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  • Writer's pictureJCCIA

Columbus Day Coalition Statement on Columbus Statues

Dear Columbus Day Coalition and JCCIA members,

There is no denying this is one of the most trying times of our modern day celebration

of our heritage. The Chicago Board of Education is trying to usurp Columbus Day, and

our Columbus monuments across the country are a focal point of angst. While Italian

Americans across the country are launching fiery responses, responses from our sister

communities must be tailored for each respective community.

Our passion and fiery emotions in the Chicagoland community are warranted.

However, we must remember, this is a marathon and not a sprint. Our community is

unique. What works in New York or California does not necessarily work in Chicago.

The JCCIA Columbus Day Coalition and our members have cultivated broad support

of Christopher Columbus from numerous state representatives, a diverse representation of Chicago’s City Council, support from the Mayor’s office, and other local mayors and community leaders. We need to continue to build on the strength of this coalition as we navigate through these treacherous political waters.

Now, more than ever, we must remember one thing: We are stronger together than

divided apart.

Diplomacy and support with our state and local government leaders is our strength.

As Italian Americans, we are ever mindful of those of us who have endured horrific

discrimination and continue to be the subject of stereotypical degradation in popular

culture. Christopher Columbus is a symbol of our resilience as a people; a cultural that

has shaped landscape of this great nation.

Our position is clear: Tearing down public property that are public works of art will not

solve our country’s problems. Our most challenging problems requires all of us to work

together. We are committed to this and have articulated our position to elected officials,

law enforcement, and park officials and they are positively responding to this message.

The JCCIA public affairs and crisis communication team are in constant contact with

elected officials and staff. We are monitoring social media outlets. JCCIA is following

an aggressive path to securing not only our statues, our day, but also upholding our


We will share pertinent details as they progress.

As always, please share your thoughts.


Sergio Giangrande


Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans

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