Italian American Institutes Day 2001:


Contact: Elissa Ruffino (NIAF) 202/939-3106202/939-3106 or


SPONSOR: The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF)

CHAIR: A. Kenneth Ciongoli, NIAF vice chairman

WHEN: Tuesday, May 15, 2001 – 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM

WHERE: The Hilton New York, 1335 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY

Columbus scholars, leading writers and noted experts will gather at the National Italian American Foundation’s (NIAF) second annual Italian American Institutes Day to discuss the legacy of Columbus and the influence that stereotypes found in the “Sopranos” have on Italian Americans.

The day also features a luncheon in honor of Andrew Cuomo, the former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, who will receive a NIAF Special Achievement Award in Government. Mr. Cuomo will discuss the role Italian Americans have played in government and society.


Columbus: History vs. Hysteria 10:00 AM – 11:30AM

Columbus scholars will address charges against Columbus: Was he a slave trader? Did he commit genocide? Did he destroy Native cultures & societies?

Award Luncheon Noon – 2:00PM

Keynote Speaker: Andrew Cuomo Luncheon tickets are $65.00 per person. To purchase, contact: Terry Cordaro at

Panel: 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM

The Sopranos & Other Stereotypes: How Harmful are They?

Panelists include:
Camille Paglia, leading author and academician
James Wolcott, columnist, Vanity Fair Magazine
Bill Tonelli, assistant managing editor, Rolling Stone Magazine
Patricia de Stacy Harrison, former co-chair of the Republican National Party
Dr. Elizabeth Messina, Fordham University psychologist who has studied the impact stereotyping has on young Italian Americans
Dr. Joseph Scelsa of Queens College (CUNY) who successfully sued the university for discriminating against Italian American faculty and students.
All conferences are free and open to the public. Since seating is limited, participants are asked to register by calling Terry Cordaro at 202/387-0600