Consulate General Krakow
On April 7, Consulate General Krakow hosted an International Roma Day reception at the Consul General’s residence. NGO and Roma Association leaders from Malopolska, Silesia, and Lower Silesia provinces gathered with Roma students from local universities to speak with Consulate staff about recent programs and projects, and possibilities for future cooperation. Janusz Balkowski, President of the PROM Foundation for Social Integration, displayed the NGO’s Jedni z Wielu [One of Many] exhibition of photos and personal stories of accomplished professionals from Poland’s Roma community. The exhibition, which includes pictures by American photographer Charles Wyatt Evans, recently was on display at the European Parliament in Brussels, where PROM and Mr. Evans spoke about the success of their Roma integration campaign in Wroclaw. The Consulate arranged its reception in cooperation with the Malopolska Governor’s Office of Minority Rights and the Malopolska Police Department’s Plenipotentiary for Minority Rights. Consul General Ellen Germain spoke to the group about the need for unity and close cooperation among groups working to overcome discrimination and intolerance toward Roma in Poland. Other guests included artists, musicians, university professors, social and religious workers involved in Southern Poland’s Roma community.
On April 7, Embassy Warsaw’s human rights officer visited the Union of Polish Roma (Union) office in Szczecinek, in northwest Poland. He met with the organization’s leadership and discussed the Union’s programs to preserve Romani culture; commemorate Romani victims of the Holocaust; combat discrimination; and provide social, legal, educational, and job assistance to the Roma community. During an interview with local media outlets, he emphasized that protecting and advancing the human rights of Roma are a priority issue for the United States. The Embassy also posted Secretary Kerry’s statement about International Roma Day on its website and Twitter feed.