Harry and Berniece Gockel Symposium continues legacy of intercultural education

The Gockel Symposium is the legacy of Harry and Berniece Gockel. They created the symposium to showcase international issues.

The first portion of the Symposium, “Roads Less Traveled: Italian immigrants in America,“ begins at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013, at Taylor Performing Arts Center.

Between 1880 and 1914, nearly four million Italians came to America seeking their future. While many settled in large cities, some sought a different type of living. “Roads Less Traveled” examines the result.

Guest speaker Dr. Vincenza Scarpaci will explore the experiences of her own immigrant family as she helps second and third-generation Italian Americans to appreciate more fully the history of immigrant experiences.

Scarpaci majored in history at Hofstra University and attended graduate school at Rutgers University, where she studied immigration history. She also earned a Ph.D. at Rutgers.

Through her studies she learned how her family and other immigrants fit into the larger pattern of immigration and gained an appreciation of how each ethnic group met the challenges of becoming American according to their transported culture and values.

The second part of the symposium will begin at 1 p.m. at the Anderson Public Safety Center Auditorium. It will take two periods and will include the presentation of Peter Miller’s documentary Sacco and Vanzetti.

Scarpaci will discuss the story of the two Italian immigrants, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, who were charged and convicted of criminal acts. They were executed in 1927.