Conference of Presidents Holds Landmark Meeting in NYC

National rollout of Italian heritage curriculum, reelection of Basil Russo, Florida youth summit announced, a petition to the White House and 5 major Italian American organizations join COPOMIAO!

The Conference of Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations (COPOMIAO) unveiled its bold agenda for the coming year at its annual membership meeting in NYC in late July. President Basil M. Russo presented the delegates of the 58 member organizations with a detailed breakdown of the following three major initiatives:

  • Developing a comprehensive campaign to encourage school districts throughout the country to adopt The Universality of Italian Heritage Curriculum Infusion Model (crafted by Cav. Gilda Rorro Baldassari, Ed.D. and Robert DiBiase, who lead the New Jersey Italian Heritage Commission’s Curriculum Development Committee). The NJIHC is a proud member of COPOMIAO. Please click here, follow the grass roots guidelines and help spread the word to your local school district! See the curriculum in action below:
  • Hosting a National Italian American Youth Conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. in January 2023 to mentor a new generation of Italian Americans to assume leadership positions throughout our community.
  • Moving forward to secure a meeting with President Joe Biden to discuss appropriate language to be used in the White House’s 2022 proclamations concerning Columbus Day and Indigenous Peoples Day.

COPOMIAO just completed its most productive year in the history of the organization. Its accomplishments included:

  • Hosting 3 National Italian American Summit Meetings to create a spirit of national unity among the 400 participating organizations.
  • Creating 6 national committees to promote joint initiatives in the areas of charitable giving, teaching the Italian language, reconnecting with our youth, encouraging cooperation among museums and cultural centers, development of public policy, and efforts to educate the public on the contributions of Columbus.
  • Leading a delegation of Italian American organization presidents to Rome in May, who met with highly prominent Italian government and Vatican leaders to discuss joint initiatives to preserve our culture. The trip concluded with a private audience with Pope Francis.

Other important motions approved at the meeting included the unanimous reelection of Basil M. Russo to serve a second two-year term as COPOMIAO president, and the admission of 5 new organizations, increasing our total membership from 36 to 58 major organizations in just the past two years.  

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