SETON HALL (NEW JERSEY), FEBRUARY 23 – The Seton Hall University community will welcome the former Mayor of Rome, Walter Veltroni, on March 14 for a discussion on Italy’s cultural role in the international debate on migration. Dr. Gabriella Romani and Dean Andrea Bartoli will host the event, sponsored by the Alberto Italian Studies Institute and the School of Diplomacy and International Relations.
Veltroni is an accomplished writer, journalist, politician and film director. He was elected to the Italian Chamber of Deputies in 1987 and served as Italy’s Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities from 1996 to 1998. He also served as the Mayor of Rome, Italy, from June 2001 to February 2008. In 2007 he became the head of the newly formed Democratic Party.
“I have known Walter personally for years,” says Dean Bartoli, who is also the “ambassador” of the Italian NGO Community of St. Egidio in the United States. “He has always been supportive of work for the poor, solidarity, civic life and human rights. I am happy to engage in this conversation. The University has been exploring ways to be more present in Rome, and this could be a way.”
Veltroni comes from a long line of human rights supporters, as he is the grandson of Ciril Kotnik, a Slovenian diplomat at the Holy See who helped numerous Jews and antifascists escape Nazi persecution after 1943. “It is a real honor for us to have Walter Veltroni here at Seton Hall during his brief visit on the east coast,” says Dr. Romani, director of the Alberto Italian Studies Institute. “He is a highly respected figure in Italy, and we are thrilled to have a chance to hear him speak about his cultural initiatives and thoughts on some of the most pressing social issues, such as poverty and migration, of our modern times.” (@OnuItalia)