Thaddeus (Ted) Radzilowski has been instrumental in helping to bring focus to “Our Polish Story” with both his rolling baritone voice and his superb knowledge of Polish American culture in Detroit.
His CD, Detroit Polonia, which chronicles the history of the Polish in Detroit, has been instrumental in helping to form the outline of “Our Polish Story” and we are grateful to Ted for having done the heavy lifting in terms of research for the project!
Ted is president of the Piast Institute, a National Institute for Polish and Polish American Affairs. He shares the running of the Institute with co-founder executive director, Virginia Skrzyniarz. Virginia is not only the operational leader of the Institute, but is a major source of the ideas that drive the programs. The superb organization of the recent Kosciuszko lecture by New York Post editor Alex Storozynski (see Storozynski) carried the mark of her celebrated efficiency. The organization of an elegant dinner for Storozynski with the Polish American journalists of Detroit at the DAC in conjunction with the event was, however, the special touch that characterizes her work and makes Piast events legendary. Her latest project is a forum to explore the paths to the future of Polonia. Always aware of the key, if sometime unappreciated, role woman have played in Polish history, Virginia insisted on making Queen Jadwiga one of the patrons of the Institute. Her personal hero is Clara Swieczkowska who founded the Polish Assistance League in Detroit.
Over the years, the Piast Institute’s lifeblood has been the support of Polish Americans.
As the Institute itself will attest, this support comes in spirit, action and (just as important) financial contributions. Four benefactor categories have been established, each in honor of Poles that folks like Ted and Virginia strive to emulate. Among them is the Piast Circle, named for the legendary founder of the Polish state, St. (Queen) Jadwiga, named for the niece of the last Piast King of Poland who founded the University of Krakow in 1399; Fryderyk Chopin (who even non-Poles know as one of the great geniuses of the music world, and lastly, a circle named for Kosciuszko, hero of the Polish and American revolutions, known as the “purest son of liberty”. For history buffs, Kosciuszko was present at the beginning of the American experiment and set democratic ideals irrevocably at the heart of Poland’s struggle.
All great members of the human race, of course, but as importantly, vital links that Detroit has to a Polish tradition.
Piast Institute donations are assuredly going to a proper cause.
11663 Joseph Campau
Hamtramck, MI 48212