The Mentoris Project was founded by Robert J. Barbera in 2017.

The son of Italian immigrants, Robert was raised in Queens, New York, at a time when members of his community were maligned and discriminated against because of their skin color and heritage. Understanding the animosity was rooted in ignorance, Robert has spent a lifetime supporting academic institutions and educational initiatives to fight bias and prejudice. 

Seeking to reach readers averse to dry, date-heavy biographies and history tomes, Robert wanted to publish accessible books that capture the day-to-day lives of great men and women who changed the world for the better. Most of our books are novels, but maintain the spirit of historical accuracy and include conversation and possible or probable events to fill historical gaps. Some of our figures are well-recognized; others more obscure. But all overcame obstacles great and small, whether as immigrants or for daring to question the status quo.

Based in Los Angeles, Robert met screenwriter and academic Ken LaZebnik at Pepperdine University and enlisted his help in launching the Mentoris Project. Karen Richardson joined the team and took the reins as managing director when Ken’s talents were demanded elsewhere. Author, screenwriter, and professor Dr. Rosanne Welch hosts our podcast where she dives deeper into our subjects and each writer’s creative process in a series of author interviews.

Through our intimate accounts of our subjects’ insecurities, family dramas, disappointments, and successes, we can all find inspiration in those who came before us.

The Mentoris Project is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and is sponsored, in part, by the Barbera Foundation. To see how you can support our mission, please visit our donation page.