Social Media Outreach:
- 33 virtual events, gatherings, and videos
- 443,000 total views
- 36.4% increase in video engagements from 2020
- $13,000 worth of medical equipment was donated to the University Clinic of Neurology at Clinical Center Mother Teresa, Skopje.
- $6,000 worth of firefighting equipment, including shoes and masks, to the voluntary fire brigade Arhangel Bitola.
- $5,000 to the Sveti Spas Humanitarian Organization for the greatest needs for displaced families affected by the summer 2021 wildfires in Macedonia.
- Clothing for elderly at the “SJU Rajder” senior citizens’ home in Bitola.
- Clothing and home supplies for the Mitreski family who lost their home in a tragic fire near Mogila.
- Overall, combined $23,000 in cash, and another $5,000 in clothing and supplies for a total of $28,000 donated for charitable efforts in 2021 by UMD and partners.
Macedonian Heritage/Language Preservation and Promotion:
- Remembered veterans of Macedonian heritage who served in American, Canadian, and Australian armed forces.
- Highlighted role of John L. N. Bitove, C.M. – the only Diaspora member to receive the Macedonian State’s highest distinction – Order 8thof September – for his role in spearheading international recognition efforts.
- Participated in June Immigrant Heritage Month by featuring Macedonian migrant stories and success stories of Macedonians in business and sports.
- Organized a virtual concert “Interpretation of Pain” – a Night of Macedonian Poetry in Honor of Sts. Kiril and Metodij at the St. Sophia Cathedral in Ohrid, Macedonia featuring musicians and singers from the St. Clement of Ohrid High School.
- Washington, D.C. Mayor Proclaims August 2nd Ilinden as Macedonian American Heritage Day for the second year in a row recognizing the contributions of Macedonians in Washington, D.C.
- House Resolution 149 was adopted by the Michigan House of Representatives recognizing September 2021 as Macedonian-American Heritage Month in the state of Michigan, home to an estimated more than 125,000 Americans of Macedonian heritage. This is the first time in U.S. history that a state legislature has passed a resolution declaring Macedonian American Heritage Month.
- House Resolution 741 introduced expressing support for the designation of the month of September 2022 as “Macedonian-American Heritage Month” and celebrating the Macedonian language, history, and culture of Macedonian- Americans and their incredible contributions to the United States. This is the first time in U.S. history that a resolution of this nature was introduced in the U.S. Congress.
- Held 30th Macedonian Independence Day Flag Raising Ceremony at Wall Street, New York City
- Collaborated with Canadian-Macedonian community partners, like the Canadian Macedonian Historical Society, in arranging for the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada and Niagara Falls to be lit up/illuminated in our Macedonian red and yellow colors for 30th Macedonian Independence Day. UMD members quoted in The Toronto Star.
- UMD Australia provided a grant to fund Macedonian language classes in Aegean Macedonia (current-day Greece) conducted by the NPO Macedonian Movement for the Promotion of the Mother Tongue “Krste Misirkov” – and 20 students have signed up already.
- Conducted online Macedonian language learning events with Arizona State University and Macedonian Language E-Learning Center.
- Helped secure the performance of Macedonian singers and Darko Biberko founders Nev and Kalina Neskoska for the first annual One World Concert in Houston, Texas.
- Generation M hosted a virtual Macedonian Heritage Night where participants got to explore the lakes of Ohrid and Prespa, the Bistra Mountains, and center-city Skopje all from the comfort of their homes.
- Launched “Muabet so Meto” virtual series featuring topics on current affairs in Macedonia, U.S.-Macedonia relations, and Macedonian cuisine.
- Organized Euro2020 Watch Party to Cheer on Macedonia in Washington, D.C. – featured in the Washington Post.
- Held 118th Anniversary of Ilinden Macedonian Happy Hour in Washington, D.C.
- UMD Australia provides grant for the Macedonian music album of Zarina Parasevda.
- Published 13 UMD Voice interviews and articles.
Educational Advocacy, Human Rights, and Religious Freedom:
- Congressional Caucus on Macedonia and Macedonian-Americans reconstituted for 117th Congress with four co-chairs – Brendan Boyle (Democrat-Pennsylvania), Claudia Tenney (Republican-New York), Debbie Dingell (Democrat-Michigan), and Lisa McClain (Republican-Michigan) – current membership 35 members of Congress.
- Five new members of Congress join Macedonia Caucus (in order of joining): Lisa McClain (Republican-Michigan), Claudia Tenney (Republican-New York), Joe Morelle (Democrat-New York), Elissa Slotkin (Democrat-Michigan), and Frank Mrvan (Democrat-Indiana).
- Conducted meetings with Biden Administration officials, U.S. Department of State, and Congressional staff to advocate for Macedonia to be included in the Visa Waiver Program, and for the U.S. and Macedonia to enter in a Double Taxation Treaty.
- Bipartisan, bicameral Temporary Family Visitation Act introduced in both houses of Congress, which establishes a new nonimmigrant visa classification for an alien temporarily entering the United States to visit a relative who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. UMD is part of a Coalition of 22 national organizations working to see the Act passed.
- Pushed for no more border changes and land swaps in the Balkans because of the Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue through a series of meetings and Hill advocacy, articles, and media interviews.
- Successfully blocked accreditation of Macedonian Ambassador to the United States the widely questioned nomination of controversial Ljubomir Frckoski whose actions jeopardized Macedonian national interests over the past 30 years.
- Advocated for the inclusion of the Macedonian language programming in Netflix, Amazon Prime, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
- The Australian Senate’s Foreign Affairs, Defence, and Trade References Committee issues report with 18 recommendations on diaspora communities – which included many points made by a UMD Australia Submission during 2020.
- Conducted a 6-month educational campaign to encourage Macedonian citizens abroad to register in the Census.
- Called for Bulgaria to apologize for the deportation and eventual extermination of 7,144 Macedonian Jews during WWII.
- The U.S. State Department’s 45th Annual Human Rights Report highlighted human rights abuses against the Macedonian ethnic and religious minorities in Bulgaria and Greece – issues highlighted by UMD during meetings with the U.S. Department of State, and U.S. Embassies, Sofia, and Athens.
- In light of Freedom House’s 2021 Report Freedoms in the World, UMD called on the Macedonian government to operate with transparency, develop strong safeguards against corruption, allow for peaceful protest and honest journalism, and engage in effective judicial reform – areas the country is lagging in.
- Issued Media/Press Guidelines for the Euro2020 on the Macedonian Soccer Team.
- Opposed the unceremonious retraction of the registration of the NPO Macedonian Movement for the Promotion of the Mother Tongue “Krste Misirkov” by the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports (the Greek Ministry), just three days after granting the organization official registration; conducted meetings with Department of State officials, Hill staff, and letters sent to Members of the European Parliament.
- Hosted a global vigil to remember victims of the Macedonian Genocide during the Greek Civil War (1946-1949) and conducted educational virtual programming.
- UMD Australia issued a statement and letter to the Australian Prime Minister expressing UMD Australia’s profound concern at the demands contained in the Australian Hellenic Council’s (AHC) public letter to the Prime Minister, which aimed to curb the fundamental rights of our Macedonian Australian community to identity, language, culture, and freedom of expression in Australia. The AHC letter openly denigrated our long-established community and contained offensive undertones throughout.
- Met with Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Federal Senator for New South Wales, the Hon Marise Payne during which the Foreign Minister firmly stated that “one community cannot dictate to another community on how to name itself” and that Australian law would be applied to protect the rights of all communities equally.
- Actively took part in the inaugural convening of the annual International Religious Freedom Summit (IRF Summit) attended by 1,000 people in Washington, D.C. and countless virtually. UMD was an official sponsor through the IRF Roundtable and delivered brief remarks calling for the registration of the Macedonian Orthodox Church in Greece.
- Met with Darijan Sotirovski, the Director of the Macedonian Commission for Relations with Religious Communities and Groups (CRRCG) to discuss UMD’s religious freedom advocacy work.
- Led a Making Macedonians Count campaign to urge Macedonians in Australia to report their heritage, language, identity, religion, and place of birth in the Australian Census.
- Led a Making Macedonians Count campaign to urge Macedonians in Canada to report their heritage, language, identity, religion, and place of birth in the Canadian Census.
- Generation M visited Sveta Zlata Meglenska in S’botsko (Aridea) and met with Archimandrite Nikodim Tsarknias, religious leader of Macedonians in Greece. Sveta Zlata Meglenska will be the first place of worship where ethnic Macedonians in Greece will be able to freely practice the Macedonian Orthodox religion after the partition of Macedonia in 1913.
- Submitted written testimony as a proponent for the creation of a Commission on Eastern European Affairs and the Office of Eastern European Affairs for Ohio.
- Nova Generation – our Canadian partner – provides 18+ Bitove Scholarships to Macedonian university students.
- Spoke before 30+ young Macedonian professionals at the 12thIvanov School of Young Leaders providing them with tips on mobilizing and networking.
- Held a small gathering and get-together in London, United Kingdom bringing together past Bitove Scholarship recipients, Birthright Macedonia program alumni, and Generation M members.
- Nikola Budjak appointed Munich, Germany Representative for Generation M.
- Hosted a panel discussion on Facebook Live, in collaboration with the NGO Committee on the Status of Women New York, called, “Empowering Women Leaders in Macedonia”. The aim was to enable women to voice their perspectives on issues relevant to their advancement to leadership roles in Macedonia.
- Released UMD Macedonian Diaspora’s 40 under 40 List Awardees. The Award spotlights professionals in various fields and business sectors, including technology, business, real estate, medicine, finance, teaching, arts, law, and government.
- Generation M signed a Memorandum of Collaboration with the Ivanov School of Leaders – Alumni Association (ISLAA) to focus on the professional development and growth of young Macedonian leaders around the world.
- Hosted 11 International Policy and Diplomacy Fellows in 2021.
- Grew Australian and Canadian teams of Generation M.
- Conducted mentorship program for 25 young Macedonian university students.
- Met with Vermont Lieutenant Governor Molly Gray to discuss the 25+ year relationship between the Vermont National Guard and the Macedonian Army, as well as economic trade opportunities.
- Published 30+ Weekly Macedonia Economic Briefs.
- Launched a new program called “Made in Macedonia,” which encourages Macedonians in our Diaspora to promote Macedonian made products throughout the world.
- Established partnership with Peos Estate winery, a Macedonian family-owned business with a history of over 90 years in Manjimup, Western Australia.
- Partnered with Makonnect, the free Macedonian business directory to encourage Macedonian businesses to register online.
- Partnered with Startup Macedonia and Business Accelerator UKIM to provide the know-how to startups and young entrepreneurs in Macedonia.
- Supported Macedonian diaspora-owned small businesses through social media promotion and networking opportunities.
UMD Administrative Updates:
- Deana Janceski appointed as UMD Board Member and U.S. Director.
- Katerina Trajkova appointed as UMD Board Member and Treasurer.
- Anica Dimitrova appointed Boston Chair.
- Valentina Talevska appointed Miami Chair.
- Ema Brown hired as UMD Director, Advancement and Development in Washington, D.C. office.
UMD has set a goal of raising $100,000 before December 31, 2021!
We need your help!
Donations to UMD, a 501(c)(3) donor-supported public charity, are tax exempt. UMD welcomes donations of appreciated stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, which should lower your tax liability, as well as help UMD with all of its great works for the global Macedonian family. UMD can work closely with your financial advisor/broker/banker/financial planner/CPA in order to facilitate your donation.
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