Idalí Feliciano honored with Amelia Earhart Award
Adrian College has announced that Idalí Feliciano has received this year’s Amelia Earhart Award from Zonta International Club of Lenawee County. She was honored at an award luncheon on Jan. 21, 2010.
This award is given to the woman who best exemplifies the pioneering spirit and the excellence in her field that were characteristic of Amelia Earhart. In addition, this woman works to increase the status of women in her community. The nominee may or may not be a member of Zonta.
Feliciano is the director of multicultural programs at Adrian College. Her work has elevated awareness and understanding of ethnicity, cultural, and diversity issues on Adrian College’s campus and in the Adrian community.
Dr. Carissa Massey, assistant professor of art history, nominated Feliciano for the award.
“Her work combats racism, sexism, and homophobia through workshops, mentoring programs, cultural events, and training sessions on campus and off,” said Massey.
Massey says Feliciano’s most important contribution to women has occurred in her role as co-coordinator of the Adrian College Women’s Diversity Day conference begun in March of 2009.
“This new and ongoing conference brings together women of diverse social, cultural, and economic backgrounds to celebrate women as contributing and vital members of our community,” she said.
Feliciano’s good work doesn’t end there. She also put together a photography and essay exhibit, along with poet and professor Don Cellini, called “Latinas en Lenawee.” This project is currently on display at the Adrian Public Library and will be expanded this spring into an exhibit of women of all walks of life from our county.
“Just to give you a quick overview of how vital she is to our campus and community, all one needs to do is pick up a copy of the Multicultural News Letter,” said Massey. “This reports on events and programs overseen and supported by Ms. Feliciano.”
Such events include a Global Food Festival, a trip to the Arab American Museum, advising diversity-oriented student organizations, mentoring first generation college students, and organizing events for Hispanic Heritage Month and Black History Month.
“How she has free time is anyone’s guess,” jokes Massey. “Her work has benefited our community for more than two decades. Shy and rarely taking credit for any of her good work, Ms. Feliciano is the last person to sing her own praises. I am just happy to have the opportunity to sing this pioneer’s praises for her.”
Editor’s Note: Founded in 1919, Zonta International is a global organization of professionals working together to advance the status of women worldwide through service and advocacy. Zonta members volunteer their time, talents and money to local and international service projects, as well as scholarship and award programs aimed at furthering women's education, leadership and youth development. More information may be obtained by visiting their official web site at www.zonta.org.