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The Other: A Precious Asset
On April 5th, ILICA’s President Vincenzo Marra participated to a seminar held at Rome’s Link Campus University, the University of Malta, entitled “The Other: A Precious Asset”, a study of the effects of diversity and heterogeneity on our perception of immigration.
Among the speakers were Prof. Anthony Tamburri, ILICA Board member and Dean of the John D. Calandra Institute CUNY in New York, who is also presently teaching a 5 week course in American Italian Studies at the University of Perugia for Foreigners. Panel members also included Prof. Anna Camaiti Hostert, Italo-American philosopher, and Prof. Anna Maria Cossiga, Anthropoligist and docent at the Link Campus University.
In their discussion diversity is presented as a patrimony meant to enrich the lives of all of us. Though a brief history of the 150 year Italian immigration to the USA, we discover the many similarities with the treatment the first immigrants received and their subsequent treatment of immigrants to Italy today. As Italians we were perceived as undesirables, ignorant and violent. Today’s new wave of immigration, mostly from North Africa and Eastern Europe, are welcomed to the shores of Italy with the same suspect and fear. The hope is that in understanding our differences and our misconceptions we may overcome the stereotypes in order to create a more inclusive and democratic Italy.