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11633 Joseph Campau
Hamtramck, MI 48212
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Application for passports must be made in person, which normally requires travelling to Chicago. However, the Consuls’ visit to Hamtramck eliminates the need for applicants to travel there. The date of the next consular visit will be March 17th and 18th, 2018. The Piast Institute cannot schedule appointments; applicants must call a consular officer mid February at this phone number: (312) 337-8166 or email at: chicago.passport-visa@msz.gov.pl

W trakcie dyżuru (17ego i 18ego Marca 2018 r.) przyjmowane będą wnioski o wydanie lub odnawianie paszportu polskiego. Proszę zadzwonić do konsulatu w połowę lutego aby umówić się na wizytę pod ten numer (312) 337-8166 . Więcej informacji znajdziecie na stronie Konsulatu. Aby uzyskać więcej informacji w języku polskim proszę nacisnąć ten link.

The University of Michigan – Dearborn announced that Dylan Siwicki was named Intern of the Year for fall of 2017. Mr. Siwicki, a senior at the University majoring in history and minoring in journalism, was an intern at the Piast Institute during the fall term of 2017. Radzilowski and Siwicki with Mentorship Award 2018

He was involved in a number of research projects, including the Hamtramck community survey and several additional projects gathering demographic data for a number of Detroit community organizations. His work was evaluated by both the university and through the reports of his mentor, Dr. Thaddeus Radzilowski.

In addition, Dr. Radzilowski also received an award for his work in guiding the internship. He received an award as Mentor of the Year for 2017 This is the second time the Piast Institute has been recognized as the mentoring organization of the year by the University of Michigan-Dearborn. The previous award was bestowed on the Institute in 2010 for an internship Dr. Radzilowski supervised for Mr. Dominik Stecula in 2010 who is currently a Doctoral Candidate in Political Science/ Political Communication at the University of British Columbia.

The Piast Institute inducted the second set of selectees into the Polish Women’s Hall of Fame on September 1, 2017. Women were selected in all six categories featured in the Hall of Fame. This cycle’s selectees are:

Science and Education: Stephanie Louise Kwolek (1923-2014), inventor of Kevlar. After finishing a Bachelor of Science at the Margaret Morrison Carnegie College of Carnegie Mellon University in 1946, Kwolek accepted a position at DuPont where she became involved in polymer research. She is the only woman to have been awarded DuPont’s Lavoisier Medal for her achievements. She has also been recognized by the National Inventors Hall of Fame, the American Institute of Chemists, the American Chemical Society, the National Women’s Hall of Fame, and the Royal Society of Chemistry in the UK.

Arts and Humanities: Magdalena Abakanowicz (1930-2017), artist. While Abakanowicz began her career as a painter in Poland in the 1950s, she is best known as a sculptor. Her most famous works are headless human forms made from sacking stiffened with glue and resin, which are fitted over steel frames. Her work has been displayed all over the world, and her most famous installation in the United States is Agora, a set of 106 iron figures on display in Grant Park in Chicago.

Religion: Bl. Mary Angela Truszkowska (1825-1898), founder of the Felician Sisters. Interested since childhood in serving people in need, Truszkowska became a member of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul as a young woman, where she worked among the poor and aided with the religious education of abandoned children. In 1855 she dedicated herself and founded the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Felix of Cantalice—the Felician Sisters. The order grew, both under her direction and after her retirement, sending its first five Sisters to America in 1874. She was beatified in 1993.

Public Life and Service: Antonina Żabińska (1908-1971), subject of The Zookeeper’s Wife, who helped shelter many Jews in the Warsaw Zoo during the Nazi occupation of Poland by offering food and temporary quarters. Żabińska continued her humanitarian work by aiding survivors who remained in Warsaw’s ruins after the Warsaw Uprising, despite the deportation of her husband as a prisoner of war. She was also the author of several children’s books written from the perspective of animals. She, along with her husband, has been recognized as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem.

Sports: Jenny Romatowski (1927-2014). Romatowski played on several teams of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. In addition to her four years—and 1954 championship—with the Kalamazoo Lassies, she also played with the South Bend Blue Sox, the Rockford Peaches, the Chicago Colleens, the Racine Belles, and the Peoria Redwings. She was a member of the All-Star Teams of 1952 and 1953. She was also a member of the U.S. national team of the 1959 World Field Hockey Tournament, and vice president of the U.S. Field Hockey Association. She has been honored by the National Polish American Sports Hall of Fame, the Eastern Michigan University Hall of Fame, and the Michigan Amateur Sports Hall of Fame.

Philanthropy: Valeria Lipczynska (1846-1930), a cornerstone of the Polish community in Grand Rapids, Michigan in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Lipczynska and her husband arrived in Grand Rapids in 1869, and helped at least forty other Polish families settle in the area. She was instrumental in the organization and establishment of a variety of Polish American organizations in the Grand Rapids area, helped recent immigrants establish themselves and find employment, supported the arts, and served as a correspondent for Polish newspapers in the Midwest. She was the first woman to serve on the board of directors of the Polish National Alliance. She received the Polish Golden Service Cross for her work with recent immigrants in 1927.

The first selectees were inducted in March 2017, when the project was officially launched. The Polish Women’s Hall of Fame is a virtual exhibit hosted at www.FamousPolishWomen.com. The project seeks to raise awareness of women’s contributions to the culture and history of Poland and the world by offering biographical profiles of notable women and historical information, as well as to honor the impact that less famous women have had on countless individual lives through the A Woman to Remember page.

The Polish Women’s Hall of Fame has two selection cycles each year, with new selectees announced in March and September. Nominations are accepted from the public through January 1 for the March selection cycle and through July 1 for the September selection cycle. Members of the public are encouraged to submit nominations using the forms available, in English and in Polish, on the project website. Completed forms may be submitted online, by email, or by mail.

The A Woman to Remember page accepts nominations on a rolling basis, and is intended to honor the contributions of women—mothers, sisters, friends, teachers, and so many more—to the life of the nominator. These stories are not subject to review by the Selection Committee, and are not formally inducted into the Hall of Fame—instead, stories are posted when they are received and are intended to reflect a range of personal accomplishments and experiences.

For more information on the project, please visit the website or contact the Piast Institute at: info@piastinstitute.org

Most people think of Thaddeus Kosciuszko as a Polish revolutionary who made a major contribution to the American victory during the War of Independence. He was that indeed. But his legacy to his beloved adopted country is much wider and deeper. Kosciuszko was a pioneer of the struggle against slavery, servitude, and inequality in America and Europe. His dear friend, Thomas Jefferson, said of him: “He is the purest son of liberty I have ever known, and not just for the wealthy and high-born.”

It is fitting to remember his legacy in 2017, which marks the 200th anniversary of his death, and to commemorate it during February—his birth month (February 4), as well as Black History Month. Himself a victim of social discrimination and class inequality, and an outspoken opponent of serfdom in his native land, Kosciuszko was appalled by the vicious slavery he found in the American colonies for whose freedom he fought and bled for seven long years. His convictions were exemplified by his life and actions. His aide for much of the war was a free black man, Agrippa Hull, who became one of his closest friends. After the war, he invited Hull to return with him to Poland. Hull decided to remain in the United States. When Kosciuszko returned more than a dozen years later to America, crippled by wounds and years in Catherine the Great’s prisons, he made an arduous journey of hundreds of miles to visit his friend in Massachusetts.

The friendship of the two men was forged over five years of shared hardship and danger and a common opposition to slavery and racism. Kosciuszko, himself a victim of painful social discrimination, an opponent of serfdom and an avid student of the ideas of the Enlightenment, and Agrippa Hull, a free Black who daily fought assaults on his dignity and rightful claims to equality in his native New England together learned the full evil and degradation of chattel slavery on Southern plantations in their service in General Nathaniel Greene’s Army of the South. The experience helped shape their subsequent lives. Kosciuszko’s commitment to freedom and opposition to the evils of slavery are best illustrated in an incident while he served in Greene’s army. After the death in battle of one of his comrades, he prevented his colleagues from dividing up the personal effects of the deceased officer, and insisted that the rich clothing be given to the two slaves who had followed their master in the campaign. He said, “Their skin deserves to feel fine cloth as well as your own.” He prevailed on General Greene to distribute the clothing to the ill-clad slaves.

Kosciuszko’s Will

“I beg Mr. Jefferson that in case I should die without will or testament he should bye out of my money so many Negroes and free them that the restant sum should be sufficient to give them education and provide for their maintenance. That is to say each should know before, the duty of a cytyzen in the free Government, that he must defend his Country against foreign as well internal Enemies who would wish to change the Constitution for the worst to enslave them by degree afterwards, to have good and human heart sensible for the sufferings of others, each must be married and have 100 acres of land, wyth instruments, Cattle for tillage and know how to manage and gouvern it as well to know how to behave to neybourghs, always with kindness and ready to help them—to them selves frugal, to their children give good education I mean as to the heart and the duty to the Country, in gratitude to me to make themselves happy as possible.”

Kosciuszko also spoke out for Native Americans for the protection of their land. He was visited in Philadelphia by Chief Little Turtle of the Miami Indian tribe, who brought him a combination tomahawk and peace pipe as a sign of appreciation. Kosciuszko gave the chief his eyeglasses, his jacket, a pair of pistols and instructed the Indian leader to use these against “the first man who ever comes to subjugate you!”

Thomas I. OchalekTo honor one of our long term supporters and donor, Thomas Ochalek, we have established the Thomas I. Ochalek Memorial Series in the History of the 20th Century established by the initial gift of $1,000.00 from the Institute and individual staff members in honor of his memory. Mr. Ochalek was a wounded and decorated veteran of World War II who took a special interest in our work on 20th century history. The Institute will create a series of short monographs (20 to 30 pages) on topics such as Poland in World War II, The September 1939 Campaign, Polish Americans in the U.S. Armed Forces, the Polish Story in Detroit, etc. Each monograph will carry the Title of the Series and feature a picture and biography of Tom Ochalek. The series along with accompanying videos where appropriate will be designed for teachers, students, and the general public and have a national distribution.

Tom was one of the earliest supporters and friends of the Piast institute. He first visited in May 2003, five months after we were established. He generously donated funds, books, recorded lectures, and historical materials over the next decade. His last gift was only two months ago. He was always very proud of us. He was also proud of his Polish Heritage and his service to his country. He asked that his medals and awards be displayed prominently on our wall. He was especially interested in the institute’s work in preserving the History of the Polish Experience in Europe and America in the broad context of Modern History. What impressed us most about him was his deep love of learning and his desire to share his knowledge with others. He read widely purchased recordings of lectures by famous scholars in fields as diverse as philosophy, history, archaeology, theology and science. After finishing the books and hearing the lectures he passed them onto libraries and friends.

To make a tax deductible donation please send a check to Piast Institute or click on the link below.

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  The Piast Institute is a national research center and official Census Information Center (CIC).