City Human Relations Commission Announces 2016 Awardees


SAN DIEGO – The City of San Diego Human Relations Commission today announced the recipients of its 2016 Recognition Awards, honoring the accomplishments of several prominent community members. The awards are presented annually to individuals and organizations that promote diversity, equity and inclusion in San Diego.

The awards will be presented on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016, at the City’s Central Library Shiley Special Events Suite with the theme “I See You.” The event is underwritten by UC San Diego Health, is open to the public and is free of charge. The reception begins at 5:30 p.m. with the award ceremony lasting until 7 p.m.

Bob Lehman, Executive Director of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus, will be given the eighth annual Keith M. Turnham Humanitarian Award, which honors a veteran involved in public and community service. The award is named for Keith Turnham, a World War II veteran, POW, LGBT community advocate and former Human Relations Commissioner.

The Brown Law Group will receive the Commission’s Business Diversity Award in recognition of its commitment to diversity and inclusion in employment law.

The Commission Partner Award recognizes people and organizations who have worked closely with the Commission on one or more of its priority issues. The award for 2016 will be presented to the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium for their work promoting the dignity of San Diego’s immigrant community.

Commission Commendations are given to San Diegans who have had a profound impact not only on their communities but on the Commissioners as well. This year’s commendations will be presented to six individuals:

  • Terry Josiah of Music.Life.Change.LLC for his efforts to help shed light on domestic violence and misogyny;
  • Dr. William Jenkins, Director of the Christ Ministry Center, which has provided shelter to hundreds of Haitian earthquake survivors in San Diego;
  • Michael Snyder, Founder of the Clairemont Mesa Education Foundation, which assists schools in acquiring equipment and resources;
  • Debbie M. Martinez, former Senior Program Officer for Youth and Peacebuilding at the University of San Diego’s Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, for her work providing successful role models in peacebuilding and human rights;
  • Tracy Morris of the Blue Heart Foundation, a program that provides mentoring, personal and professional development workshops, college campus tours and community building throughout San Diego; and
  • Fernando Zweifach Lopez Jr., Operations Director of San Diego LGBT Pride, for his consistent advocacy ensuring the struggles and stories of the LGBT community are ever visible.

The honorees were selected through a public nomination process, selected by an awards committee and voted on by the Commission.

The City of San Diego Human Relations Commission conducts and promotes activities that foster mutual respect and understanding, protects basic human and civil rights and creates an atmosphere that promotes amicable relations among all members of the San Diego community. More information on the City of San Diego Human Relations Commission is available at

Click here to read the media release from The City of San Diego: 101716 Human Relations Commission Announces 2016 Awardees

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