The Portuguese-American Leadership Council of the United States
Serving our Community for 27 Years!
LUS US Newsletter
The Online Newsletter of PALCUS
National Conference Special Edition, July 2018 
Table of Contents
  • Inaugural Portuguese-American National Conference
  • Are you a PALCUS member?
  • Save The Date: 22nd PALCUS Leadership Awards Gala

Inaugural Portuguese-American National Conference

UN Secretary-General António Guterres (center) with PALCUS Board of Directors.
Photo courtesy of Henrique Mano - LusoAmericano.

Over 270 participants from Quebec to Puerto Rico and from California to Rhode Island attended the PALCUS national conference on June 23rd in Washington, D.C. The conference was organized in collaboration with the Embassy of Portugal as part of it Month of Portugal  agenda and with major support by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Portugal and the Luso-American Development Foundation.  It attracted a diverse representation of civic, business, education and political leaders from every region of the country including over 20 Portuguese-Americans clubs and organizations.

Keynote Address:   The highlight of the day was the keynote address by the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.

The purpose of the conference was to establish a plan of action that would define and move the Portuguese-American national agenda on the three topics of most concern to the community identified by the 2017 PALCUS Index Survey: 
  1. political participation of Portuguese-Americans, 
  2. sustainability of Portuguese-American civic and social organizations, 
  3. promotion of Portuguese Language Education in the United States.

A final report is forthcoming that will serve as a record of the presentations and discussions as well as a roadmap of action items going forward. 
Some of the common themes that emerged from the conference discussions are:
  • a need to build social capital as a community through a common identity as Portuguese as opposed to regionalism;
  • the promotion of  Portuguese Language Education as a unifying common ground not only for the purposes of national ethnic identity but for the advantages to our youth in navigating a global economy:
  • the recognition that the needs of the Portuguese-American community have changed over the generations as immigrants and their descendants have become increasingly integrated into American society.

A feedback survey of attendees was conducted within three days of the conference to gather reactions and suggestions for future conferences relative to topics, format, networking opportunities and projected goals and objectives. Some points of convergence included holding a similar conference at least every other year (biannual), adding topics for trade, business and youth, expanding to multiple sessions and break-out groups and providing more space for displays and opportunities for networking.

Announcements:  Three announcements were made at the conference signalling movement in the Portuguese-American national agenda in the three key areas discussed:
  • PALCUS is creating the first national "Complete Count Committee" with the U.S. Census Bureau to establish a national campaign to ensure that all Portuguese are counted as its own ethnicity in the 2020 U.S. Census under the hashtag #MakePortugueseCount;
  •  following a suggestion by Hon.Phillip Rapoza, Chief Justice of MA Appeals Count (Ret.) during his presentation on the integration of Portuguese-Americans in the U.S. judiciary, a group of young Portuguese-American attorneys announced that they were launching the The Portuguese-American Bar Association of the U.S. to support and mentor attorneys in their careers paths;
  • Dr. Dan E. Davidson, President Emeritus, American Councils for International Education and Director, American Councils Research Center, who attended the conference announced that the U.S. Dept. of State has recently included Portuguese as one of 15 critical languages of instruction in the United States and that there are scholarships available through the U.S. Dept. of Education.

View the Video on Contacto USA:

PALCUS Inaugural Portuguese-American National Conference
PALCUS Inaugural Portuguese-American National Conference

Ambassador's Reception:  Following the conference, Ambassador and Mrs. Domingos Fezas Vital graciously opened their residence on Kalorama Road to guests from across the community. The highlight of the evening was a performance by renown fadista, António Zambujo.

(L-R) Cong. Devin Nunes,
Minister Augusto Santos Silva,
Cong. David Valadão,  Amb. Domingos Fezas Vital
Former PALCUS Chairs Manuel Ramos (L) and Fernando G. Rosa (R)
with current Chairwoman Angela Costa Simões

Photo Gallery: Courtesy of Henrique Mano

Washington 1a. Conferencia Nacional PALCUS - por Henrique Mano

Washington Recepção PALCUS - por Henrique Mano

Conference Slide Deck: View Here

Media Links:

Diário de Notícias:  Português incluí­do nas Línguas Crí­ticas dos EUA

PaísAoMinuto:  Língua portuguesa integrada no programa de bolsas de estudo dos EUA

PaísAoMinuto:  Luso-americanos abandonaram "invisibilidade imerecida e contraproducente"

Are you a PALCUS member yet?  
We are stronger together!

I f you agree with the work undertaken at the Inaugural Portuguese-American National Conference to build the social capital of our community, then please join us and become a member today!

Strong membership participation means a stronger voice in the national Portuguese-American agenda. In order to advance Portuguese language education, increase presence in the congressional caucuses, and provide economic opportunities, the collective voice of thousands is needed!  

In addition, PALCUS is a member-driven non-profit organization that depends on membership dues and fundraising events to fund its operations.  Members of the all-volunteer board of directors donate their time and personal funds for travel, lodging and tickets to attend networking events and planning sessions so our administrative costs are relatively low but nonetheless critical to doing business on a daily basis.

There are membership categories to suit every budget and level of interest.  Please click on our membership webpage and join our voice today!

PALCUS announces that we are now using memberplanet, a user-friendly platform that will help us to serve you better.  It is an interactive service that will allow you to update your PALCUS member profile, track donations and dues and join PALCUS circles with members of similar interests all with the click of a mouse.  
When you become a PALCUS member, you will be prompted to join us on memberplanet. As always your information is confidential and will never be shared without your permission. Questions? Contact Graci for more information! 

Save The Date!

22nd Annual Leadership Awards Gala
October 6, 2018
Washington, D.C.

The application process for award nominations is now open! 

A benefit of PALCUS membership is the opportunity to nominate Portuguese-American individuals or organizations who have distinguished themselves by outstanding achievement or community service for PALCUS Leadership Awards. Learn more

Not a PALCUS member yet?  Join Here!

Help strengthen PALCUS as we continue working for the community!

Please consider including PALCUS in your giving plans in 2018. 

Does your employer have a matching funds program? Check with your Human Resources office to double your contribution.
PALCUS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law and will be acknowledged.

Muito obrigado!  Click her for Ways to Give
More Ways to Give 

There are more ways than ever to donate to PALCUS!

Did you enjoy this newsletter? Do you know about all the programs PALCUS offers our community? Please visit our website and become a member today! 
We can't do what we do without your support!

Newsletter Archive

Read past issues of the LUSUS Newsletter at!lusus-newsletter/cbac 

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PALCUS Mission

In order to create a singular voice to advocate  for the Portuguese-American and Luso-American communities at large, the Portuguese-American Leadership Council of the United States Inc. (PALCUS) was founded in 1991 as a non-partisan, non-profit, organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. 
The PALCUS mission is to address domestic and international concerns of the Portuguese-American Community.
The Council conducts an expanding program of educational and public affairs activities on issues of interest to the Portuguese-American community and of salience to the Luso-American Relationship.
PALCUS is committed to serving the community through increasingly active government relations efforts, the promotion of a greater awareness of ethnic accomplishments and encouraging stronger ties between Portugal and the United States. In this role PALCUS advances the community professionally, politically and culturally while working to ensure that issues directly affecting our community are addressed through our network of government and community leaders.

PALCUS is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization under the IRS tax code and  incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia.  Donations are tax deductible to extent allowed by law and will be acknowledged.

Contact Information

Phone: 202-466-4664

9255 Center St., Suite 404
Manassas, VA 20110
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