Tag Archives: Basil Russo

Our stars align for Hollywood award

Italian-American leaders and Hollywood luminaries converged on downtown Los Angeles recently for a groundbreaking award ceremony. The event took place on Jan. 18 at AGBO, the studio run by industry powerhouses Joseph and Anthony Russo. The dynamic duo presented fellow Hollywood heavyweight Louis D’Esposito with their inaugural Renaissance Award. The annual ceremony was launched to honor Italian Americans who have had a positive impact on the entertainment industry and to raise funds for the Russo Brothers Italian American Filmmaker Forum. The purpose of the forum is “to champion emerging filmmakers who are trying to explore the Italian-American experience and share …

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National leader praises JCCIA at year-end summit

Basil Russo was the guest of honor when the presidents of the affiliated organizations of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans gathered for a year-end summit at the Des Plaines Theatre on Nov. 14. The meeting was called by JCCIA President Ron Onesti to look back on last year’s successes and announce initiatives for 2024. Russo is the president of the Conference of Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations as well as the Italian Sons and Daughters of America. He came to Chicago to sing the praises of the JCCIA and invite its affiliates to join COPOMIAO. “The JCCIA …

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A precedent-setting visit

A delegation from the Conference of Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations (COPOMIAO) recently concluded a historic trip to Rome, Italy. It was extremely important to embark on this initiative because our ties to our homeland have become weaker with each passing generation. It was time to reconnect with our roots. We were fortunate enough to meet with important leaders of both the Italian government and the Vatican. The primary goals of our delegation were twofold — first, to establish strong cultural and economic bonds between the Italian-American community and the Italian government, and second, to acknowledge the significant role …

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Historic conclave

The picture at the bottom of this column truly is worth a thousand words! It depicts the largest gathering of major Italian-American leaders in history. The photo was taken on Dec. 4, 2021, in Washington, D.C., at a meeting of the Conference of Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations (copomiao.org). The conclave was held the day after an unprecedented reception between the delegation and Italy’s new ambassador to the United States, Mariangela Zappia. The bond forged at this gathering allows our community to begin working with the ambassador’s staff to implement an exciting new strategic program. The subsequent COPOMIAO meeting …

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Going to bat big time for Columbus

The Conference of Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations has launched a major initiative on behalf of Christopher Columbus. The four-pronged campaign reached the readerships of two of the nation’s premier dailies, nearly 10,000 media outlets, the halls of Congress and the memberships of hundreds of Italian-American organizations. Dubbed “The Columbus Project,” the campaign was kicked off with a full-page ad placed in the Sept. 27 editions of The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. The ad highlights the importance of Columbus to the Italian-American community, touts his accomplishments, counters contentions he was a genocidal slave trader and calls …

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The anti-Columbus playbook is unraveling

The tide is turning in New York and across the country as Italian Americans mobilize to counter a jaded political formula. The strategy was straightforward: To score political points, all one needed to do was remove a Columbus statue, look the other way when one was illegally toppled or simply rename Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day. The formula worked for years, the blowback was containable and many media outlets, sympathetic to the anti-Columbus movement, didn’t kick up much of a fuss. But quite a bit has changed over the past 12 months, as Italian-American organizations have continued to mobilize …

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Italian Americans unite!

Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021, will be remembered as one of the most historic dates in Italian-American history. It’s the day that representatives of 354 Italian-American organizations from across our country joined together to participate in the first-ever National Italian American Summit Meeting. From New York to California to Hawaii, from Michigan to Louisiana, and from nearly every state in between, Italian-American leaders did something they had never done before: They joined hands in a show of national unity. The idea for the summit meeting stemmed from a discussion I had with Frank Maselli, president of the American Italian Museum in …

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ISDA’S Russo to lead conference of presidents

The Conference of Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations has unanimously elected Basil Russo to serve as the organization’s new president. Representing 50 of the largest Italian-American groups in the country, the CPMIAO is headquartered in New York City and advocates for the 17 million Americans of Italian descent. Russo currently serves as national president of the Italian Sons and Daughters of America, one of the largest Italian-American fraternal associations in the country. A native of Cleveland, he acts as chairman of the city’s Columbus Day Parade. He is a founding and managing partner of the law firm Russo, Rosalina …

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What Columbus stands for

We’re roiled by a national protest on inequality, we’re dogged by a disease that is surging back and forcing millions onto unemployment rolls, and we’re watching in disbelief as agitators splinter away from a good and necessary cause to go off and topple statues of Christopher Columbus. You can support the destruction and vandalism of statues, or you can respect the law, but you can’t do both — at least not without acknowledging the feverishly misguided precedent that is being set. City leaders across America are now removing Columbus monuments simply to prevent the chaotic effects of a mob mentality …

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National coalition reaches out to Chicago-area groups

The Conference of Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations brought its message of unity to Chicago recently. Conference Chair Dr. Aileen Sirey, and Vice Chair Basil Russo met with representatives of 20 member organizations of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans. The meeting was hosted by JCCIA President Sergio Giangrande. The meeting was part of a larger effort on the part of the conference to rally Italian-American organizations across the country. Russo talked about the importance of Italian-American organizations coordinating their efforts and speaking with a unified voice on important issues that impact our community, citing Christopher Columbus as …

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