$300,000 to Excelsior – Neighborhood Leaders Awarded

– Congresswoman Pelosi and Supervisor John Avalos Strong Supporters; Honor Awardees –

(SAN FRANCISCO) – Wednesday, July 18, 2012 – The San Francisco Foundation announced today 12 Koshland Community Fellows of the Excelsior community of San Francisco. The 2012 Daniel E. Koshland Civic Unity Awards add up to $300,000 over the next five years.

This initiative in the Excelsior community will enhance civic unity by promoting mutual respect and collaboration among diverse communities to resolve neighborhood problems. The Koshland Community Fellows, along with their neighborhood colleagues, will distribute an average of $75,000 per year through 2017. The initiative will focus on leadership development, promoting civic unity, and celebrating unsung heroes.

“We are excited about the promise and future of San Francisco’s Excelsior District.” – Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

What:   2012 Daniel E. Koshland Civic Unity Awards Ceremony
When:  Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Time:   5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Where:  El Patio Español
2850 Alemany Boulevard
San Francisco


Who:    2012 Daniel E. Koshland Civic Unity Award Fellows
Nicole Agbayani, Corridor Manager, Excelsior Action Group

Paulo Acosta Cabezas, Owner, Mama Arts Café
Jacquie Chavez, Vice President of Parent Involvement, Parent Teacher Association (PTA), San Francisco Unified School District
Joni Tam Chu, Director, OMI/Excelsior Beacon Center
Rachel Ebora, Executive Director, Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center
Carlton Eichelberger, Area Director, Boys and Girls Clubs of San Francisco
Tiffani Marie Johnson, Advisor, Leadership High School
Rene Luna, Bay Area SCORES Program Leader, Cleveland Elementary School
Beth Rubenstein, Executive Director, Out of Site Youth Arts Center
Charlie Sciammas, Community Organizer, People Organizing to Demand Environmental & Economic Rights (PODER)
Alex Tom, Executive Director, Chinese Progressive Association
Terrence Valen, Organizational Director, Filipino Community Center

Highlights of a Few Neighborhood Leaders’ Stories:

Alex Tom’s family immigrated to San Francisco Chinatown in the early sixties where they worked to make ends meet before finally opening up a small business in Chinatown. Now as Executive Director of The Chinese Progressive Association, Alex is realizing a life long dream; to return to work in the community that had a significant impact on his youth.

Nicole Agbayani is native to San Francisco and the Excelsior Neighborhood. At Excelsior Action Group, Nicole works hand in hand with individual merchants, as well as the community, at large to foster a vibrant and active commercial corridor that is a cherished asset of the Excelsior. Her dedication to the community where she grew up is at the heart of her work.

Rachel Ebora is the Executive Director of Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center (BHNC), a multi-service affordable housing organization providing linguistically and culturally appropriate programs and services in Bernal Heights and the surrounding areas. BHNC runs the Excelsior Community Center as a hub for senior, youth and employment programs, as well as public safety organizing and community engagement work. Rachel was recently honored by the SF Board of Supervisors “for being a passionate and articulate advocate on behalf of the oppressed and marginalized communities in San Francisco.”

The Daniel E. Koshland Civic Unity Awards were established in 1982 by The San Francisco Foundation as a memorial to one of its founders and major benefactors, Daniel E. Koshland, a businessman and philanthropist who committed himself to making the Bay Area a better place in which to live.