Rev. Jose Rodriguez

The Rev. Dr. Jose Rodriguez, based in Central Florida, is a community leader with deep roots in the Azalea Park neighborhood of Orlando. His community work, marked by a profound commitment to service, has been especially focused on disaster relief and recovery over the past seven years. His efforts intensified following Hurricane Irma, equipping him to support those affected by Hurricane Maria. In the aftermath of the hurricanes he worked with other community leaders to organize thousands of people displaced to Orlando from Puerto Rico. During the pandemic he mobilized faith and community based groups to respond to the needs of the community and implemented a community health response uniting the Azalea Park and Parramore neighborhoods of Orlando.

Padre José's impactful work earned him the title of 2019 Change Maker of the Year by the Heart of Florida United Way. In 2020, he was recognized as a Distinguished Leader in Florida on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. That year he was also recognized as the "Father of the Diaspora" by the Orlando Sentinel when he was nominated and placed as finalist for Central Floridian of the Year. Engaged in various academic collaborations with the University of Florida, the University of Texas at Austin, Boston College, and the University of Miami, Padre José is also a graduate of Rollins College, the University of Central Florida, and Asbury Theological Seminary. His doctorate focused on climate migration and the needs and care of persons displaced by Hurricane Maria now living in Orlando.

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