Creator and Co-Founder, “Be the Difference – Never Again”
Elizabeth Bettina Nicolosi, author of It Happened in Italy: The Untold Stories of How Italian the People of Italy Defied the Horrors of the Holocaust and producer of the documentary My Italian Secret: The Forgotten Heroes is the creator and co-founder of “Be the Difference-Never Again” an international program focusing on learning about individuals who helped others, inspiring people to take action in their lives to make a difference.
Ms. Bettina Nicolosi works with a variety of organizations to implement this philosophy, including corporations, philanthropic groups, and schools. Her forte is making the impossible – possible by creating impactful experiences and events. Ms. Bettina Nicolosi, a native New Yorker, is passionate about social justice and bettering her city.
Ms. Bettina Nicolosi has been invited to lecture around the world at various colleges, universities, and organizations, including the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights and the United States Consulate General in Florence about her book, documentary, and the “Be the Difference–Never Again” program. She has successfully established for more than a decade the “Be the Difference-Never Again” project at Duquesne University in Rome and Harding University in Florence, where study abroad students learn about the injustices of World War II, the importance of the U.S. military, concepts of sacrifice, as well as exploring peaceful pathways to a world without war by learning individual soldier stories. The students pay homage to the over 16,000 U.S. soldiers buried at the two U.S. war cemeteries in Italy.
Recently, Ms. Bettina Nicolosi directed and executed awareness campaigns and action programs for the New York City Department of Veteran’s Services, which included twenty World War II veterans honored at the New York Stock Exchange by General Mark Milley and through a “takeover” of major Time Square billboards including: Nasdaq, One Times Square, ABC, Disney, Morgan Stanley, etc. She arranged for 101 year old veteran, Dominick Critelli, to ring the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange, Stephen Colbert to feature the veterans on his Late Show, as well as having these heroes honored by New York City Mayor Adams at a NY Giants game at MetLife Stadium.
A new tradition of honoring fallen New York City first responders was initiated by Ms. Bettina Nicolosi. She worked with important city and corporate stakeholders to display the photos of the fallen on the One Times Square billboard on the days of their funerals, a first for New York City. Additionally, Ms. Bettina Nicolosi developed awareness and fundraising projects for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, PBS Stories of Service, and the FDNY Foundation.
Ms. Bettina Nicolosi created marketing and public relation opportunities for her impactful book, It Happened in Italy: Untold Stories of How the People of Italy Defied the Horrors of the Holocaust (HarperCollins), a work that brings to light the little known history of how many Jews were saved in Italy during the Holocaust. The book inspired the making of a documentary, My Italian Secret: The Forgotten Heroes (Netflix, Amazon Prime). She was instrumental in raising over $1.5 million for producing the documentary.
Ms. Bettina Nicolosi is fierce advocate for Holocaust education and Jewish/Catholic relations with a focus on people being upstanders rather than bystanders. She has organized multiple private audiences with Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis for Holocaust survivors, rescuers, and “good Samaritans”.
Ms. Bettina Nicolosi, a graduate of Smith College, has decades of experience studying and working in Italy and France. She is a fluent speaker of both English and Italian.