POLISH AMERICAN CONGRESS
The Polish American Congress (PAC) was founded in May 1944 when representatives of the Polish
American community met in Buffalo, NY to create a national organization. The founders envisioned an
entity that would represent the interests of Polish Americans in the United States and continue the struggle
for a free, democratic, and independent Poland.
Today, the Polish American Congress is an "umbrella" organization – a federation of more than
3,000 Polish American organizations, clubs, and veterans' groups. The individual membership is organized
into twenty-nine State Divisions and nine Chapters. In the aggregate, there are more than one million
members of the PAC nationally. The organization maintains offices in Chicago and Washington, D.C.
The Polish American Congress adopted two complementary agendas: the Polish one - to help Poland in its
great hour of need, and the American one - to unite the Polish American Community and to aid its members
to become better- informed American citizens.
Today, after World War II, the Solidarity Movement, and the fall of Communism, the PAC continues to
represent the interests of the Polish American Community by:
Promoting knowledge about Polish Americans and the Polish American community, its history,
accomplishments and contributions
Closely monitoring U.S. legislation and policies that could directly or indirectly affect Polish
Americans, e.g. the inclusion of Poland in the Visa Waiver Program, section 245(i), H1-B Visas, the
Diversity Visa Lottery, and Immigration Reform
Informing PAC members and friends of Polonia about specific legislative developments
and, where relevant, organizing a unified response from the Polish American community
Supporting the bilateral trade relationship between the United States and Poland and
promoting business development beneficial
to both nations
Coordinating major Polish American efforts aimed at affecting legislation of importance
to Poland and to the Polish American community, e.g. NATO expansion, inclusion of Poland in the Visa
Supporting educational and cultural activities in the Polish American community
Providing educational and development opportunities for Polish American students, e.g.
providing an internship program in the Washington, D.C. office
Opposing examples of bigotry aimed at Polish Americans and at Poland – from crude
Polish jokes and distortions of Polish history, e.g. inaccurate and misleading historical accounts such as
"Polish concentration camps," to outright discrimination against Poles
Promoting successful bilateral relations between the United States and Poland in the
spheres of government, education, business, and healthcare by sponsoring contact between U.S. and Polish
community leaders and institutions
Providing charitable relief to Poland, especially in response to natural disasters —most
recently, floods -- with special attention to the needs of children, the sick, the disabled, and the elderly
Promoting cultural, political, and religious dialogue with other ethnic and racial groups
in the United States.
POLISH AMERICAN CONGRESS
MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS & CONTRIBUTIONS