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 protect and preserve the human and minority rights and cultural heritage of Hungarians throughout the world;
- To encourage educational and cultural interaction between the people of the U.S. and Hungary;
- And to support democratic institutions and economic development in Hungary.
Education and Culture
- Co-sponsored with the Department of State and the US Embassy in Budapest a three-week-long Public Policy Seminar and Training (PPST) that brought eight Hungarian Mayors to Cleveland, Ohio, and Washington, DC in July. This program built on last year’s very successful Seminar, held exclusively in Washington, DC for 22 Hungarian Parliamentarians. The 2004 PPST added the Cleveland component, when participants became acquainted with a Midwestern city, met its civic and business leaders, visited its Hungarian American community institutions, and enjoyed the enthusiastic hospitality and active participation of Coalition members and supporters who provided home stays and social events for the 11-day-long Cleveland program.
- Continued cooperation with Dr. Charles Simonyi, whose Charles Simonyi Research Scholarship Award was presented to three outstanding Hungarian researchers on June 1, 2004 at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest. First established in 2000, this annual award in the amount of 2.5 million HUF was assured with the cooperation of the Hungarian American Coalition in 2002 to serve the goal of encouraging outstanding scientific research by Hungarians.
- Provided administrative assistance and sought support from the newly established U.S. charitable entity, the Charles Simonyi Fund for Arts and Sciences.
- Represented the Coalition at the September opening of the Hungarian Selye Janos University in Komarno, (Komarom), Slovakia.
- Supported projects that benefit cultural and educational institutions of Hungarian minorities in the neighboring countries:
- Gave significant operational support to Madách Posonium Publisher of Pozsony (Bratislava), for publication of its weekly newspaper, Szabad Újság, four magazines, as well as for the maintenance of eight Hungarian bookstores in Slovakia.
- Underwrote the fourth annual presentation of the „Posonium Literary Awards” for outstanding achievements in Hungarian literature to seven Hungarian writers in Slovakia.
- Operated an Office of Information in Washington, D.C. since 1991.
- Provided up-to-date information on issues of interest to Coalition members to officials of the National Security Council, the State Department, and some members of Congress.
- Coalition leaders visited scenes of anti-Hungarian incidents and consulted with Hungarian community leaders about the background of the conflicts in the region. Communicated the deep concern of our community to Secretary of State Colin Powell and others regarding the aforementioned incidents.
- Issued special Newsletter focusing on the Coalition’s support of autonomy in Romania, as an internationally recognized and, in many nations, a successfully implemented solution that leads to the peaceful coexistence of national minorities with governing majorities. Continued to monitor the extremely slow progress of Hungarian church property restitution in Romania.
- Maintained contact with US Embassy officials in Hungary; establishing a close working relationship with U.S. Ambassador George Herbert Walker, newly appointed DCM, Philip Reeker, and others.
- Gathered and disseminated information on the granting of US visas to Hungarians, as well as on the topic of voting rights of Hungarian Americans in Hungarian elections.
- Continued contact with U.S. Ambassador Michael Guest to Romania, and initiated contact with new Ambassador, J.D. Crouch, and others; facilitated meetings for officials with ethnic Hungarian leaders, and assisted in solving several cases of visa refusals.
- Maintained contact with leaders of Hungarian minorities in Romania, Slovakia and Vojvodina, in order to gain insight and obtain timely information on events affecting the Hungarian minority communities of the region.
- Continued to urge various officials of the Hungarian government to provide the necessary resources for the long-sought sociological survey of the Hungarian American Community, especially its existing organizations.
- Provided planning assistance to organization members, including The Friends of Hungarian Higher Education Foundation, Manhattan Hungarians, and the Széchenyi István Hungarian School and Kindergarten of New Brunswick.
- Continued to widen the Coalition’s base by welcoming as new members the 118-year-old fraternal insurance group, the William Penn Association, and the organization of young New York and area professionals, the Manhattan Hungarian Network.
- By year-end, the Coalition will have published four issues of the Hungarian American Coalition Newsletter, each with a different policy focus.
- Disseminated “Noticed in the Press,” a selection of newspaper articles from American and Hungarian newspapers on topics of interest to Coalition members and supporters.
- Will organize the traditional Coalition activities on December 3-4, 2004, in Washington, D.C., including a State Department Briefing, the annual Mikulás Dinner, and the Board and Annual Meetings.
- Continue to update the Coalition’s home page. (www.hacusa.org)