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Victor Rivas-Rivers at The City Club of Cleveland

Victor Rivas River’s dramatic personal story reflects an amazing portrait of a young man overcoming the odds. 

In 1999, Victor became the national spokesperson for the National Network to End Domestic Violence. Rivas-Rivers will address an audience at noon on Friday, May 8, 2009, at The City Club of Cleveland concerning this topic, and others.

Born in Sancti Spiritus, Cuba, he came with his family to this country at the age of two, enduring horrific child abuse and witnessing domestic violence on the level of torture at the hands of his father. At age fifteen, Victor took the then unprecedented legal action against his father, going on to live with a series of foster families.

Thanks to the intervention of his community, he turned his life around dramatically—going from hard-core gang-member to senior class president and lettering in four sports.

He attended Florida State University on a full four-year football scholarship, where he was a team captain, scholar, and athlete, and was mentored by Coach Bobby Bowden, before his 1978-79 seasons as a free agent draft pick with the Miami Dolphins

Today, having broken the cycle of violence, Victor Rivas-Rivers is also a devoted husband and father—what he believes are his two most important roles. It is his indomitable spirit as an actor, athlete, and as a human being that may have inspired director Taylor Hackford to call him, “A big man—in heart and soul.”

This forum is the second of the 3-part KeyBank Diversity Thought Leadership Series.

Tickets are $18 for members and $30 for non-members. Lunch is included. They can be purchased by calling The City Club at 216.621.0082 or visiting the website at www.cityclub.org.






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