The United States has celebrated Italian American Heritage and Culture Month in October with some presidential and congressional proclamations that recognize the invaluable contributions of Italian Americans to the nation's culture, history, and society. There have been some presidential proclamations and congressional resolutions issued over the past few decades recognizing Italian American Heritage and Culture Month for that specific year. It is now time for October to be permanently recognized and designated as Italian American Heritage and Culture Month by legislation.
President George H. W. Bush:
Congressional resolutions have also been introduced to commemorate Italian American Heritage and Culture Month in October. While they may not carry the same weight as presidential proclamations, they serve as additional acknowledgments of the community's importance.
House Resolution 101-392
The celebration of Italian American Heritage and Culture Month in October has been a longstanding tradition in the United States, celebrated in communities across the US, and sometimes with presidential proclamations and congressional resolutions recognizing the profound contributions of Italian Americans to American society and culture. These declarations serve as a reminder of the diversity and richness of our nation's heritage and the importance of honoring the achievements of all communities.
Although we are pleased with these proclamations and resolutions, they were for that one year. It is time to permanently designate October as Italian American Heritage and Culture Month through legislation.
The Italian American One Voice Coalition (“IAOVC”) urges everyone to contact their Congressional representatives to request that legislation be introduced and adopted to permanently designate October as Italian American Heritage and Culture Month. To learn more about the IAOVC’s efforts and initiatives in defending and celebrating Italian American heritage and civil rights request our free newsletter, The Alfano Digest. And please consider joining with us as we continue our mission – membership is open to individuals as well as Italian American Organizations.
Enjoy Italian American Heritage and Culture Month!!!
World War II marked a tumultuous period in American history, characterized by patriotism, sacrifice, and unity. However, it was also a time when fear and suspicion led to the internment of innocent American citizens of Italian descent. While the internment of Japanese Americans is more widely known, the internment of Italian Americans remains a lesser-discussed chapter in our nation's history. In this blog post, we will explore the internment of Italian Americans during World War II, including the locations, dates, and the number of Italian Americans interned at each camp.
The internment of Italian Americans was rooted in the fear that they might have ties to Italy or be sympathetic to the Axis powers during World War II. Many Italian immigrants and their descendants were subjected to unjust treatment, including arrests, property seizures, and internment. Thousands of Italian Americans were detained in these camps, often separated from their families and communities.
Internment Camps for Italian Americans
The internment of Italian Americans during World War II stands as a somber reminder of the impact of wartime hysteria and prejudice. These internment camps, though lesser known than those for Japanese Americans, played a significant role in shaping the experiences of Italian Americans during this period. It is vital to remember and reflect upon this dark chapter in American history, including the significant number of Italian Americans who endured internment. This reflection is essential to ensure that such injustices are not repeated in the future. As a nation, we must strive to uphold the principles of liberty, justice, and equality for all, regardless of their ethnicity or background.
The Italian American One Voice Coalition ("IAOVC") strives to educate about the history of Italian Americans in the United States. By bringing light to that history IAOVC seeks to defend Italian American heritage and culture. Our individual members and Organization members work together to oppose stereotyping, denigration and discrimination of Italian Americans. Join us and help us in our mission.
Are you an American of Italian heritage yearning to connect with your roots and enjoy the best of both worlds? Well, you're in luck! Italy offers a pathway to dual citizenship, allowing you to become both an Italian and an American citizen. Here's a brief guide on how you can achieve this dream:
Buona fortuna! (Good luck!)
And, while you may be waiting to achieve your dual citizenship, consider joining the Italian American One Voice Coalition ("IAOVC"). At IAOVC we are dedicated to celebrating and preserving Italian American heritage and culture as well as defending our heritage from stereotyping and discrimination by education and advocacy. Membership is open to both individuals and Italian American organizations. A free subscription is available to our email newsletter, The Alfano Digest, to keep apprised of important items related to our heritage. Join us!
In today’s world, it's alarming that hurtful stereotypes of Italian American women continue to persist in the media. These outdated portrayals perpetuate negative misconceptions and can have far-reaching consequences, not only for the targeted group but for society as a whole. It's time we recognize the harm caused by these stereotypes and work collectively to put an end to them.
The media plays a powerful role in shaping public perceptions. Unfortunately, Italian American women have often fallen victim to caricatures that paint them as overly aggressive, loud, and attached to outdated gender norms. These stereotypes are not only false but damaging, as they contribute to the erosion of self-esteem and hinder societal progress.
A glaring stereotype perpetuated is the portrayal of Italian American women as being overly controlling and aggressive. This not only distorts their roles within their families and communities but also perpetuates a perception that undermines their accomplishments and aspirations. Just consider the over-the-top stereotypes in network programming such as Mob Wives, Real Housewives of New Jersey, Jersey Shore, and many others. Such portrayals undermine the diverse array of talents and ambitions Italian American women possess, spanning all fields from art and science to business and politics.
Media influences attitudes and beliefs, and these stereotypes contribute to systemic discrimination. When exposed to inaccurate portrayals repeatedly, it is easier to marginalize and dismiss. The consequences are far-reaching: young girls might internalize these stereotypes, hindering their belief in their own potential, while others might engage in biased behaviors and discrimination without realizing it.
Enough is enough! Media creators, producers, and writers should prioritize accurate portrayals of Italian American women, showcasing their individuality, strength, and contributions to society. Audiences play a crucial role - by demanding more authentic representations and refusing to support media that perpetuates stereotypes.
The Italian American One Voice Coalition (“IAOVC”) is dedicated to opposing denigrating and hurtful stereotypes. They have had numerous successes, such as the recent apology secured from a popular radio station for an unacceptable stereotype of Italian American women. What about you? Join the effort to defend Italian American civil rights by becoming a member or donating to help IAOVC continue the fight.
Preserving Italian American traditions and language is of paramount importance to our community. Many Italian Americans actively pass down their cultural heritage to future generations, ensuring that their customs and traditions are not lost.
Italian language schools and cultural centers play a crucial role in this preservation effort. They offer language classes, cultural workshops, and educational programs that help Italian Americans connect with their roots. By preserving the Italian language and traditions, Italian Americans ensure that their rich heritage continues to thrive for years to come.
The Future of the Italian American Experience
As the Italian American community continues to evolve, the future holds both challenges and opportunities. While the number of Italian speakers in the US has declined over the years, there is a growing interest among younger generations in embracing their Italian heritage.
The Italian American experience will continue to be shaped by the interplay between tradition and assimilation. As Italian Americans navigate their dual identity, they will undoubtedly find new ways to celebrate their heritage while contributing to the diverse fabric of American society.
The Italian American experience is a testament to the resilience, perseverance, and cultural richness of a community that has left an indelible mark on American society. From their humble beginnings as immigrants to their present-day contributions in various fields, Italian Americans have carved out a unique space for themselves.
Navigating the complexities of identity and heritage, Italian Americans continue to honor their roots while embracing the opportunities America has to offer. Through their cultural contributions, Italian Americans have enriched the American tapestry, shaping the nation's cuisine, arts, entertainment and actually every aspect of life in America.
As we celebrate the Italian American experience, let us recognize the profound impact our community has had on American society and appreciate the values of family, hard work, and heritage that we hold dear.
Help preserve your heritage by getting involved with the Italian American One Voice Coalition ("IAOVC"). IAOVC has individual and organization members across the USA that join together to speak with one voice in defending, preserving and celebrating our rich culture and heritage. Become a member of IAOVC!
In a world where our voices can sometimes feel drowned out or overlooked, finding a platform that amplifies our concerns and unites us is crucial. If you are passionate about celebrating Italian American heritage, advocating for our community's interests, and making a lasting impact, then the free Alfano Digest by the Italian American One Voice Coalition (IAOVC) is the perfect opportunity for you.
By signing up for the free Alfano Digest, you can become an essential part of a movement that strives to empower and uplift Italian Americans across the nation. Here are a few key reasons to sign up!
Empowering Italian American Voices:
The Alfano Digest offers a platform to raise your voice and be heard. By subscribing to this dynamic newsletter, you gain access to a wealth of information, updates, and stories related to Italian American culture, history, and contemporary issues.
Celebrating Italian American Heritage:
The IAOVC is dedicated to preserving and promoting the rich heritage of Italian Americans. The Alfano Digest is a gateway to discovering fascinating stories, traditions, and accomplishments of Italian Americans throughout history. From renowned artists and inventors to influential politicians and community leaders, the newsletter sheds light on the achievements of our community, instilling a sense of pride and inspiring the next generation to carry the torch forward. You will also be notified of educational activism events and other IAOVC alerts requesting action from the community.
Advocating for Community Interests:
The Alfano Digest is not just about celebrating our past; it is also a powerful tool for shaping our future. By signing up, you become part of a community of individuals passionate about advocating for Italian American interests. The newsletter keeps you informed about important legislative issues, policy changes, and community initiatives that impact our lives. With this knowledge, you can engage in meaningful advocacy efforts, supporting causes that matter to you and making a tangible difference for the Italian American community.
Networking and Building Community:
When you sign up for the Alfano Digest, you join a vibrant community of like-minded individuals who share your passion for Italian American heritage. The newsletter provides opportunities for networking, connecting with others who are equally dedicated to preserving our culture and ensuring our voices are heard. Through IAOVC events, volunteer opportunities, and collaborative projects, you can forge lifelong friendships, build professional networks, and make valuable connections within the Italian American community.
If you are ready to make a meaningful impact and join a community that values and uplifts Italian American voices, the Alfano Digest is the perfect platform for you. By signing up, you empower yourself to advocate for our community's interests, celebrate our rich heritage, and contribute to the ongoing narrative of Italian American contributions in the United States.
Together, let us unite our voices through the Italian American One Voice Coalition and make a lasting difference for generations to come. Sign up for the Alfano Digest today and become an integral part of this inspiring movement.
Italian immigration to the United States has played a significant role in shaping the cultural and social fabric of America. But what were the reasons behind the substantial influx of Italian immigrants to the US and when did the key periods occur.
Economic Factors: A primary reason for the mass migration of Italians to the United States was the dire economic conditions in Italy during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Widespread poverty, limited job opportunities, and low wages motivated many Italians to seek better prospects in America. The industrialization and rapid economic growth experienced by the United States during this period acted as a magnet, attracting Italian workers to industries such as mining, manufacturing, and construction.
Political and Social Instability: Political and social instability also contributed to the surge of Italian immigration. Italy faced numerous challenges, including a lack of political unity and economic disparities among its regions. The unification of Italy in 1861 and subsequent social unrest further prompted many Italians, especially from the south and Sicily, to seek a more stable and promising future in the United States. Italian immigrants were subjected to wide discrimination and denigration in their new country, but they persevered and were proud to become Americans.
Chain Migration and Family Networks: Chain migration played a crucial role in sustaining the flow of Italian immigrants to the United States. The initial wave of Italian migrants, often young men seeking employment, would establish themselves in American cities. Over time, they would sponsor family members, creating a network that facilitated further migration. This pattern of family-based immigration ensured a continuous stream of Italian newcomers to the United States.
Peak Immigration Years: The most significant waves of Italian immigration occurred between the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The largest influx took place between 1880 and 1920 when approximately 4 million Italians migrated to the United States. The peak years were between 1900 and 1914, with over 2.5 million Italian immigrants arriving during this period.
Conclusion: Italian immigration to the United States was driven by economic hardships, political instability, and the promise of better opportunities. The late 19th and early 20th centuries witnessed the most substantial waves of Italian migration, which left an indelible mark on American society.
We owe a debt to our ancestors who struggled to create a life in their new country. The Italian American One Voice Coalition ("IAOVC") is a great way to repay that debt by honoring and defending our great heritage. Join us!
June 19, 2023: On this solemn day, we commemorate the one-year anniversary of the passing of Dr. Manny Alfano, a revered figure in the Italian American community. As the founder of the Italian American One Voice Coalition (IAOVC), Dr. Alfano dedicated his life to defending and preserving the rich heritage and culture of Italian Americans. His unwavering commitment to combating stereotypes and denigration has left an indelible mark on the Italian American community and beyond.
Dr. Alfano's Tireless Advocacy: In 1992, Dr. Alfano founded the IAOVC, a non-profit organization aimed at promoting positive portrayals of Italian Americans in media, combating discrimination, and preserving their cultural legacy through education and advocacy. Throughout his tenure, he spearheaded numerous campaigns and initiatives to raise awareness about the contributions and achievements of Italian Americans, while combating negative stereotypes perpetuated by the media. Dr. Alfano's work received widespread recognition and praise during his lifetime.
Impact and Continuing the Legacy: Dr. Alfano's passing has undoubtedly left a void within the Italian American community. However, his legacy lives on through the ongoing work of the IAOVC, which remains dedicated to advocating for Italian American rights, fostering cultural appreciation, and combating negative portrayals, ensuring that future generations can embrace their heritage with pride.
Conclusion: As we mark the one-year anniversary of Dr. Manny Alfano's passing, we honor his memory by recognizing the immeasurable contributions he made to the Italian American community. His establishment of the IAOVC, along with his tireless advocacy, has had a lasting impact on the preservation of Italian American heritage and culture. Let us remember his indomitable spirit and strive to carry forward his legacy by championing the principles he held dear. In doing so, we ensure that future generations will appreciate the rich and diverse tapestry of Italian Americans.
Join us as we continue Dr. Alfano’s legacy by becoming an Individual Member or as an Organization Member. And, help us by making a tax-deductible donation.
Federal Judge declares IAOVC has standing to sue in West Orange Lawsuit over Columbus Monument
In September of 2020, during the height of the COVID pandemic, a team of IAOVC members along with volunteer attorneys and supporters gathered remotely to formulate a legal strategy to save Columbus monuments across America. This was in response to dozens, if not hundreds of requests from Italian Americans across the country to stop the attacks on our cultural heritage. If you were on social media frequently, as many of us were, you came across a common postings that read "Where are all the Italian Americans?" This was what many of us felt as we were witnesses to the destruction of our monuments. We could no longer wait for others to act and decided it was up to a small number of dedicated IAOVC members and IAOVC Coalition Organization Members to take action. That is exactly what we did!
After years of watching Columbus monuments being vandalized and wrongfully removed, the IAOVC decided enough was enough and filed the first landmark Federal lawsuit against West Orange NJ for the wrongful removal of a Columbus monument which was revered in the West Orange NJ community.
Many in the community were fearful to bring lawsuits to reinstate Columbus monuments for fear of retaliation by local officials, a lack of funding or the amount of work required to take on such a task. We are proud to say that the IAOVC lead the way by filing the first landmark Federal lawsuit of its kind. As a result of this lawsuit, the community saw that it was possible to fight back legally to defend the civil rights of Italian Americans. Since we filed this lawsuit in September of 2020, other organizations followed our lead with great success.
We are extremely proud to report that the Federal court has just declared that IAOVC has standing to sue on behalf of its members. THIS IS A WATERSHED MOMENT IN ITALIAN AMERICAN HISTORY! We will keep everyone updated as more information becomes available.
If you support what we do in defending our Italian American civil rights, and would like to make a donation to our legal efforts, please click here to donate now. Thanks!
America is a country of great diversity, with people from all over the world calling it home. Each group brings its own unique heritage, traditions, and culture, creating a rich tapestry that is the fabric of the American society. It is important for Americans to honor and defend their heritage, not only to preserve their cultural identity but also to maintain a sense of unity and mutual respect within the diverse population. Of course, we are Americans first, but we should respect our heritage.
The importance of heritage can be seen in its ability to provide a sense of belonging and identity. It connects people to their past, their ancestors, and their cultural roots. This is especially important for immigrants, who often leave behind everything they know to start a new life in a foreign country. By honoring and preserving their heritage, they can maintain a connection to their roots while still embracing their new home.
Another reason why it is important to honor and defend heritage is that it promotes mutual respect and understanding among different groups of people. When people learn about each other's traditions and customs, they gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for one another. This understanding leads to a greater sense of empathy and tolerance, which can help to build stronger communities and a more cohesive society.
Heritage preservation is vital for future generations. By passing down cultural traditions and values, children and grandchildren develop a greater understanding and appreciation for their cultural roots. This instills a sense of pride and identity, helping to navigate the challenges of growing up in a complex and diverse society.
As a nation of immigrants, we should be mindful and respectful of each other's cultural heritage, recognizing the value it brings to our society as a whole.
The Italian American One Voice Coalition (“IAOVC”) is dedicated to educating and defending our Italian American heritage and culture. IAOVC is comprised of Italian American Organization Members and individual members across the USA joined together in a Coalition to speak with One Voice in defense of our heritage. Join us!