Italian American Civil Rights at Forefront as Randolph NJ Controversy Over Columbus Day and All Other Holidays Grows

Photo of attendees with banners at IAOVC press conference.

Italian American One Voice Coalition was joined by Randolph parents, students and residents along with other Italian American organizations at the Italian American Civil Rights Press Conference to oppose the Randolph school board's elimination of Columbus Day

Chiara Ricupero receives IAOVC membership pin.

Chiara Ricupero, newly appointed IAOVC Youth Committee Chair, receives IAOVC membership pin from Andre DiMino

Randolph town sign

Randolph school board attacks Italian American civil rights by eliminating Columbus Day and then offends EVERYONE by eliminating all holidays

Italian American One Voice Coalition (IAOVC) along with Randolph parents, students and residents rally at Italian American Civil Rights Press Conference

BLOOMFIELD, NJ, USA, June 16, 2021 / -- The Italian American One Voice Coalition (“IAOVC”), along with parents and students from Randolph, NJ, held a press conference on Sunday, 6/13/2021 to express their outrage at the Randolph school board's decision to first rename Columbus Day and then remove all holidays from the school calendar. The IAOVC announced a four-point plan during the press conference:

-The Randolph NJ school board has 30 days to reinstate every holiday back on the school calendar including Columbus Day or the community will take a series of actions as appropriate.

-The IAOVC is creating a legal study group because the Randolph school board's decision has shocked the conscience of parents, students and elected representatives. All attorneys interested in participating can reach out to the Randolph, NJ community by contacting

-The IAOVC has created a Youth Committee which will expand in communities throughout NJ, and across the country, to help combat discrimination and malicious scholarship in school boards and classrooms. The IAOVC appointed Chiara Ricupero as Youth Committee Chair. Her intelligent and passionate speech at the June 10th Randolph school board meeting echoes the feeling of Italian American students in Randolph NJ, the state, and the entire country.

-The Randolph NJ community is demanding the school district hold diversity and cultural sensitivity training for all staff focusing on Italian American culture and why Columbus Day is an apology and atonement for the brutal treatment and discrimination experienced by generations of Italian American ancestors. It was shocking to learn that not one member of the Randolph, NJ school board knew about the 11 innocent Italians lynched in New Orleans in 1891, which was the largest mass lynching in America or the internment of Italians in America during World War II.

“This decision to remove all holidays violates the spirit of diversity and inclusion and drains the dignity of not just Italian American students but those of all ethnic groups living in Randolph NJ.” stated Manny Alfano, Founder and President of the IAOVC. Many elected leaders were also present at the press conference including NJ State Senator Anthony Bucco, Assemblyman Brian Bergen, County Commissioner Thomas Mastrangelo in addition to many Randolph NJ residents. Many residents felt the entire controversy was avoidable if the school board chose to just keep Columbus Day. “The school board had the option of choosing the least restricted means when passing the motion but instead chose the most restrictive means. The least restrictive means would be to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day on a separate day so that both cultures could be celebrated. However, the school board decided not to take this approach and acted based on their personal whim.” continued Alfano.

In response, two days after the IAOVC press conference, the school board announced a special meeting to be held on Monday, June 21, to consider a motion to rescind the vote to eliminate all holidays and the earlier vote to eliminate Columbus Day. “We will certainly be at that meeting to see if the school board does the right thing and stop this attack on Italian American civil rights and everyone who they offended by eliminating Columbus day and then all holidays,” stated Andre DiMino, Executive Board Member of IAOVC. “It is so unfortunate and disgraceful that the school board caused such an uproar, but hopefully they will now vote to undo the hurt and insult they have done.”

IAOVC’s sole focus is to foster education to fight bias, stereotyping and discrimination against Italian Americans. An IRS-Registered 501(c)3 non-profit, IAOVC issues an email newsletter, “The Alfano Digest,” to more than 6,000 individuals and Italian American organizations nationwide. Written and compiled by Dr. Manny Alfano, the Digest issues alerts on instances of bias, stereotyping, discrimination and defamation and activates the IAOVC nationwide network of “Defenders” who respond through calls, emails, faxes, letters and demonstrations. The Digest contains informative and educational Italian American cultural and heritage information. To receive the Digest, email Dr. Alfano – or visit

To support IAOVC’s efforts at defending and educating about Columbus and Italian American civil rights visit

IAOVC membership is open to individuals and all Italian American organizations to join as a coalition defending and celebrating Italian American heritage and culture. To join visit

Andre DiMino
Italian American ONE VOICE Coalition

Frank Lorenzo, IAOVC Vice President, at press conferences announces four-point plan in opposition to Randolph school board