Van Hollen and Rubio present a resolution commemorating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association

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June 15, 2022

Today US Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) presented a resolution commemorating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA). AHEPA was founded on July 26, 1922, in Atlanta, Georgia, by eight Greek immigrants to help unify, organize, and protect individuals of all ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds against terror, hatred, and bigotry perpetrated primarily by the Ku Klux. clan. The Senators resolution marks this anniversary, salutes the many charitable contributions of its members to communities in the United States and around the world, and directs the President to issue a proclamation recognizing the anniversary and the many accomplishments of AHEPA.

“Through its community initiatives and charitable work, AHEPA has helped nurture and advance democratic principles and values ​​at home and abroad,” said Senator Van Hollen. “Since its founding, AHEPA members have led organizing efforts to help build more equitable and safer communities, support civil rights and well-being, uphold our nation’s values, and preserve and promote the important history and heritage of the Hellenic community. I will continue to support AHEPA’s efforts as we work together to create a more perfect union.

“For a century, AHEPA has become an integral part of the American mosaic, serving as a vital vehicle for the progressive development and emergence of Hellenic Americans in all facets of society,” said Jimmy, Supreme President of AHEPA Kokotas. “This achievement shows that the promise of the American Dream is real. We sincerely appreciate Senators Van Hollen and Rubio for their sponsorship of a memorial resolution that aptly captures our 100-year journey, honors our immigrant ancestors, and exposes the contributions of Greek Americans to society.

The full text of the resolution is available here and below:

While the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (referred to in this preamble as “AHEPA”) was founded on July 26, 1922 in Atlanta, Georgia by 8 visionary Greek immigrants to help unify, organize and protect individuals of all ethnicities , races, and religious circles against the terror, hatred, and bigotry perpetrated primarily by the Ku Klux Klan;

Whereas the mission of AHEPA is to promote the Hellenic ideals of ancient Greece, which include philanthropy, education, civic responsibility, and family and individual excellence through community service and volunteerism;

Whereas, since the establishment of AHEPA, the organization has instilled in AHEPA members an understanding of their Hellenic heritage and an awareness of the contributions that Hellenic heritage has made to the development of democratic principles and governance in the United States and around the world;

Whereas AHEPA has done much throughout the history of the organization to foster patriotism in the United States;

Whereas AHEPA members have served in the armed forces of the United States to protect the freedom of the people of the United States and to preserve the democratic ideals that are part of the Hellenic heritage;

While, during World War II, members of the AHEPA parachuted behind enemy lines into Nazi-occupied Greece to help liberate Greece;

While AHEPA raised over $253,000,000 for United States War Bonds during World War II and as a result of this effort, AHEPA was named the Official War Bond Issuing Agent of the United States by the Treasury Department, an honor that no other citizen organization had yet attained;

Whereas in 1990, AHEPA members donated $612,000 for the restoration of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, New York, for which AHEPA received special recognition from the Department of the Interior;

Whereas the AHEPA National Housing Program has sponsored safe and dignified affordable housing for vulnerable seniors under the Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly program (administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and authorized in under Section 202 of the Housing Act of 1959 (12 USC 1701q)), and the sponsorship has a portfolio of 4,467 units in 87 communities in 19 states;

Whereas AHEPA has engaged in “Track Two Diplomacy” to foster reconciliation and rapprochement in the Eastern Mediterranean, which is in the best interests of the United States, and has strengthened people-to-people ties between the countries;

Whereas AHEPA financially supports scholarships, natural disaster and humanitarian relief, medical research and countless other charitable and philanthropic causes by contributing more than $2,200,000 annually at the national, district and local AHEPA;

While generations of Greek-American women and philhellenics worked to strengthen society through service organizations, such as the Girls of Penelope, in order to—

(1) provide affordable housing for seniors;

(2) sponsor and support shelters for victims of domestic violence;

(3) provide scholarships;

(4) raise awareness and financially support medical research and charitable causes; and

(5) assist those in need of humanitarian assistance or natural disaster relief;

Whereas, in the spirit of their Hellenic heritage and in commemoration of the Centennial Olympics held in Atlanta, Georgia, AHEPA members raised $775,000 for the Tribute to Olympism and Hellenism sculpture , whose fan-like structure helped save lives during the 1996 Olympic Bombing at Centennial Olympic Park;

As AHEPA members raised $110,000 for the creation of the George C. Marshall statue erected on the grounds of the U.S. Embassy in Athens, Greece to celebrate the historic relationship between the states States and Greece and in homage to General Marshall, an outstanding statesman and philhellene;

Whereas AHEPA members raised $1,000,000 for the reconstruction of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at the World Trade Center, which was the only place of worship destroyed on September 11, 2001;

Whereas AHEPA members have served as Presidents and Vice Presidents of the United States, United States Senators and Representatives, and United States Ambassadors, and have served honorably as elected and appointed officials at the local and state levels across the United States; and

While President George HW Bush cited AHEPA as one of the “thousand points of light” in the United States: Now, therefore, whether

Resolved, that the Senate—

(1) recognizes the significant contributions to the United States of citizens of Greek descent;

(2) commemorates the 100th anniversary of the founding of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association, applauds its mission, and salutes the many charitable contributions of its members to communities in the United States and around the world; and

(3) directs the president to issue a proclamation recognizing the 100th anniversary and the many accomplishments of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association.


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