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Social Justice: STEREOTYPES

Committee for Social Justice & Fighting Stereotypes

With over 25 million Italians and Italian-Americans living in the U.S., the lodges of the  Order of Sons of Italy in America are vigilant in fighting prejudice, bigotry, and defamation of Italians, Italian-Americans, as well as other groups of individuals.

Through CSJ, whose slogan is "Fighting Bias - Building Pride," a more positive image of Italians and Italian-Americans has been effectively implemented





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The Sons of Italy, 
Charles J. Bonaparte
Lodge #2504 
Cape Coral FL

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The Order Sons of Italy in America
Anti Stereotype info:

Zogby report on Stereotypes & Teens
from NIAF webpage:

From Fred Gardaphe: Mafiaman…Could This Be the End?

From Bill Dal Cerro
Image Research Project: Italian Culture on Film (1928-2002)

Debunking Hollywood's Italian Stereotypes and Myths


Social Justice


Fighting Stereotypes

Linda Messina Holda
Hollywood's glorification of mobster lifestyle... 
(If you have never been asked if your family is "connected to the mob" you may not understand this is *INSULT*.) 
It is a contradiction to DEFEND these productions, while CONDEMNING
the resulting stereotypical mind set that they spread throughout the world.
Unfortunately " Stereotypes beget Stereotypes":
Little Caesar & The Public Enemy begat The Godfather & Mean Streets, that begat Goodfellas & Bronx Tales, that begat Sopranos & Mafia Wives, and they all begat (the junior mob entertainment), Shark Tales and Nicky Deuce, etc.

Protests and petitions against stereotypical entertainment are not sufficient to insure victory in The Battle Against  Stereotypes.  It is necessary for the Italian American community to  unite and support positive image projects !  We need to  prove to Hollywood that non-stereotypical entertainment can be a critical and financial success !

Hollywood's Italian Stereotypes - A Century of No Progress -

Video re: Hollywood's Italian Stereotypes     by Bill Dal Cerro
Stereotypes about Italians abound in Hollywood films, even to this day. This video is a short documentary that illustrates our main points about Hollywood's continuing mistreatment of Italian Americans. Presented by StereoTypeThis!
The video includes excerpts of recent ignominious films and summarizes the results of a survey conducted by the Italic Institute of America

How to Fight Stereotyping
by Bill Dal Cerro



If you see an offensive ad, film, sitcom, etc., jot down a complete, objective statement of facts: e.g., contents, date and time, where it was shown or broadcast.

Find out who is the person responsible. If an ad, the head of the company. If a TV show, the head of the network. If a movie, the head of the studio. Get his or her title, address, and telephone number.


WRITE a short, simple letter stating your objections to what you saw or heard to the person in charge. Phone calls or emails should be used only as follow-up methods. And ALWAYS photocopy your letters, sending a copy of each to the following:

The Public Relations Department of the studio, radio station, etc.
Letters to the Editor of your local largest daily and/or weekly newspaper.

The Anti-Defamation representative in your local area (usually your largest local Italian American club or organization.)

The NIAF Media Institute (1860,19th St., NW Washington, DC 20009.)
Your own file, for future reference.
If or when you do receive a response, send copies to your local Anti-Defamation group and the NIAF Media Institute. They can then advise you on how to evaluate a proper response, either from you or from them.


Communicate with other Italian American activists via email or faxes to support other media offences throughout the country.

Read as much as you can about Italian/Italian American culture. You can use these facts in your anti-defamation efforts. Send for the NIAF's free study, Italian Americans in U.S. History and Culture, a large (9X12) stamped ($1.65) self-addressed envelope to: NIAF FACT SHEETS, 1860 19th St., NW Washington, DC 20009).

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you see a POSITIVE ad, film, etc. send a complimentary letter pronto. This is a powerful way of circumventing future negatives because it encourages the person or persons to capitalize on the good vibes of being praised. Try it. It works


Zogby report on Stereotypes & Teens:

The Commission for Social JusticeŽ (CSJ)

OSIA and its anti-defamation branch, The Commission for Social JusticeŽ, need your help to put an end to the persistent negative stereotyping of Italian Americans in advertising, entertainment and the media. We often call upon our members and supporters to participate in national campaigns, but you can also do something to make a difference in your state and community.

Below are some resources to help YOU help US put an end to defamation.

Be in the Know

Learn about just how pervasive stereotyping is in many facets of U.S. society—and examine cases of positive images...

OSIA Columns: "It's Only a Movie" and "Sempre Avanti"

CSJ 2010 President's Report
At the Movies: Positive Film Portrayals of Italian Americans, 1972-2003
Italian American Stereotypes in U.S. Advertising
Made in Hollywood: Italian Stereotypes in the Movies
Take Off the Apron: Like recent Pizza Hut ad, ethnic stereotypes should be pulled

Be Active: Fight Stereotyping & Promote Positive Images

And then do something about it...

Fact Sheet: How to Fight Workplace Discrimination
Fight Stereotypes from Your Computer
Talking Points: "The Godfather" and Stereotyping in Hollywood
Talking Points: Stereotyping on Television
What You Can Do