Cheers West Edition


Aquil Basheer was awarded an honorary doctorate of humanities, honoris causa, from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology during their recent  commencement ceremony at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.

Basheer, the son of the city of Los Angeles’ first African-American firefighter, has worked to reduce violence for more than 40 years. He travels nationally and internationally training interventionist teams, community organizations, emergency responders and social service agencies.

In June, he released his first book, “Peace In the Hood: Working with Gang Members to End the Violence.”

Tunua Thrash-Ntuk
Tunua Thrash-Ntuk


Tunua Thrash-Ntuk, the former executive director of West Angeles Community Development Corporation, is now in charge of efforts to revitalize distressed neighborhoods across Los Angeles.

She is taking over as executive director of the Local Initiatives Support Coordination L.A., which over the last 28 years has invested $750 million to support affordable housing, vibrant commercial corridors, strong schools, safe streets and good health in often-overlooked parts of the city.

Compiled by Anne Artley.

Cheers! features the everyday accomplishments of everyday people in South Los Angeles. To submit an item, send an email (with picture) to