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;
- To support democratic institutions and economic development in Hungary.
Education and Culture
- Implemented the “John N. Lauer Leadership Training Program” (LTP) funded by a grant from the Hungary Initiatives Foundation and the Pannonius Foundation. Due to the unprecedented consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020, the Coalition was able to sponsor the internship program of only one Hungarian university student, Károly Barabási, who was hosted by the International Tax and Investment Center’s (ITIC) Energy Growth and Security (EGS) Program, headed by Dr. Ariel Cohen.
- Participated on June 12, 2020, in the 13th annual Roll Call of Nations Wreath Laying Ceremony organized by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. Over 50 embassies, representatives of captive nations, and human rights organizations joined virtually in honor of the more than 100 million victims of Communist tyranny since 1917.
- Continued the administration of the Bognár Family Hungarian Scholarship Fund. With the help of Sunshine Lady Foundation and the Ambassadors of the Future, thirty-one students received stipends for the 2020-2021 academic year: four scholarship recipients are enrolled in universities in Hungary; five scholarship recipients are studying at colleges in the Subcarpathian region of Ukraine; twenty-one scholarships were awarded to Hungarian students admitted to universities in the Transylvania region of Romania and one scholarship recipient studies in the Vojvodina region of Serbia.
- Awarded 10 Hungarian university students the Dr. Elemér and Éva Kiss Scholarship Awards for the 2020-2021 academic year. The winners are: Lea Bagi, an undergraduate student pursuing the Bachelor of Fine Arts Program at Savannah College of Art and Design (Savannah, GA); Enikoe Bihari, enrolled at Duke University, Nicholas School of Environment (Durham, NC); Dezső Farkas, an MBA student at Babson College (Wellesley, MA); Zsombor Ferencz, pursuing undergraduate studies in Engineering at Purdue University (Lafayette, IN); Norbert Gogan, admitted to Washington State University (Pullmann, WA) studying English and Physics; Tamás Nagy, pursuing undergraduate studies in Sport Management and Marketing at Roberts Wesleyan College (Chili, NY); Dániel Necz, admitted to Harvard Law School’s LL.M. Program (Cambridge, MA); Dániel Rácz, attending a Master of Laws Program at Northwestern University (Evanston, IL); Alexandra Szabó, a PhD student in History at Brandeis Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (Waltham, MA); and Anikó Viktória Varga, pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology at Bowling Green State University (Bowling Green, OH).
- Publicized and distributed six 2020 issues of the Hungarian Review the English-language affiliate of the bi-monthly journal, Magyar Szemle, edited by Gyula Kodolányi and John O’Sullivan. These important editions provide a comprehensive overview in English of the current political and cultural situation in Hungary.
Information and advocacy
- Operated an Office of Information in Washington, D.C. since 1991.
- Published an English-language video statement with Hungarian subtitles on the 100th anniversary of the Treaty of Trianon on June 4, 2020.
- Awarded the “Hungarian American Coalition Award” presented to three students of the Bolyai Farkas High School in Marosvásárhely. Totaling $2,000, the awards were presented for the second time. The recipients were: graduating seniors Etele Jakab and Gáspár Incze, and sophomore Botond Szilágyi who were recognized for their outstanding academic achievement and community service. The awards were made possible by a donation to the Coalition from the Cultural Foundation for Transylvania (CFT).
- Maintained contact with US Embassy officials in Hungary. On October 27, 2020, Coalition Treasurer Zsolt Szekeres attended the statue unveiling ceremony of George H. W. Bush, 41st President of the United States at Liberty Square in Budapest dedicated by the Government of Hungary on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the fall of communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe. At the ceremony, he met with US Ambassador to Hungary David Cornstein and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
- Coalition President Andrea Lauer Rice gave an interview on HírTV Hungarian television news channel on the ongoing US election on November 4, 2020.
- Maintained contact with Hungarian government officials – Ambassador Ferenc Kumin, Deputy State Secretary, Development of European and American Relations; Ambassador Eszter Sándorfi, Director of the North American Department at the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade; János Árpád Potápi, Secretary of State for National Policy; Péter Szilágyi, Ministerial Commissioner responsible for Hungarian communities abroad; Judit Pirityiné Szabó, Head of Department at the State Secretariat of National Policy and Judit Pappné Popovics, Head of Department at the State Secretariat of National Policy.
- Disseminated Noticed in the Press, a selection of newspaper articles from American and Hungarian newspapers on topics of interest to Coalition members and supporters.
- Continued to update the Coalition’s home page (www.hacusa.org).
- Coalition President Emeritus, Max Teleki met with officials at the State Department, the National Security Council and Congressional offices, as well as with former Hungarian Ambassador, László Szabó.
Hungarian American Community Affairs
- Coalition President Andrea Lauer Rice and Coalition Chairman Csilla Grauzer attended the Hungarian (Magyar) Club of Chicago’s annual Gala Ball on January 25, 2020. Hosted by HAC Board Member Andrea Stetz, at this event, Dr. Erika Bokor and Mr. József Megyeri, Coalition Board Members, were honored, respectively, with a Silver Cross of Merit and Golden Cross of Merit (Magyar Ezüst Érdemkereszt; Magyar Arany Érdemkereszt) for a life-long commitment to sharing Hungarian culture.
- Coalition President Andrea Lauer Rice attended the Hungarian Community Church of Georgia’s annual Farsang Ball on February 8, 2020. Peter Szilagyi Ministerial Commissioner responsible for Hungarian communities abroad and Zita Mirk, Diaspora Liaison Officer from the Embassy of Hungary in Washington DC were also in attendance.
- Established the ‘Coalition Kávéház’: a zoom series on community inspired topics. On May 21, 2020, at the inaugural Coalition Kávéház, interested parties could hear about the following topics: TeleHealth – The Future of Medicine after COVID-19 by Dr. Ágnes Virga, Coalition Vice President as well as a discussion on the statement from the CEEC (Central and East European Coalition) and the controversial statement from Romanian President Iohannis on the Hungarian minority. At the second Coalition Kávéház on June 11, three topics were discussed: ‘Cybersecurity: The Other Virus’ presented by Anne C. Bader, Founder of International Cybersecurity Dialogue and Coalition Board member; ‘My US Internship During Unprecedented Times’ by Károly Barabási, John N. Lauer Leadership Training Program intern and a summary on US Commemorative Projects for the 100th Anniversary of the Treaty of Trianon was also presented by Coalition President Andrea Lauer Rice. The third session, on July 23, Coalition member Elizabeth Vos, Magyar Marketing gave a presentation entitled ‘Using Social Media to Build Community: The Example of Magyar Marketing’. Finally, on October 22, a conversation was held with 1956-ers: Edith K. Lauer, Coalition founding member and Chair Emerita, and Gyula Várallyay, former President of MEFESZ in Emigration (WW Assoc of Free Hungarian University Students) which was entitled ‘1956 – Legacy and Impact of the Hungarian Revolution’.
- Co-sponsored the documentary film entitled “Mégis” [And Yet] about Hungarian Human Rights Foundation (HHRF) and László Hámos directed by acclaimed director János Domokos. The film documents the heartfelt goodbyes of the Hungarian communities in New York and Budapest from László. HHRF’s first actions are evoked by witnesses, archive pictures and video recordings.
- In her capacity as US President of the Hungarian Diaspora Council, Andrea Lauer Rice hosted monthly community update calls in both English and Hungarian with 50+ community leaders. She gave welcoming remarks at the first virtual American Hungarian Schools Association (AMIT) conference and attended virtual events of member organizations, including: Hungarian (Magyar) Club of Chicago cooking club, Minnesota Hungarians 1956 Commemoration, Hungarian American Cultural Association (HACA) Monthly Happy Hour, Virtual Theatre sessions organized by member organizations HungarianHub and the Hungarian House of New York, the 3-part series on Trianon organized by the Cleveland Hungarian Heritage Society, among others.
- On August 7, Coalition President Andrea Lauer Rice gave a presentation on the current state of the Hungarian American Community at Day 5 of the virtual ITT-OTT meeting organized by the Hungarian Communion of Friends (MBK).
- Andrea Lauer Rice gave an interview to Krisztina Vörös which appeared online in Hajónapló, including details about the Hungarian American Coalition projects and accomplishments. She also appeared on three Magyar Living Podcast segments during the month of October, talking about the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and several Coalition-supported projects – www.FreedomFighter56.com oral history website and Memory Project: Visual History Archive of Hungarian Emigration.
- Attended the virtual 10th Annual Diaspora Council meeting on November 26, 2020. The Coalition was represented by Coalition President Andrea Lauer Rice, President of the Diaspora Council’s U.S. division, who delivered a 5-minute video speech on the past year in the Hungarian American community. Several other Coalition members were present: Zsolt Szekeres, Hungarian Human Rights Foundation, Eva Beluska, Metroplex Hungarian Cultural Circle, Endre Szentkirályi, United Hungarian Societies in Cleveland, Hajnal Minger, Hungarian Communion of Friends, Ildikó Nagy, Hungarian House of New York, Csilla Grazuer, Minnesota Hungarians, Lívia Rácz, Hungarian Society of Massachusetts, and Stefan Fedor, American Hungarian Heritage House. Earlier the same day, Lauer Rice and the other regional presidents were invited to attend the Hungarian Standing Conference (MÁÉRT), to meet online with Hungarians from all over the world and representatives of Hungarian political parties
- On December 4, 2020, hosted the first-ever Virtual Mikulás Gala with the theme “Preserving our Past, Focusing on the Future!”, under the Honorary Chairmanship of H.E. János Áder, President of Hungary. This year’s honoree was Dr. Katalin Kádár Lynn, historian, founder of Helena History Press. Gala co-Chairs were: Ms. Csilla Grauzer, Mrs. Edith K. Lauer and Governor George Pataki. This year’s program also included a mini concert from the renowned Hungarian folk music group, Kaláka and a special online auction.
- Organized the Coalition’s Annual and Board Meetings virtually on December 5, 2020.