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José C. Feliciano, Sr. receives Humanitarian Award

By Kevin Milliken, La Prensa Correspondent


Cleveland lawyer José C. Feliciano, Sr., was awarded one of Greater Cleveland’s top honors Nov. 20, 2014 when he received the 60th annual Humanitarian Award from the Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio.


Feliciano is a partner in the Cleveland law firm of Baker-Hostetler. One of that law firm's founding partners, Newton D. Baker, co-founded the Diversity Center n 1927 as the National Conference of Christians and Jews.

“The award captures the values that are so meaningful to me personally and for my community,” he said. “In substance, those are what I call two pillars: opportunity and equality. It’s the honor of a lifetime. My wife and I, our family, and my community are just delighted.”

José C. Feliciano, Sr.


Feliciano is founder and chairman of the Hispanic Roundtable, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to act as a catalyst to empower the Hispanic community to become full partners in the education, economic, political, civic, and social life of Greater Cleveland. The group sponsors Convencion Hispana every three years-- a chance to gauge the progress being made and set an agenda for the next three years.


Feliciano also is former chairman of the Hispanic Leadership Development Program and founder of the Hispanic Community Forum. Feliciano also helped to found the Ohio Hispanic Bar Association and past general counsel for the Spanish-American Committee.


The annual Humanitarian Award Dinner celebrated the largest attendance in its history.


“It’s about the values of the Diversity Center and, quite frankly, the values of me personally and my family and what this represents to my community,” said Feliciano. “All of those things come into play there. I hope that’s the reason there was such a good response to it.”


Past honorees include a who's who of distinguished Ohioans, including entertainer Bob Hope (1960), the Rev. Billy Graham (1971), retired U.S. Senator George Voinovich (1986), and former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland (2008).


Feliciano stated he was humbled to be given an award that’s honored such luminaries in the past.


“It’s a little overwhelming. It’s extraordinarily humbling to be mentioned with the likes of those folks. It’s a little overwhelming,” he said.


Feliciano, an active trial lawyer for over four decades, is the first and only Hispanic president of the Cleveland Bar Association. He also served as chief prosecutor for the City of Cleveland, the first Hispanic public official in the history of the city.


Feliciano was elected to the American College of Trial Lawyers in 1975 and served as a White House fellow under President Ronald Reagan. He was recognized as Cuyahoga County "Administrator of the Year" in 1983 and was inducted into the Cleveland Hall of Fame in 2012 and the Cleveland State University Nance Hall of Fame in 2010.


Feliciano served three years on the board of governors for the American Bar Association and has been elected to the association's House of Delegates four times nationwide.


Copyright © 1989 to 2014 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 12/09/14 19:53:29 -0800.




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