The enormous positive impact of Italian immigrants on America has never garnered much attention in grade and high school classrooms across the state. But when longtime Illinois educator Diana Hartmann, Ed. S., noticed that books on the subject were disappearing from the shelves of school libraries, she decided to take action. “I wanted to make sure...

The extraordinary Sanfilippo Estate in Barrington served as the venue for this year’s Columbus Day Queen Pageant. Held on Aug. 1, it was a joyous occasion for the more than 70 attendees. The day began with a reception in the hospitality room of the palatial abode. JCCIA President Ron Onesti provided guests with mimosas along with a delicious spread...

The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans has assembled a truly remarkable calendar of events for the month of October. From the first to the 31st, each day features an activity aimed at celebrating our history and heritage while spotlighting a noteworthy Italian or Italian American. Daily honorees include such luminaries as Declaration of Ind...

July 25 was the one-year-and-one-day anniversary of the removal of the Christopher Columbus statues by the City of Chicago. It was also the day Chicago’s Italian-American community turned out in droves to show unity and strength at the JCCIA’s “Pack the Park Italian Unity Day Rally.” “After all that has been going on with the Columbus issue and the...

The annual Columbus Day Parade is returning this year to downtown Chicago. It was canceled last fall and replaced with a car parade because of the COVID pandemic. The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans introduced this year's queen and court Wednesday night. The parade is at 12:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 11 on State Street from Wacker Drive to Van...

The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans will honor Jennifer Lyons and Antonio M. Romanucci at this year’s Dante Awards luncheon. The event will take place at 11 a.m. on Sept. 14 at Galleria Marchetti in Chicago. Tickets are $75. (708-450-9050, www.jccia.com) Jennifer Lyons will receive the Dante Award. She is a celebrated television news exe...

Hundreds of people gathered at a park in Little Italy on Sunday afternoon to demand that the three Christopher Columbus statues that were removed last summer be put back. During the rally at Arrigo Park, Italian American leaders called on Mayor Lori Lightfoot to return the statue that was removed from the park one year ago. A second statue was rem...

The Lucchesi Nel Mondo will honor Paul Ciminello and Lilia Leonardi Juarez as Man and Woman of the Year at their annual banquet on Aug. 28 at the Mazzini Verdi Club. The following profiles were provided by the organization. Paul Ciminello Paul Ciminello has been a member of the Lucchesi Nel Mondo Association for over 25 years.  Paul left his home o...

An Italian American organization is suing the Chicago Park District to restore the Christopher Columbus statue removed from Little Italy after protests last year. The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans (JCCIA) want city officials to reinstall the statue at Arrigo Park, which dated back to 1966 before it was taken down. The Columbus statues...

The Columbus Day Queen Contest has a new lease on life thanks to the Avanti Group. Sponsored for decades by the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans, the pageant was put on hold last year due to the pandemic. “We thought it was important to keep the tradition going, and the JCCIA was grateful for the assist,” says Pasquale Gianni, president o...