Tag Archives: COPOMIAO

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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Gianni leads the way

When the Conference of Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations hosted an Italian American Future Leaders conference in January (see page 6), the Chicago area was ably represented. Pasquale Gianni trekked down to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to take part in the three-day conclave. While there, he was able to network with other young adults of Italian descent and share his expertise as the founder and president of the Avanti Group. “I’m proud to say that the Avanti Group is the only organization of its kind in the nation,” Gianni reports. “I’ll be working with young adults in other parts of …

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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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National leader Basil Russo

A fierce advocate on behalf of his heritage for decades, Basil Russo has undertaken the Garibaldian task of uniting the community on a national level. Basil Russo was watching the ballgame on TV with his immigrant grandfather when Cleveland Indians slugger Rocky Colavito hit his record-tying fourth consecutive home run against the Baltimore Orioles on June 10, 1959. Russo was only 12 at the time, but that moment is forever etched in his memory. “My ‘nonnu’ was a tough, old Sicilian who rarely showed much emotion, but there he was with tears of joy running down his face,” Russo recalls. …

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