Black University Lecturer Elected to the Italian Parliament

In 1979 Jean Leonard Touadi left his native Congo for Italy to go to college. He earned a degree in philosophy from the Vatican Gregorian University and a second degree in journalism and political science from Liberà Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali in Rome.

When civil war engulfed his native country, Touadi remained in Italy and became the host of a morning television program. He wrote several books on the immigrant experience in Italy. He served for five years as a deputy mayor of Rome with responsibility for security and public safety.

He is now a lecturer in political science at Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata and teaches a course on the culture of French-speaking countries at the University of Milan.

Last month, the 49-year-old Touadi was elected to the Italian parliament as a member of the Values Party, which is a component of a center-left coalition, which is now in opposition to conservative Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.