Press Releases – 2001 Westchester Gala


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


EVENT: Italian American Institutes Day 2001: Conferences, Award Luncheon &
Gala Dinner sponsored by The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF)

CHAIRS: A. Kenneth Ciongoli, NIAF vice chairman & Vincenzo Marra, NIAF regional vice president of the Greater New York Area

WHEN: Tuesday, May 15, 2001

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

CONFERENCES: All conferences are free and open to the public.

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

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

Noon – 2:00 PM Award Luncheon
Andrew Cuomo
, former Secretary of Housing & Urban Development, is the keynote speaker who will discuss Italian American achievements. He will also receive a NIAF Special Achievement Award in Government. Luncheon tickets are $65.00 per person. To purchase, contact: Terry Cordaro at 202/387-0600.

2:30 PM – 4:30 PM The Sopranos & Other Stereotypes: How Harmful are They?

A discussion of the influence that stereotypes have on our national reputation, in the workforce and on our young people. Panelists include:

Camille Paglia, leading author and academician
Bill Tonelli, assistant managing editor, Rolling Stone Magazine
Patrica 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.

NIAF Greater New York Gala Dinner 7:00 PM
Honorees include:
    Ron Insana, CNBC anchor and host of “Street Signs”
    Elsa Klensch, fashion critic formerly of CNN
Andrea Mantineo
, publisher America Oggi
Lawrence Mancino
, vice president of the Communications Workers of America (AFL/CIO)
    Peter Rizzo, CEO, Bergdorf Goodman
Dinner tickets are $250.00 per person. To purchase, contact: Lisa Pitocco at 202/387-0600.