Jul 11, 2020

Grant gives boost to Portuguese-American program at Fresno State

The Luso-American Development Foundation (FLAD) gave Fresno State a $130,000 grant to launch two educational initiatives in the new Portuguese Beyond Borders Center at the university.

The foundation, based in Portugal, will split the grant two ways: $100,000 will fund the Portuguese-American Oral History Project and $30,000 will fund a speaker series, according to a Fresno State news release.

Fresno State’s College of Arts and Humanities, the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology and College of Social Sciences will coordinate the educational projects, the release said.

“FLAD’s historic investment in Portuguese studies at Fresno State strengthens our resolve to empower student success through community engagement,” Fresno State President Dr. Joseph Castro said.

The goal of the Portuguese-American Oral History Project is to create and preserve a record of the experience and histories of the Portuguese-American community in the Central Valley. Nearly 350,000 Portuguese-Americans live in California, the highest population of any state according to a 2016 U.S. Census Bureau survey.

Transcripts and audio recordings that meet accepted historical standards and guidelines will be kept permanently in a special collection at the Henry Madden Library on campus, the release said.

The second part of the project will be a speakers series in which national and international presenters will narrate the challenges they faced during their careers and talk about the practices that helped them succeed.

Luso-American Development Foundation President Dr. Vasco Rato, along with foundation director Miguel Vaz, joined Castro and Valley Congressmen Jim Costa, Devin Nunes and David Valadao joined university officials, students and faculty for a reception and gift announcement on Nov. 5 at the Smittcamp Alumni House.

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