on the continuing legacy of the civil rights movement. The public is invited to attend.


For more information on the HRC “HERO” Awards or the honorees, please contact, zoe.polk@ or by calling the HRC Office at 252-2500.


The Human Rights Commission (HRC) works to increase equality, eradicate discrimination, and to protect human rights for all people.