The Commission for Social Justice ( CSJ ) is the anti-defamation arm of the Order Sons of Italy in America ( OSIA ), the biggest and oldest national organization for men and women of Italian descent in the United States.
- The CSJ was founded in 1979 to fight the stereotyping of Italian Americans by the entertainment, advertising and news industries. It also collaborates with other groups to ensure that people of all races, religions and cultures are treated with dignity and respect.
- The CSJ monitors the entertainment, advertising and news industries, contacts offending parties by letter and/or telephone and alerts other Italian American organizations, e-mail networks and concerned individuals to the problem so that they too can take action.
- Through its Positive Image Program, the CSJ regularly informs the media and general public about Italian American achievements, contributions, history and culture.
- As part of its Positive Image Program, the CSJ conducts research, produces studies, teaching tools, pamphlets, exhibits and other materials on the achievements and contributions of Italian Americans.
Sample inventory of CSJ Positive Image materials:
- The Medal of Honor exhibit: Italian American war heroes The Una Storia Segreta exhibit (courtesy American Italian Historical Association) on the WWII internment of Italian Americans "Columbus: Fact vs. Fiction," a 12-page booklet on Columbus's role in history The Sons of Italy Italian Festival Directory of more than 300 festivals in 23 states How-to kit: "Start Italian in Your School" "OSIA Italian Language Enrollment Report" on the status of Italian studies in the United States.
- Book marks, posters, pamphlets and brochures on Italian Americans in many fields
- The CSJ conducts campaigns at both the community and the national level that support cultural and social issues of importance to Italian Americans. (Legislation, commemorative stamps, Columbus Day/Heritage Month, etc.) To achieve its objectives, the CSJ engages in community and government relations as well as in grassroots campaigns and fund-raising efforts. However, given its non-profit status, the CSJ cannot offer legal advice or assistance in lawsuits.
The CSJ Mission Statement
- Campaign to Combat Defamation
- CSJ Works towards Federal Legislation
- CSJ Positive Image Program
- The Italian American’s Pursuit of Justice
- The CSJ Timeline