It is difficult to express the anger, heartache and frustration that we are experiencing during this difficult time for our Metro Detroit community and our country. Not only the needless killing of George Floyd, but also Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many other African-Americans, have shocked us, at the Piast Institute, to our core. These killings represent the worst of our country: needles violence and injustice driven by racism and hatred of our fellow American brothers and sisters.
As members of the Polish-American community, it pains us deeply to see such injustice in the United States. As an immigrant community, many of our people came to this country because, at its best, it represents the best of humanity: a beacon of freedom, justice, and opportunity. It is a place where anyone can become an American, as long as they are committed to these shared set of values. Unfortunately, the killing of George Floyd demonstrates that we are falling well short of living up to these values. For too many African-Americans, the color of their skin is a major obstacle to the freedom, justice and opportunity that is the right of every American.
Because of this, we cannot remain silent or indifferent to recent developments. A famous Polish creed says “for our freedom and yours.” This commitment to freedom and fighting oppression is a key Polish-American value, and has been a part of our community from the days of the Polish heroes of the American Revolution, Thaddeus Kosciuszko and Casimir Pulaski. Living up to their example must mean supporting the peaceful, and just, protests around the country, opposing police violence against protesters, allowing everyone to exercise their Constitutional and moral rights, and doing all that we can to end racism and bigotry that has ruined so many Black and Brown lives in the communities across our country.
Black Lives Matter
U.S. 2020 Census Complete Count Committee - Hamtramck invites community members to complete their census forms at the Piast Institute (11633 Joseph Campau, Hamtramck MI). We will have a computer and staff available to assist you in completing the 2020 Census form.
Please know this service will be available Mon., Tues., Wed. from 10am-2pm starting on March 16, 2020. POSTPONED!!!
DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS, OUR STAFF IS TAKING PRECAUTIONS AND LIMITING OFFICE HOURS. THE OFFICE WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE TO HELP COMPLETE CENSUS FORMS. PLEASE CALL 313-733-4535 AND WE WOULD LIKE TO HELP WITH YOUR QUESTIONS.
The Piast Institute is organizing Polish language classes for beginners and advanced students.
For those who are interested please register by using link below. All information about the classes is in the form.
For additional questions please contact Marzanna Owinski directly at 248 613 6751 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join the staff at the Piast Institute on Tuesday September 10th at 6:00p.m. for discussion on the 2020 Trip to Poland. All questions will be answered and you'll have a chance to review the itinerary with the guide.
The address to the Piast Institute is: 11633 Joseph Campau, Hamtramck MI 48212
Please email Ms. Tulecki at: email@example.com if you plan on attending.
For those interested in the trip itself.
Register here: https://forms.gle/2y4eoi25ouwkDm1M8
Itinerary Information: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwY3qwqMDztJQ0cxZ2dXc1ZyZ0RyU3lYWENMek5CSndGNENV/view?usp=sharing
Trip Information: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cMsc6m3zfLLtDjoIQ_4TY4r9iKAZkbBmvggLI5zwbNo/edit?usp=sharing
Piast Board of Directors member Levi Smith stopped by the Institute on June 19th to donate both volumes of The Encyclopedia of the Righteous Among the Nations in memory of Dr. Thaddeus C. Radzilowski. The book focuses on the Poles who protected the Jews during the Holocaust despite the great risks. Thank you Levi for your generosity and dedication. These books will make a great addition to our library. If anyone would like to see it for themselves, you are more than welcome to visit the Institute.
HAMTRAMCK, Mich. – The Piast Institute is pleased to announce that on Saturday, June 1 the Institute will be hosting a ceremony at 10 a.m. awarding Seal of Biliteracy diplomas and congratulatory letters from the Michigan Department of Education to Polish students who have achieved very high levels of Polish language proficiency on the standardized Polish biliteracy test. Students who will be honored are high school seniors Gabriela Andrzejewska, Maria Emilia Bieciuk and Elizabeth Wright.
The Piast Institute will also recognize four other students who completed the Polish biliteracy test. These students achieved the high proficiency required for the Seal of Biliteracy, but due to age restrictions the students will not be receiving the Seal at this time.
The Seal of Biliteracy program is a voluntary program to certify students who have high proficiency in both English and another world language. The program is being introduced in many Michigan high schools, but its implementation often requires efforts from parents or from the school board to request that the school allow students to participate.
Until recently, Polish students could not receive the Seal because a standardized test for Polish proficiency did not exist. Now the STAMP4S test developed by Avant Assessment Inc. has been approved as an exam to certify students across the U.S. for the Seal of Biliteracy. Between April 2018 and May 2019, 894 Polish language students in fourteen states have taken the STAMP4S test to receive their biliteracy certification.
Additional information about the Seal of Biliteracy program and the STAMP4S test can be found at SealofBiliteracyPoPolsku.com.
The Piast Institute is a small nonprofit organization which serves Hamtramck, an enclave deep in Detroit’s inner city. We serve a diverse, low income population of over 30 different ethnic and cultural groups, including Poles, Bosnians and other East Europeans, Arabs, Bangladeshi and African Americans with a variety of services including lead abatement, community building and maintenance and most important of all, drug prevention aimed at the youth of our immigrant and ethnic and racial groups. At the heart of our mission is a deep commitment to promoting harmony among our various ethnic and immigrant groups and forging a viable American community. We operate on a shoestring. We have ten employees, of whom only four are regularly paid staff. The others are volunteers and interns.
The Piast Institute paid $29,000 which it painstakingly raised over several years to have a new roof put on its building in 2016. The work was never fully completed, as the contractor died unexpectedly. The roof leaks have rendered the bathroom and some of the work areas unusable and mold is beginning to develop, which threatens the health of staff and clients. If we are to continue our vital work of community building, drug prevention, lead abatement and other services, it is essential that we complete the repairs to the roof and the damage to the interior. We cannot do it without you.
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 posted soon. The Piast Institute cannot schedule appointments; applicants must call a consular officer at 312-337-8166 extension 229 or 231.
Dyżur konsularny w Hamtramck w stanie Michigan
Konsulat Generalny RP w Chicago organizuje w Hamtramck w stanie Michigan dyżur konsularny. Na dyżur obowiązują wcześniejsze zapisy telefoniczne. Podczas dyżuru będzie możliwość złożenia wniosku o wydanie dokumentu paszportowego. Dyżur odbędzie się w Piast Institute, 11633 Joseph Campau Street, Hamtramck, MI 48212. W celu dokonania zapisu na dyżur, prosimy dzwonić do naszego urzędu pod numer telefonu +1-312-337-8166 wew. 229 lub 231. Informacje na temat warunków niezbędnych do złożenia wniosku o paszport znajdą Państwo na stronie internetowej Konsulatu Generalnego RP w Chicago, link: http://www.chicago.msz.gov.pl/pl/informacje_konsularne/paszport
What does the statue of the Polish general on a horse on Michigan Avenue have to do with Black History Month?
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.
“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!”