Italian American ONE VOICE Coalition Secures Financial Backing to Support Columbus Civil Rights Litigation Efforts

Sep 22, 2020 1181

The Italian American ONE VOICE Coalition (“IAOVC”), a nationwide coalition of anti-bias activists, secured funding for its litigation efforts defending Italian American civil rights and restoration of Columbus statues and monuments, and seeks additional financial support for other potential legal actions across the country.

Recently, IAOVC filed a landmark federal litigation in Federal US District Court against The Township of West Orange, NJ, seeking an injunction to have the Christopher Columbus statue returned to its original location. This important first legal action, and other litigation activities, have been financially supported by IAOVC Board members, IAOVC Coalition Organization members, Sal Davino and, most recently, with a significant grant from the Anti-Bias Committee of UNICO.

“We appreciate the generous funding we just received from the Anti-Bias Committee of UNICO, as well as the financial support of our IAOVC Board Members, Coalition Organizations and members across the country,” stated Dr. Manny Alfano, founder and president of IAOVC. “But we need more financial help as we bring this fight for our heritage across the country.”

IAOVC is working with Italian American groups and individuals nationwide opposing the destruction or removal of Columbus statues and monuments. Rallies, petitions, email and phone campaigns have been launched opposing the recent proliferation of attacks on Columbus statues and monuments. In certain areas, these were successful, with Columbus statues and monuments preserved. In others, such as West Orange, local officials ignored citizen pleas, and statues were removed. Consequently, the recently filed federal litigation by IAOVC was the next step in its activities in defending Columbus and Italian American civil rights across the country.

“The federal suit against West Orange should be an eye-opener to elected officials in every town, city and state that we will not stand by as they consider removing an important symbol of our heritage,” stated Andre DiMino, Executive Board Member of IAOVC. “When these local officials ignore our pleas, we have to seek legal action to preserve our rights.”

Columbus is an iconic symbol for Italian Americans whose ancestors fled horrible treatment and abject poverty in their homeland. Columbus statues, monuments and parades brought dignity during a period when they suffered rampant racism, discrimination and marginalization. Eleven innocent Italian Americans were lynched in the largest lynching in US history and there were other lynchings and violent acts suffered across the country. Many Columbus statues and monuments were erected as an apology for the many injustices levied on Italian Americans throughout history.

IAOVC’s sole focus and objective is to fight bias, stereotyping and discrimination against Italian Americans. It is the only national Italian American organization with this exclusive mandate. IAOVC’s stated mission is to “…secure the rightful representation of Americans of Italian origin and of all peoples whose paths toward social equality have been impeded. The powers of intellect, wisdom and due process of law will be brought to bear on all inequities.”

IAOVC issues a regular email newsletter, “The Alfano Digest,” to over 5,000 individuals and Italian American organizations nationwide. Written and compiled by IAOVC founder and President, Dr. Manny Alfano, the Digest issues alerts on instances of bias, stereotyping, discrimination and defamation as well as activates the IAOVC nationwide network of “Defenders” who respond through calls, emails, social media, letters and demonstrations where necessary. The Alfano Digest also contains interesting and informative Italian American educational, cultural and heritage news and information.

Help support The Italian American ONE VOICE Coalition and its efforts at defending Italian American heritage by making a tax-deductible donation at

Read more

SOURCE: Italian Amrican ONE VOICE Coalition

You may be interested