New York, N.Y. — In just four months’ time, the Conference of Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations held two historic National Summit Meetings — NIAS One on Feb. 20 and NIAS Two on June 12 — which outlined the pressing issues facing our community and the emerging solutions to address them. 

More than 400 Italian American organizations, clubs and lodges participated in the Summits, a number that far exceeded our expectations and reflects the grass roots activism that is alive and well in our community. 

During NIAS One, we assembled six Committees: Reconnecting with Our Youth, Charitable Activities, Museums and Cultural Institutions, Italian Language, Public Policy and Save Columbus to achieve several key initiatives —

1.) Unifying our groups to achieve common goals 

2.) Developing 21st-century strategies that seek to engage and recruit younger members 

3.) Fighting to preserve Columbus through legal and advocacy efforts

During NIAS Two, the Committees offered their updates, and the reports were highly encouraging. 

-U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY 3rd District) has revived legislation that calls for an apology for the internment of Italians by the American government during WWII.
Additionally, the legislation requests the establishment of grants to fund the introduction of comprehensive Italian American history curricula in U.S. schools. 

-The Conference of Presidents came together to raise $100,000 to fund the federal Columbus lawsuit in Philadelphia.

-A targeted marketing campaign is underway to place more U.S. students in Italian language classes. 

-Under the guidance of John Viola, we’ve introduced a comprehensive plan to engage and attract younger Italian Americans to our initiatives.-

-Chief Minister Maurizio Greganti, the highest-ranking official at the Italian embassy, pledged his support of our efforts.

“Our goal is to create a spirit of national unity among all Italian American organizations to preserve and promote our storied heritage,” said Basil M. Russo, who was handpicked to lead the Conference of Presidents last fall. “These landmark Summits are unprecedented, and they offer a glimpse at a stronger Italian America that is built on collaboration and mutual support. This is just the beginning, and our planning for NIAS Three is underway!” 
Watch the 2nd National Italian American Summit Meeting here.
About the Conference of Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations (
COPOMIAO, based in New York City, is a coalition of leaders from the 48 largest and most influential IA groups, and we’re here to preserve and promote our impactful culture for today’s generations, and tomorrow’s.
About our President, and his family: 

Basil M. Russo (Patriarch) 

As President of the Conference of Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations, ( 

-Initiated the largest gathering of Italian American leaders in history with the first National Italian American Summit Meeting held Feb. 20, 2021, with 354 organizations in attendance. Its mission: to create a spirit of national unity among Italian Americans to better preserve our history and heritage.
-Built COPOMIAO into the national voice for all Italian Americans by uniting 48 major Italian American organizations from throughout the country. 

As President of the Italian Sons and Daughters of America, ( 

-Created an Italian American website and social media platforms that engage more than 3 million readers and followers annually.
-Grew ISDA’s Fraternal Association member assets from $62 million to $225 million over six years, making ISDA among the most financially secure, not-for-profit Italian American organizations in the U.S. 

Patricia E. Russo (Matriarch) 
-Serves as Executive Editor of La Nostra Voce, ISDA’s national Italian American newspaper.
-A Founder and Board Member of the Italian American Museum of Cleveland.  

Anthony and Joe Russo (Sons)  
-Internationally acclaimed directors, writers and producers who hold the distinction of having directed the highest grossing film in history, Avengers: Endgame. F
-Founded the Russo Brothers Italian American Film Forum, which awards multiple grants to filmmakers each year who create movies that explore the IA experience in a positive way for the benefit of present and future generations. 

Gabriella Rosalina and Angela Russo-Otstot (Daughters) 
-Gabriella, an attorney, worked with her father to create the Ohio ISDA Community Foundation, Inc. which provides grants for many Italian American groups and causes dedicated to preserving our heritage. 
-Angela, President of Creative at AGBO Studios in Hollywood, serves as chairwoman of the Russo Brothers Italian American Film Forum grant selection committee.
For more information, please email our main office at
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