27 Feb NOIAW Founder and Chair Emerita Dr. Aileen Riotto Sirey Received the NIAF Italian American Community Leadership Award in October 2016

The Italian American Community Leadership Award was given to The National Organization of Italian American Women (NOIAW) and its founder Dr. Aileen Riotto Sirey. Dr. Sirey, who launched NOIAW 36 years ago, explained that when the organization was established, Italian Americans were in “a generation that was straddled between two worlds, two languages, two cultures. They wanted their kids to be American.” She noted that part of the impetus behind the organization’s creation was a desire to bust stereotypes of Italian American women, which more often than not depicted them as fat and hunched over a pot of sauce. “We weren’t ashamed of that,” Sirey said on Saturday night, “but we knew we were more than that.”

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