Commission on Social Justice

About the Commission for Social Justice®

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 media 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 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.

  • The CSJ conducts campaigns at both the community and the national levels 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.

CSJ Timeline



OSIA establishes its national Anti-Defamation Committee under Judge P. Vincent Landi, president of the Grand Lodge of New York.


The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania establishes a Commission on Anti-Defamation under its state president, Justice Frank J. Montemuro, Jr.


OSIA renames its national Anti-Defamation Committee "the Institute for Liberty and Justice." Justice Frank J. Montemuro, Jr. becomes its first chairman.


The Grand Lodge of New York's Institute for Liberty and Justice is renamed "the Commission for Social Justice®."


OSIA renames its national Institute for Liberty and Justice to "the Commission for Social Justice®" (CSJ). Justice Frank J. Montemuro, Jr. becomes first CSJ national president. CSJ receives tax-exempt status.


CSJ National co-sponsors national media conference with the National Italian American Foundation in New York City on Italian Americans and the Media.


The CSJ hosts reception in Washington, D.C., for Italian American members of Congress.


Under CSJ National President John Dabbene, the CSJ launches its Positive Image Campaign to research and publish information about Italian American history, achievements and contributions.


OSIA/CSJ co-found the Coalition Against Racial, Religious and Ethnic Stereotyping (CARRES), an alliance of more than 30 Italian American organizations, that marks the first time so many Italian American organizations united to fight stereotyping.


CSJ successfully works to remove from the air 3 offensive, derogatory national advertising campaigns by major U.S. companies.

The Commission for Social Justice® (CSJ)

OSIA and its anti-defamation branch, The Commission for Social Justice®, need your help to put an end to the persistent negative stereotyping of Italian Americans in advertising, entertainment and the media. We often call upon our members and supporters to participate in national campaigns, but you can also do something to make a difference in your state and community.

Below are some resources to help YOU help US put an end to defamation.

Be in the Know

Learn about just how pervasive stereotyping is in many facets of U.S. society—and examine cases of positive images...

OSIA Columns: "It's Only a Movie" and "Sempre Avanti"

CSJ 2010 President's Report
At the Movies: Positive Film Portrayals of Italian Americans, 1972-2003
Italian American Stereotypes in U.S. Advertising
Made in Hollywood: Italian Stereotypes in the Movies
Take Off the Apron: Like recent Pizza Hut ad, ethnic stereotypes should be pulled

Be Active: Fight Stereotyping & Promote Positive Images

And then do something about it...

Fact Sheet: How to Fight Workplace Discrimination
Fight Stereotypes from Your Computer
Talking Points: "The Godfather" and Stereotyping in Hollywood
Talking Points: Stereotyping on Television
What You Can Do

The CSJ also offers two how-to kits, "Fighting Stereotyping" and "Promoting Positive Images," to help you combat stereotyping in your community.

Each kit includes research and reports, fact-filled talking points, statistics and other useful information to use when protesting stereotyping to your local media or to set up exhibits in local schools and libraries.

Both kits are available from the CSJ for a suggested minimum donation of $15.00.

To obtain a kit:

  • Make your check payable to: Commission for Social Justice®, earmarked "Anti-Defamation"

  • Be sure to include a note specifying which kit you would like.

  • Mail your donation and kit request to:

    CSJ Kits
    219 E Street NE
    Washington, DC 20002