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PRESS RELEASE

Unsung Heroes to be Honored for Outstanding Service to Orange County with Special kNOwHATE Award to Gideon and Jeanne Pepper Bernstein, parents of Blaze Bernstein

OC Human Relations’ annual awards celebration brings together hundreds of residents, business and community leaders to celebrate justice, diversity and the human spirit.

Orange County, CA – February 14, 2020

On Thursday, May 7, 2020 at 5:30pm at the City National Grove of Anaheim, hundreds of people will gather to celebrate and honor the outstanding human relations work of local individuals, businesses and groups at the annual AWARDS and fundraising gala in support of OC Human Relations, a nonprofit that works to create an Orange County where all people feel safe, valued and included.

OC Human Relations AWARDS 2020 Celebration is a unique occasion that brings together residents, businesses, and community leaders to celebrate justice, diversity and the human spirit. A special award will be presented to Gideon and Jeanne Pepper Bernstein, for their #BlazeItForward movement created in the wake of the murder of their son, Blaze Bernstein. In addition, this year’s awardees include community leaders who have advocated for social justice, female empowerment, and uniting youth organizations to promote respect and inclusivity. Additional honorees are Dale Junior High School, a school excelling in building a safe and inclusive campus through their Restorative Schools Program, and UBS Global Wealth Management, receiving the Distinguished Business Award this year for their commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workforce.

The AWARDS 2020 Celebration will recognize four categories of heroes:

Diverse Community Leaders – Honoring individuals and groups who have made extraordinary contributions to Orange County in human or civil rights. This year’s honorees are:

  • Patty Turrell (Orange County), founder of the non-profit, Women’s Journey Foundation, for addressing the disparity in the way women and girls see themselves and their true potential and determinedly organizing conferences, events and programs that promote healing, connecting, educating and empowering women of all ages and backgrounds.
  • Natalie Moser (Huntington Beach) for leading and supporting numerous programs and youth activities and visualizing a future of hope where social justice exists and all people are treated with dignity regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation.
  • Adriana Alba (Garden Grove), for being a champion dedicated to positive human relations on school campus and a teacher committed to creating a safe and respectful school climate by developing coursework geared toward celebrating cultural heritage and unifying student organizations.

Distinguished Restorative Schools Program – Recognizing exceptional contributions to promote, nurture, protect and cultivate a school campus that is safe, welcoming and equitable. This year’s honoree is:

  • Dale Junior High School (Anaheim) whose Restorative Schools Program builds a safe and inclusive campus, and for their commitment to working collectively for a positive school climate.

Distinguished Business Award – Honoring a business in Orange County for going above and beyond to embrace diversity and inclusion in the workplace and community:

  • UBS Global Wealth Management (Orange County), As the world’s largest wealth manager, UBS Global Wealth Management provides comprehensive advice, solutions and services to families and individuals around the world. UBS takes a broad approach to diversity – a diverse workforce and inclusive culture is crucial to its long-term success. UBS’s All Bar None employee network is dedicated to supporting the professional and personal development of female employees at the firm.

Special kNOwHate Award – Honoring an individual or group that brings attention to preventing or highlighting hate crimes in Orange County:

  • Gideon and Jeanne Pepper Bernstein (Orange County), for their local and national efforts to promote intentional acts of kindness and through their #BlazeitForward campaign in honor of their late son, Blaze Bernstein, who was violently murdered in 2018. A former classmate of Blaze has been charged with a hate crime and is currently awaiting trial. The Bernstein’s will be honored for their campaign – dedicated to positively impacting victims and potential victims of hate crimes based on sexual orientation, religion and race through education initiatives, guidance and inspiration for those looking to transform their pain and suffering from loss into love, kindness and activism.

About OC Human Relations
OC Human Relations is a local nonprofit with the mission to foster mutual understanding among residents and eliminate prejudice, intolerance and discrimination in order to make Orange County a better place for ALL people to live, work and do business. Since 1991, OC Human Relations has operated with the belief that ALL people should live free of violence and discrimination. The organization brings people together to create safe and inclusive schools and communities, develop diverse leaders, give voice to those who don’t have a voice, and mediate conflict. OC Human Relations has been honoring individuals, law enforcement, schools and community organizations for their contributions to human relations in Orange County. These community heroes model community engagement and help lead the way to greater mutual understanding among residents of Orange County.

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