ESTONIAN AMERICAN NATIONAL COUNCIL, INC.
EANC Board of Directors: From left: Matti Prima (Treasurer), Maia Linask (Secretary), Mirjam Krull, Mai-Liis Bartling, Marju Rink-Abel (President), Eric Suuberg (Vice President), Arne Kalm, Kristi Allpere, Andres Simonson. [Not present: Alvar Soosaar, Tiina Urv]
The central organization of Estonian Americans, the Estonian American National Council, Inc., was established on July 19, 1952, in New York City.
Its purpose was twofold:
To provide a free voice for the Estonian people and fight for independence of Estonia and human rights for its people. Estonia had been forcibly annexed and occupied by the Soviet Union. Estonians in their homeland could not speak freely for themselves. A central organization of Americans of Estonian descent was essential with the start of the Cold War and because the United States of America was the leader of the Free World. United States never recognized the Soviet annexation of Estonia and its Baltic neighbors, Latvia and Lithuania.
To preserve the Estonian cultural heritage in the United States and provide mutual assistance for the ethnic group members.
The Estonian American National Council is elected nationally every three years by Americans of Estonian descent. The Council currently has 35 members, which in turn elects a governing Board. It is sustained by the voluntary, tax-deductible contributions of the Estonian American community.
The focus of EANC activities has changed somewhat with the rebirth of Estonian independence in 1991. It is essential to help Estonia now to have security and stability. American support for these goals in vital. There is a need to help Estonia develop democracy, recreate civil society, rebuild its democratic institutions and establish a viable NATO. The EANC aids in all these efforts. It also funds scholarships in Estonia and provides assistance in other social and educational programs. The EANC continues to help fund Estonian American cultural activities, schools, youth camps, boy and girl scouts and folk dance groups. It provides support for the U.S. Estonian Archive and the work of the Estonian-American Historical Commission, which aims to preserve Estonian American heritage in the United States. The EANC is an active member and supports the work of the Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc. and the Central and East European Coalition, both located in Washington.
AMERICAN LATVIAN ASSOCIATION, INC.
Web site: www.alausa.org
The American Latvian Association (ALA) is the main representative organization for the Latvian American community. Through 163 member organizations, churches, clubs and some 6,000 individual members we represent over 100,000 people of Latvian descent living in the United States. We are a non-profit, tax exempt educational and cultural organization registered as a private and voluntary organization with the U.S. Agency for International Development.
ALA supports cultural activities and facilitates cooperation within the Latvian American community. We promote the study of Latvian language, history and culture. We ensure the availability of Latvian schools, books and teaching materials for our children. We assist newly arrived immigrants with information about the USA and we provide humanitarian aid to people in Latvia.
ALA seeks to facilitate the peaceful and democratic development of Latvia by promoting understanding and support for Latvia through informational efforts in the USA.
American Latvian Association, Inc.
400 Hurley Avenue,
Rockville, MD 20850-3121 USA
THE LITHUANIAN AMERICAN COUNCIL, INC.
Web site: www.altcenter.org
The Lithuanian American Council, Inc.(LAC) was founded in 1915 and reorganized in 1940. It provides authoritative information about Lithuania and its people, and represents the interests of the Lithuanian-American organizational community.
As a national umbrella organization representing an estimated one million Americans of Lithuanian descent, LAC has a long history of actively pursuing issues of vital interest to Lithuanian-Americans and their organizations.
LAC publishes and disseminates information in English dealing with the activities of Lithuanian American organizations and issues relating to Lithuania and Central Europe in general.
Past LAC initiatives have included promotion of NATO and European Union expansion into the Baltic countries; support of Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty broadcasts; visa waver program for Lithuanian citizens entering US; sustained support for U.S. economic and military cooperation with Lithuania; ongoing efforts to maintain and expand the congressional Baltic Caucus, and continuing representation of the organized communityin the public sector.
Based in Chicago, with branches nationwide and a public affairs office in Washington D.C., LAC directs and coordinates ongoing civic projects sponsored by Lithuanian–American organizations and their members. The LAC National Office is the central managing body of the organization, which coordinates the work of LAC branches and oversees LAC’s projects.
The Joint Baltic American National Committee (JBANC), LAC’s public affairs bureau, was founded in 1961 to support the restoration of independence, human rights and democracy to the Baltic Countries. It is jointly sponsored by the Estonian American National Council, Inc., the American Latvian Association, Inc., and the Lithuanian American Council, Inc.
Since its inception, the Council has successfully united Lithuanian-Americans in fostering democratic principles, seeking basic human rights, supporting the establishment of peaceful relations among nations, and the restoration and now the maintenance of Lithuania’s independence, national, energy and economic security.