The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) recently became a partnering sponsor of our podcast. In this episode we visit The National Italian American Foundation headquarters in Washington, D.C. and learn about how it protects, preserves and celebrates Italian-American heritage and culture. This episode contains some really in-depth discussion on Italian-American pride and respect. Enjoy it….
Episode Quote from the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF)
“We want to be the place that provides an accessible version of your Italian-American heritage for you.” – John Viola on NIAF
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- “Our product is your identity as Italian Americans, how you feel about yourself.” – John Viola on what NIAF does
- “The feeling that you belong to something bigger than you can apply to any culture.” – Xavier Atizol of NIAF
- “We can’t re-create the specifics of where we came from, but we can keep the essence alive.” – John Viola on NIAF
- “Our heritage is so tied to our identity” – Julia Streisfeld of NIAF
- “Our job is to be evangelical Italians. We have to start with passion and bring it to the world.” – John Viola on NIAF
- “As Italian Americans it is our responsibility to support each other.” – Dolores Alfieri
- “Is there anything better than being Italian and American?” – Dolores Alfieri
- “By nature or nurture I have attributed everything positive in my life to my culture.” – NIAF President John Viola
- “You have to belong to something greater than yourself. It is what makes you human.” – NIAF President John Viola
- “The value of sitting around the kitchen table and having a tradition of certain foods and the conversation – those are roots of heritage.” – Dr. Rosa
- “One thing Italians have, is that they are really good at being human beings.” – NIAF President John Viola
- “Routine is human, and it brings everybody together.” – NIAF President John Viola
- “100% of the reason that we exist is because the word RESPECT still exists.” – Dr. Rosa on Italian Americans
- “We were raised like it was Southern Italy circa 1900.” – Dolores Alfieri
- “When you find out that someone is Italian that you were friends with, all of a sudden it is like they are your cousin.” – Dr. Rosa
- NIAF is dedicated to:
- Preserving and protecting our heritage
- Strengthening the ties between Italy and the U.S.
- Making opportunities available for education to people in our community
- Promoting the Italian language
- NIAF tries to provide Italians a venue where they can feel safe and comfortable in their Italian-American skin.
- NIAF wasn’t founded until the mid 1970’s, which shows the progress of the Italian American community and how we are evolving.
Anthony Fasano and Dolores Alfieri
Co-Hosts, The Italian American Podcast