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National Membership

You can be a “National Member” of UNICO, and support our goals…even if there is no UNICO National Chapter in your area!

What is UNICO National?

UNICO National is a nationwide service organization.  Its members are exclusively US citizens of Italian heritage or married to those of Italian heritage. Members must be of good character and reputation.  Local chapters across the country are united in a national chain.  They work on local and national projects, to uplift the prestige of the Italian American community.  UNICO is non-political and non-sectarian.

What does UNICO do?

UNICO grants scholarships, promotes Italian study chairs, observes Columbus Day with appropriate activities, supports programs aiding underprivileged and handicapped children, community and civic activities, mental health, cancer and Cooley’s anemia research.  It also promotes good fellowship among members.

Who can be a “National Member” of UNICO:

You can! If you are of Italian lineage or married to an Italian American, as long as you remain of good character and reputation. National Membership is available ONLY if you do not have a local Chapter near where you live.  

National Members must be approved. You will be notified in writing upon approval.

How does UNICO National function?

UNICO has duly elected officers who serve without compensation.  It is their responsibility to administer the affairs of UNICO National.  Officers are elected at the annual convention by the chapter delegates in attendance.  The officers are accountable to the     chapters which comprise UNICO National.  Each chapter is represented by its president and delegates.  All actions of the officers must conform to the UNICO National Constitution and By-laws.

What does “National Membership” mean to me?

It means you can support the national goals and projects of UNICO National without participating as a member of a local chapter; however, you are most certainly welcome to become a chapter member if you wish.  As a “National Member” you will receive the ComUNICO magazine, a National Membership certificate suitable for framing, invitations to National Conventions, a UNICO lapel pin, and the ability to share friendship and common goals with other outstanding Italian Americans.

What does it cost to join?

$65 per year

When was UNICO established?

UNICO was organized in Waterbury, Connecticut in 1922 when a group of Italian Americans led by Dr. Anthony P. Vastola began providing service to the community.  The idea then spread to several other cities in the East where additional chapters were chartered.  The first UNICO convention was held in New York City in 1930.  The National Italian Civic League, a similar organization, was established in Omaha, Nebraska in 1931 and spread to about 15 cities in the West.  Both groups continued their fine work during the ensuing years.  In 1946 efforts began to affect a merger, ultimately creating one national organization.  On July 4, 1947, at a convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, UNICO National was born.

Can I later decide to become an Active Chapter Member?

Yes.  At any time, you can convert your National Membership to active membership in a Chapter, taking part in all local meetings and activities.

Click here for a National Membership Application