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Day of Portugal at WaterFire Providence

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​Portugal’s ambassador visits R.I.

Posted by Outside Link By Lurdes C. da Silva O Jornal editor on Feb 11, 2016


Courtesy photo. Rhode Island College President Nancy Carriuolo and Ambassador Domingos Fezas Vital sign a cooperation protocol at the university.

PROVIDENCE — The new ambassador of Portugal to the United States, Domingos Fezas Vital, said his priorities are to strengthen the bilateral ties and find ways to develop them on all fronts, while remaining in close touch with the Portuguese communities scattered throughout the country.
“My intention is to be in our major communities as soon as possible. All of them,” the ambassador told O Jornal last Saturday. “As I like to say, I am not the ambassador of Portugal in Washington; I am the ambassador of Portugal to the United States.”

Although not offering specifics, the diplomat said there are a number of Portuguese-American issues with which he will have to deal.

“There are various priorities at the political level, but I will seek to ensure that the relationship between Portugal and the United States is even stronger in all domains… political, economical, cultural, social and educational,” the diplomat said.

One of those political priorities is the recent downsizing of the American Air Base at Lajes. Fezas Vital said the base has always played a very important role in the political relationship between Portugal and the United States.

“Obviously, we have been in talks with our American friends about the future,” said the ambassador, noting that any further developments involving the future of Lajes remain inconclusive because it involves a review by the US Congress.

“Congress has asked the Pentagon to present a report on the use of Lajes,” he said. “We await with some expectation the results of that report.”
Fezas Vital, who presented his Letter of Credence to President Barack Obama on Jan. 28 at the White House, chose to carry out his first official visit outside of Washington, D.C. in the U.S. state with the highest percentage of Portuguese population — Rhode Island. His trip to the Ocean State on Feb. 5 and 6 was jam-packed with meetings with political and public officials, visits to educational institutions, re-inauguration of the Vice-Consulate of Portugal in Providence, and meet-and-greets with community members.

“When I am with our communities, I return reinvigorated to Washington,” said the ambassador.

Fezas Vital started his visit at Rhode Island College, where he signed a protocol of cooperation on Friday morning at the president’s home on campus. The document is a renewal of an agreement signed in December of 2011, outlining the shared goals of the Department of Modern Languages and the Institute for Portuguese and Lusophone World Studies (IPLWS) at Rhode Island College and Camões, Instituto de Cooperação e da Língua, I.P. of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Portugal.

“In exchange for RIC’s commitment to disseminate knowledge and promote study and research of the Portuguese language and Lusophone cultures, Instituto Camões will support RIC’s Portuguese program by providing a bibliographic collection regarding teaching materials, history and culture resources and audiovisual materials, research scholarships, academic prizes and an annual stipend for programs,” explained Marie Fraley, director for the Institute for Portuguese and Lusophone World Studies.Following the reception at the president’s house, the ambassador and his wife visited the offices of the IPLWS, where Associate Professor of Portuguese Studies and Faculty Liaison to the IPLWS Silvia Oliveira and Fraley offered a detailed presentation about the Portuguese Studies’ and Institute’s programs at the college.

The ambassador then departed for Brown University to have lunch with several faculty members and students from the Department of Portuguese Studies and to tour the John Carter Brown Library.
In the afternoon, he headed to the State House to pay courtesy calls to R.I. State Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed, Governor Gina Raimondo and House Speaker Nickolas A. Mattiello. These meetings were followed by a welcoming reception to the ambassador in the Senate Lounge.
On Saturday, the ambassador visited the Portuguese school at the Clube Juventude Lusitana in Cumberland, before heading to Providence to attend the re-inauguration of the Vice-Consulate office.
“This is a very special day for all of us — the Portuguese community,” said Vice Consul Marcia Sousa.
The ceremony was followed by a meet-and-greet and luncheon in his honor at the Madeira Restaurant in East Providence, where he rubbed elbows with dozens of entrepreneurs, representatives of clubs and organizations and other community leaders.

His last stop was at Grupo Amigos da Terceira in Pawtucket.

Before leaving for Washington, he left the promise to return soon to Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

“It will be a pleasure and great honor,” he said.

Article originally posted on Outside Link

Jose de Almeida Cesario, Secretary of State for Portuguese Communities Abroard, visits RIC

To establish a dialogue regarding academic and cultural exchanges with Portugal, Rhode Island College recently welcomed José de Almeida Cesário, secretary of state for Portuguese Communities Abroad, Government of the Republic of Portugal.

RIC President Nancy Carriuolo, Marie Fraley, director, RIC Institute for Portuguese and Lusophone World Studies, and Silvia Oliveira, assistant professor of Portuguese studies in the college’s department of modern languages hosted Secretary Cesário and his delegation.

The visit was held to acquaint Secretary Cesário with the Rhode Island College community, and the history, progress and programs of the college’s Institute for Portuguese and Lusophone World Studies and the Portuguese studies programs within the department of modern languages.

Dialogue also centered on establishing internship and study abroad opportunities for Rhode Island College students studying Portuguese.

“It was an honor and a pleasure to host Secretary Cesário’s visit to Rhode Island College,” Fraley said. “By the end of his visit, the secretary voiced his support of our programs and plans for cultural and scholarly projects that collaborate with the Portuguese community.”

The Secretary of State for the Portuguese Communities Abroad operates under the aegis of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the government of the Republic of Portugal and visits Portuguese communities throughout the world to learn more about their programs, initiatives and needs.

Secretary Cesário conducted a tour of Portuguese communities throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts in early September. Vice-Consul of Portugal to Providence Leonel Teixeira facilitated the secretary’s visit to Rhode Island College.

Fraley and Oliveira provided a presentation on the Institute for Portuguese and Lusophone World Studies and the Portuguese studies program followed by a campus walking tour. Marlene Lopes, RIC’s special collections librarian, hosted a visit to the Lusophone special collections at Adams Library.

President Carriuolo hosted a luncheon in the president’s dining room for the secretary and other representatives from the government of the Republic of Portugal: Maria João Machado de Ávila, member of Parliament of the Republic of Portugal; Manuela Bairos, chief of staff to Secretary Cesário; Teixeira; and João Luís Morgado Pacheco, counselor of the Portuguese communities.

Next steps will involve submitting to the secretary’s office proposals that will combine academic research, student involvement and community participation in upcoming projects.

RIC, Cape Verde fine tune community radio role in peace efforts

PROVIDENCE — Rhode Island College is working in synch with Cape Verdean entities to help promote the use of community radio for peace in the African archipelago.

Three RIC faculty and staff members recently spent a week on the island of São Nicolau, where they met with local officials and held discussions with local radio journalists about the role of radio towards peace, democracy and development initiatives.

“The purpose of the trip was to gather additional information regarding the conditions necessary for the training of Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) radio journalists in civic radio in Cape Verde and in peace radio in neighboring Guinea-Bissau in West Africa,” according to Marie R. Fraley, interim director of the Institute for Portuguese and Lusophone World Studies (IPLWS) at RIC.

The trip took place March 8-15, coinciding with spring break. Fraley was accompanied by Valerie Endress, Associate Professor of Communication, and Peter Mendy, Associate Professor of History and African Studies.

“The trip was very successful in that we were able to experience firsthand the beautiful islands of Cape Verde and to learn more about the progress that has been made in that country, especially in terms of infrastructure,” Fraley told O Jornal. “We spent most of our time in Tarrafal, São Nicolau, where we met with local officials, toured the site of a former political prison and met with high school students to talk about careers in journalism. A large part of our work was the evaluation of the progress of the Peace Radio Project in Guinea-Bissau with the Guinean journalists.” According to Fraley, RIC’s involvement with the peace radio project begun under a Protocol of Cooperation signed in September of 2010 by President Nancy Carriuolo on behalf of the college and Former First Lady of Portugal Maria Barroso Soares, President of the Pro Dignitate Foundation for Human Rights in Lisbon.

“Guinea-Bissau has had a tumultuous post-colonial period. The Pro Dignitate Foundation had already begun training radio journalists in ethical practices in broadcasting and has done so now for about five years. The IPLWS and its affiliated scholars at RIC were brought onboard for the academic expertise needed in the area of communication and Luso-African studies,” she said. Some of the accomplishments thus far have included an international conference on the topic of Peace Radio and a series of workshops for local Portuguese-speaking journalists held at RIC. “We are working with Pro Dignitate in expanding the training that they have already begun in both curricula and delivery,” Fraley said. “The inclusion of Cape Verdean journalists is a natural extension of the initial project given their large presence in our area and the progress taking place in Cape Verde.”

There is, however, a well-defined distinction between civic journalism in Cape Verde and peace journalism in Guinea-Bissau.

“The political climate in Cape Verde is stable allowing for more socially oriented topics, while in Guinea-Bissau there is still much political unrest and uncertainty requiring a more careful approach and focus,” she explained.

The radio project is also designed to help forge connections with the diverse Lusophone communities represented in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, according to Fraley. “The Cape Verdean American Media Association in southern New England is already engaged in this project and we are exploring ways to continue to forge the connection with the homelands,” she said. “One area would be in facilitating the sharing of information between the homeland and local Cape Verdean and Guinean residents in regard to current events and trends.”

Fraley will travel again to São Nicolau the week of April 15 for the Week of Social Communications hosted by Tarrafal City Hall. She will be accompanied by CVAMA President Carlos DeBrito.

Article originally posted on Outside Link

RIC inaugurates first Portuguese Honor Society

Group of John A. and Mary V. Lima Scholarship winners with benefactor John Lema. From left to right, John Lema, Jr.; Liana Viveiros; Carlos Neves; and Justin Soares. (Outside LinkRead full article)​

Page last updated: February 12, 2018