DA’s office to award three Latino community leaders as part of heritage month

Barbara Garcia

In the spirit of National Hispanic Heritage Month, the District Attorney's Office will be rewarding three prominent local Latino community leaders Thursday for their work promoting public safety and the well-being of the local community, Assistant District Attorney Alex Bastian said.

The event in celebration of the heritage month, which is observed through Oct. 15, will take place at 4 p.m. at the Hall of Justice in room 551, Bastian said. Those honored include Barbara Garcia, the director of health for San Francisco; Wayne Garcia, the vice president of programs for HealthRIGHT 360; and Kisai Henriquez, program coordinator of Urban Services YMCA, Bastian said.

Barbara Garcia has been with the Department of Public Health since 1996 and has served as the director of health, director of community substance abuse and the director of homeless services, according to her DPH biography.

Wayne Garcia is the vice president of HealthRIGHT 360 and is a “tireless advocate” for men and women who struggle with addiction, trauma and other challenges, according to the District Attorney's Office. HealthRIGHT 360 works to provide “comprehensive services to vulnerable and marginalized populations throughout California,” according to its website.

Henriquez is a second-generation San Franciscan who has committed her career to working with children. As a child herself, she experienced many challenges and was mentored by adults in her life to be “a healer within her community instead of harming it,” the district attorney noted. She has previously performed social work for a number of organizations.

The honorees have worked to help keep people out of the criminal justice system and decrease rates of recidivism, Bastian said.

District Attorney George Gascón said the services conducted by the three community leaders have helped make San Francisco “healthier, safer and stronger.”

“As we celebrate Latino Heritage Month, we are inspired by the commitment of these community leaders,” he said, “and applaud them for their remarkable contributions to the city and county of San Francisco.”

During the event Thursday, Barbara Garcia will be given a leadership award, Wayne Garcia will be presented a community wellness award and Henriquez will be given a youth empowerment award.

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