Vasco Cordeiro, president of the Government of the Azores, will visit Fresno State to present his vision for the future of the Azores and its relationship with communities around the world, including the Central Valley.
Cordeiro’s talk, at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at Fresno State’s North Gym (Room 118), will serve as the inaugural lecture for the new Portuguese Beyond Borders Institute – sponsored by the Luso-American Development Foundation – at the California State University.
The Portuguese Beyond Borders Institute is a collective effort between the College of Arts and Humanities, Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology and College of Social Sciences at Fresno State. Through a lecture series and an oral history project, the institute will function as a hub of cultural, literary, pedagogical and research resources for the Portuguese-American experience and to promote the connections with the Portuguese-speaking world, focusing on the archipelago of the Azores, with a strong emphasis on the Azorean Diaspora in California. It aims to be Central California’s nucleus for cultural events, teacher conferences, colloquia, literary resources, publications, academic research, artistic exhibitions and performing arts productions, not only for the matriculated students at Fresno State, but also for the enrichment of the Portuguese-American community and society at large.
The institute’s lecture series and the oral history project are also sponsored by the Luso-American Development Foundation.
Nearly 350,000 Portuguese-Americans live in California, the highest population of any state according to a 2016 U.S. Census Bureau survey. During the last decades of the 19th century, large numbers of Portuguese people moved to Central California and engaged in fruit, vegetable and dairy farming; creating the second largest concentration of Americans claiming Portuguese ancestry, according to the Library of Congress.
Since its founding in 1985, FLAD has supported projects involving scientific institutions, universities, the business community and other organizations from Portugal and the United States. With a focus on economic and scientific cooperation between the two nations and the promotion of the Portuguese language and culture in the U.S., FLAD believes Fresno State is the perfect partner for connecting to the deep agricultural roots of the Portuguese community in the Valley.
The Portuguese Beyond Borders Center takes a holistic approach to the breadth of knowledge the Portuguese world has to offer by incorporating viticulture, economics, political science, history, language and culture.