The Hungarian American Coalition co-sponsored the Eighth Annual Human Rights Workshop, together with the Hungarian Communion of Friends, the American Hungarian Federation, the Hungarian Human Rights Foundation, and the Honors Program of Eastern Michigan University. The three-day Workshop was held on June 5-7, 1997 at Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan. The Coalition held its Board Meeting the following day, on June 8.
Over thirty participants from various states discussed and debated how best to advocate the human rights, including the rights of Hungarian minorities. The workshop’s special guests were Mr. Viktor Bauer, Vice President of the Coexistence Movement in Slovakia and former President of CSEMADOK, and Mr. Bhuchung Tsering, Communications Director of the International Campaign for Tibet. The workshop began with the keynote address of Mr. Viktor Bauer on the denial of Hungarian language and cultural rights of the Hungarian minority in Slovakia. Mr. Bhuchung Tsering then discussed the conditions in the Tibetan region dominated by China.
The next day the participants were introduced to issues relating to Hungary’s bilateral treaties with neighboring states and the United States’ position on Central European security. Special attention was given to the subjects of NATO enlargement and European integration and how these may affect the minority rights. Other topics of discussion included the American political process, the treatment of ethnic communities in the American media, and what we, as American human rights activists, can do to inform policymakers as well as the general public of human rights abuses.
The last day featured a visit to Toledo’s historic Hungarian-American community in the Birmingham area. During this visit the workshop participants had an opportunity to meet and take part in a Congressional briefing with Representative Marcy Kaptur on legislative perspectives to protect the human rights of minorities.
The Coalition’s regular Board Meeting was held on June 8, 1997 in Ypsilanti, Michigan. With the participation of 18 members, the Board accepted reports from the Coalition’s Executive, Information and Membership committees, reviewed ongoing projects, and admitted a record number of 26 new members since its last meeting in December, 1996.
The next Board and Annual meetings will be held on Saturday, December 6, 1997, preceded by the traditional Mikulás dinner on Friday evening.