CCI Buffalo was formed as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization (currently undergoing retroactive reinstatement) whose mission is to promote value to our society by way of the Italian culture, heritage, and particularly its language. Founded in 2010 by Dr. Giacobbe and his late wife, Renata Scognamiglio Giacobbe, this dynamic couple envisioned a welcoming and inclusive environment with access for all.
Today, CCI Buffalo provides a space where Italians, Italian-Americans, and all other individuals with an interest in Italian heritage and/or education meet, interact, learn from one another and celebrate the richness of the Italian culture. CCI Buffalo has grown from humble beginnings to a strong organization of over 250 members, comprised of persons of all ages.
Notable cultural and educational accomplishments over the past year include: Vibrant educational programs; Cooking classes; Monthly ‘story hour’ for children; Italian language instruction at various levels; Classical Italian movies with English subtitles; Monthly lectures on Italian culture; Sponsored Concerts and an inspiring ten-day excursion to Italy attended by 40+ members of CCI Buffalo and the greater community. Additionally, CCI Buffalo is a resource for exchange students to and from Italy and for individuals who travel to Italy for business or pleasure. Buffalo’s Italian Renaissance… Be a part of it!
Recognizing that countless organizations and individuals are dependent on CCI Buffalo to provide programs and services that no one else can or will, the Board of Directors aggressively explored alternatives to CCI Buffalo’s co-location with the Hertel Business Association at 1510 Hertel Avenue. Their research and desire to stay in North Buffalo led them to the historic North Park Library as the new home of their comprehensive Cultural Center that will memorialize and celebrate the rich Italian heritage in our community. This will be exemplified by an “Wall of Gratitude” where family and friends will be welcome to submit a family photo, words of honor, tell their story, or show appreciation and gratitude for the Italian Americans who taught us how to celebrate family and live the way we do in this country.
Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion
The diverse fabric of our community is made by the nuances of our ethnic and cultural heritage. As a cultural heritage organization, we serve to preserve, promote, and celebrate that which makes us unique, but also the characteristics, qualities, and values that unite us as people. Here at the Italian Cultural Center, we are committed to embracing diversity, practicing equity, and ensuring accessibility, and inclusion for all members of our vibrant community.
In addition to preserving the language, culture, and traditions of our Italian heritage, we also wish to celebrate and instill the values of our immigrant ancestors. So many of us grew up with the memories and the legacy of the horrors of this world, but rather than inheriting a bitterness or resentment- we were taught compassion, empathy, resolve, and determination to never let anyone stand alone in their hour of need. Those values compel us to ensure that we as an organization value all voices and perspectives. It leads us to build a more inclusive and welcoming community where all people are appreciated for their unique perspectives and backgrounds.
Often, as new arrivals in this country faced discrimination, hardship, and adversity, it was other immigrants, who despite their own disadvantages, reached out a helping hand. That immigrant legacy guides our path as an organization to a future of unity, empathy, and kindness. Today we are striving to alleviate any obstacles that prevent all people, immaterial of their race or ethnicity, from participating, prospering, and reaching their full potential.