All kudos to the library staff at Chapman University for posting this lovely article about the presentations my colleague and fellow writer Peg and I made on our individual books for the Mentoris Project. Publisher Robert Barbera sponsored the event – and donated the set of books to the university library – and we enjoyed speaking to the Italian Studies students who gathered that evening about Filippo Mazzei and Louis Palma de Cesnola. — Rosanne
When Robert J. Barbera founded The Mentoris Project as a part of The Barbera Foundation, his goal was to add to the canon of names most U.S. students learn over and over again from fifth grade through high school. He remembered hearing the names of people like George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln repeated from year to year, but realized that two very important populations were missing from the standard U.S. history books and narratives: Italians and Italian-Americans. With that in mind, he started The Mentoris Project, which publishes biographies and novels based on the lives of prominent Italians and Italian-Americans, specifically those who can be considered as mentors. In the words of The Mentoris Project, these books are intended “to inspire the reader in a very tangible way: To finish the book saying, ‘I can do something great, too.’” The books published by The Mentoris Project are written by a variety of scholars and authors, and cover subjects from Christopher Columbus to Enrico Fermi.
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