The Hungarian American Coalition is a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit organization founded in 1991. Its mission is to identify and promote the interests of the Hungarian-American community. Its goals are:
- to foster appreciation of Hungary’s history and culture;
- to encourage educational and cultural interaction between the people of the U.S. and Hungary;
- to protect and preserve the human and minority rights and cultural heritage of Hungarians throughout the world;
- and to support democratic institutions and economic development in Hungary.
Education and Culture
- Administered the White House Internship Program by Ameritech (presently funded by SBC Communications, Inc.) to Hungarian-American college students in the Summer Session.
- Co-sponsored with the Hungarian Embassy a historic seminar, “Hungary and the Fall of Communist Dominoes,” held at the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, DC. Prominent panelists included Hungarian Foreign Minister, Janos Martonyi, former Deputy Secretary of State, Lawrence Eagleburger, former US Ambassador, Mark Palmer, Hungarian Ambassador, Géza Jeszenszky, and others.
- Completed plans for a conference to be held in early 2001, jointly sponsored with the Center of Strategic and International Studies, entitled “Vojvodina: Final Piece of the Yugoslav Puzzle.”
- Continued to promote satellite broadcasting of DUNA TV to North America, urging the Hungarian Parliament to include funding for this project in its 2000-2002 budget.
- Reestablished the Coalition Scholarship Fund as the Dr. Elemér Kiss Scholarship Fund, endowed by contributions made in memory of long-time Coalition member, Dr. Elemér Kiss. Awarded three scholarships of $1,000 each to students pursuing studies in US colleges and universities.
- Supported projects that benefit cultural and educational institutions of Hungarian minorities in the neighboring countries:
- Raised funds to underwrite all the expenses of the Ninth Annual Teenage Song Festival and Talent Contest, held in Temerin, Vojvodina. The event featured 24 contestants and was attended by 1800 people, among them Coalition Treasurer, Zsolt Szekeres, who organized the support for this project.
- Gave operational support to Madach Posonium of Pozsony (Bratislava), for publication of a weekly newspaper, Szabad Újság, three magazines, 8-10 books each year, and the maintenance of seven Hungarian bookstores in Slovakia.
- Funded the travel expenses and participation of app. 20 law school students from Újvidék (Novi Sad), FRY, to study at the Eötvös Loránd University Summer Session in Budapest.
- Assisted the MBK-Reménység Ball Committee in identifying a Hungarian elementary school district in Kalotaszeg, Romania, to receive the proceeds of their event.
- Provided funding for the publication of a historic poster in both English and Hungarian on the traditional Transylvanian Csíksomlyói Búcsú (Pilgrimage to Csíksomlyó on Pünkösd).
- Approved and administered a $80,000 grant to aid reconstruction of the public administration building of an Eastern Hungarian town, Vámosújfalu, that was devastated by massive flooding of the Tisza River in the spring. The grant was made by an anonymous donor to the Coalition’s Tisza Flood Victims’ Fund, established by the Coalition earlier in the year.
- Maintained an Information Office in Washington, D.C. since 1991.
- Continued outreach to the executive and legislative branches of the US government. Provided information, participated in briefings, and held regular meetings with government officials in the White House and the State Department.
- Continued active participation and leadership position in the Central and Eastern European Coalition, addressing issues of common interest in the region.
- Maintained regular contact with U.S. Ambassadors Peter Tufo in Hungary and James Rosapepe in Romania.
- Maintained regular contact with leaders of Hungarian minorities in the countries surrounding Hungary, with special attention to being well-informed on events affecting the Hungarian community of Vojvodina, former Yugoslavia.
- Coalition participation was sought in the Bucharest Conference, entitled “The Romanian Model of Ethnic Relations: The Last Ten Years, The Next Ten Years,” where Prof. András Ludányi made a presentation calling attention to the aspirations of the historic Hungarian community in Romania.
- Participated in a meeting with former Romanian President, Ion Iliescu, where questions were posed focusing on his past record and future plans to fulfill the expectations of the two million strong historic Hungarian community of Romania.
- Coalition members were major participants in the Hungarian government-sponsored conferences held for Hungarian community leaders from all over the world. While the Hungary 2000 Conference addressed “Challenges for Hungarians at the Turn of the Century,” additional thematic conferences focused on religion, media and minority affairs.
- Established contact and provided information for presidential candidates on issues of importance to the Hungarian American community.
- Organized Political Action Conference and Workshop at American University, Washington, DC., to examine ways in which human and minority rights can be promoted in a presidential election year.
- Published five issues of News from Slovakia, a bi-monthly newsletter which provides information to Washington decision-makers and members of the press on news and events that affect the daily life of the Hungarian minority in Slovakia.
- Published four issues of the Hungarian American Coalition Newsletter Organized year-end Board and Annual Meetings of the organization in Washington, D.C., and organized the traditional December Mikulás Dinner, hosted by the Hungarian Embassy.
- Maintained an e-mail network connecting Coalition members, and a home page on the World Wide Web (http://www.hungary.com/hac).