Remembering Dr. Vincenzo Milione, Hero for all Italian Americans

Nov 11, 2023 1426

BY: Dr. Joseph V. Scelsa

Dr. Vincenzo Milione was an amazing person. He was a vibrant, compassionate, and passionate human being and an exemplary Italian American. He was a loyal employee of the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute of The City University of New York for many years, constantly advocating for Italian students and faculty members.

He was the premier statistician of Italian American employment demographics in the country, as well as a champion for affirmative action and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for all people, but especially Italian Americans. Dr. Milione was a courageous champion, challenging systemic ethnic discrimination wherever he saw it, even in court.

It was his employment statistics in our Federal Civil Rights Case, Scelsa v CUNY No.92 Civ. 6690 (CBM), in 1992 which convinced Judge Constance Baker Motley, of the system wide discrimination of Italian Americans at The City University of New York (CUNY) which led her to enjoining CUNY in her Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law and barring CUNY from discriminating against Italian Americans in hiring, promotion and retention throughout the entire CUNY system. He was one of my best friends and a mentor to many up-and-coming Italian American academics and civil rights advocates, most recently Dr. Christopher Binetti.

He was a tireless advocate for all oppressed by the exclusive academic world, Italian or not, but he never stopped fighting for Italians, until he was taken from us too soon. A heroic figure, he was the voice of reason among Italian American academics and civil rights activists. The letter recently sent by the Italian American community to the United States Office of Management and Budget this year, is one of the greatest Italian American civil rights achievements in the last decade and would not have been as effective without his advice and counsel.

Italian Americans admired and respected him. Even those who disagreed with him knew him to be a man of principle and conviction. He was the lynchpin of so much of Italian American civil rights activism, he will be greatly missed not just by me and those he mentored, but by all who support Italian American civil rights in this country.

SOURCE: Italian American Museum

You may be interested