The Piast Institute is a national research and policy center for Polish and Polish-American affairs based in Hamtramck, Michigan in the United States, a suburb of Detroit. The institute was founded in 2003 by Dr. Thaddeus Radzilowski and Mrs. Virginia Skrzyniarz. With a Board of Directors composed of Polish-American leaders, an international network of Institute Fellows, and a staff led by Dr. Radzilowski as president and Mrs. Skrzyniarz as executive vice president, Piast Institute has evolved into the only think tank in North America devoted to Polish and Polish-American affairs.
The Piast Institute is a national research institute and official Census Information Center. With its staff, boards and international network of fellows, Piast develops conferences, seminars, publications, public programs, lectures, and exhibits that provide information on Poland, Poles, and Polish Americans. With its resources and its position as a Census Information Center, Piast Institute also acts as a data resource center helping Polish, Polish American and other community groups develop policy papers and historical, cultural, political, economic, social, and demographic studies. The institute celebrates Polish contributions to American as well as world culture, and counters any inaccurate or defamatory information released about Poland, Poles or Polish Americans.
Census Information Center
In 2006, the Piast Institute was designated as a United States Census Information Center (CIC) by the United States Census Bureau. Piast Institute is only one of 59 CICs, the only Center in the Great Lakes region, and the only CIC whose primary purpose is to represent a European ethnic group.
As a CIC, the Piast Institute is part of the U.S. Census Bureau's data dissemination network. The program's focus is making census information and data available to underserved communities that may not have access to census data through other means. In addition to using the Census data for its own studies and research, the institute serves the Polish and Polish-American communities as well as organizations seeking to forward the goals of other ethnic and minority communities. The institute also provides census data and reports to businesses for a small fee.
The Piast Institute assists the family of Dr. Anatole Dekaban and his wife Mrs. Pamela Liddle-Dekaban in the oversight and management of the work of the Dekaban-Liddle Foundations. The Foundations, established by Dr. and Mrs. Dekaban in 1982, facilitate agricultural, economic, and engineering exchanges between Polish universities and universities located in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The foundations seek to benefit Poland and its citizens by enhancing the quality of Polish science and education.
In addition, the Piast Institute sponsors the annual Dekaban Lecture to commemorate and honor the work and spirit of Dr. and Mrs. Dekaban. Keynote speakers participating in the Dekaban lectures have included figures such as Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, an influential figure in the history of U.S. foreign policy, and Alex Storozynski, a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist.
Polish American Communication Initiative (PACI)
Piast Institute with the assistance of the Congressional Quarterly (CQ) and support from the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Chicago has created the Polish American Communication Initiative (PACI).
PACI is a new communication tool for community building. It is a nonpartisan website that allows users to communicate with their elected representatives.
PACI posts current issues which its Advisory board feels are important to Polish Americans. These issues can be anything from a bill in Congress to a derogatory remark in the media. There is also a page which enables you to contact national and local newspapers or send a letter of gratitude for positive representation of Poles and Polish Americans.
With its status as a research center and a national U.S. Census Information Center (CIC), its network of scholars, media contacts and community activists, its more than a decade of service to Polonia through studies, policy initiatives, and its partnership with Congressional Quarterly, the Piast Institute has provided decades of documentation, analysis of public affairs and unparalled access to public data sources to Polonia. The Piast Institute is thus uniquely positioned to launch and maintain this national effort.
Please see the website for yourself at: www.paciconnect.org
Dr. Thaddeus Radzilowski serves as Piast Institute president. Dr. Radzilowski is an award-winning historian focusing on Poland and other Central and Eastern European nations, including Russia. He has written on the histories of these regions as well as the migration of peoples from Central and Eastern Europe, with emphasis on social history and historiography. He has lectured in Europe and North America and has published more than 100 monographs, edited collections, journal articles, book chapters and scholarly papers. In 1999, the President of Poland presented Dr. Radzilowski with the Cavaliers Cross of the Polish Order of Merit for distinguished contributions to the dissemination of Polish culture in the world.
Mrs. Virginia Skrzyniarz serves as Piast Institute Executive Vice President. Mrs. Skrzyniarz has more than seventeen years of experience in managing non-profit organizations. She has served as an executive level administrator with duties in personnel, risk management and supervision of employees and facilities, and she has also directed of development and events planning. Prior to co-founding the Piast Institute, Ms. Skrzyniarz was Vice President for Administrative Affairs at St. Mary’s College with responsibility for development, fund raising, events, planning, advertising, public relations, security and risk management. She also served as Executive Director and Director of Marketing and Fund Development for Hope Network Southeast, where she wrote and administered state and federal grants and maintained liaison with governmental units as well as private foundations and investors.
Board of Directors
Piast Institute’s Board of Directors is the executive body governing the Piast Institute. It is a group of individuals from a wide range of backgrounds and professional careers, and is charged with directing the strategy of the Institute.
- Piast Institute website (www.piastinstitute.org)
- Piast Institute International Symposium on FEAR by Jan T. Gross
- Piast Institute website
- Detroit Free Press
- PR Newswire
- Polish Weekly Newspaper
- Macomb Daily Newspaper
- Piast Institute International Symposium on FEAR by Jan T. Gross