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Leadership 100 Approves $6.2 Million in New Grants

e 2021 Concordia Annual Summit

A Last Interview with Harry Mark Petrakis

i k i l e g g A Psoni From Legal Notes to Blue Notes,

Charts Her Tunes


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Eternal Greece One of the most accessible books of modern Greek histor y is by D. George Kousoulas called simply Modern Greece (Charles Scribner’s, 1974), and it begins with how the Greeks, despite nearly 400 years of subjugation to the Ottoman Turks, managed to start a revolution.

It began with the Greek Orthodox Church, which the Turks allowed to function as a way of keeping its Orthodox subjects in check, and also to drive a wedge between the Orthodox and Catholic churches. Only it served to unite the Greeks and keep their faith and identity alive. It continued with trade: the Turks thought trade was beneath them. So the Greeks were allowed to continue their age-long mercantile history, which created a communications network, and which sustained a merchant navy that could be converted to a fighting navy. On land, many of the hardy klephts and armatoli who sometimes served as mercenaries for local chieftains like Ali Pasha later became the Greek fighting force on land.

sailors, and legend goes that “on March 25, 1821, the feast day of the Annunciation, the metropolitan of Old Patras, Germanos, raised the standard of revolution at the monastery of Aghia Lavra, near Kalavrita in the Peloponnisos.” Legend or not, the revolution was born and it led to the first regime of modern Greece in 1828. Hard to believe how a small country, for nearly 400 years kept in both actual and cultural poverty and bondage to the Turks, managed in a few short years to throw off its yoke and fought relentlessly for nearly a hundred years more to become a unified nation. It hasn’t been easy: Greece has had more than its share or wars and upheavals and regimes. But somehow the spirit and ideal of Greece has never died. The glory of ancient Greece lasted no more than a few hundred years, more than 2000 years ago—and yet, along with the Orthodox faith, it is still vibrantly alive and has sustained our small nation with a never-wavering belief in the destiny of all Greeks, both in the homeland and abroad.

The 200 years of Greek independence are a milestone in human history because the ideals of Greece are a cultural touchstone of western T h e s e c onve rge d w it h t h e i d e a l i s m of civilization. Byron died fighting for Greece and philhellenes abroad like Byron and Shelley, and wrote about the undying Greek spirit: the elite Greeks both abroad and within the Ottoman Empire, the so-called Phanariots who The mountains look on Marathonwere often the high-level administrators of the And Marathon looks on the sea; Empire and who nurtured the ideal of an ancient And musing there an hour alone, Greece reborn and even created their own I dreamed that Greece might still be free; language for it—katharevousa. For standing on the Persians' grave, I could not deem myself a slave. The proponents of revolution became the Philiki Eteria, the hardy revolutionaries of the mountains and the sea became its soldiers and DIMITRI C. MICHALAKIS

:: magazine PUBLISHED MONTHLY IN NEW YORK Editor in Chief: Dimitri C. Michalakis info@neomagazine.com Western Region Desk - Los Angeles Alexander Mizan director@americanhellenic.org West Palm Beach, Florida Desk Vassilios Kukorinis skopelitis@hotmail.com Baltimore Desk Georgia Vavas gvavas@comcast.net Photo/Fashion New York: ETA Press fpapagermanos@yahoo.com Los Angeles: Nick Dimitrokalis (951) 764-5737 photobynikos@hotmail.com Graphic Design NEOgraphix.us Adrian Salescu Athens Desk Konstantinos Rhompotis (01130) 210 51 42 446 (01130) 6937 02 39 94 k.rhompotis@neomagazine.com COVER PHOTO: PANAGIOTIS PEIKIDIS

The Greek Revolution: A Victory for Human Agency but an Unfinished One

by Alexander Billinis Inequalities and inequities have existed throughout history, almost as certain to the human condition as death (and taxes). Often enough, revolutions designed to remedy an inequity beget others, or are consumed by their absolute quests, or their unavoidable heritage. Success or failure is often balanced on a knife’s edge and is measured in both the short and long term.

The idea resonated for Greeks too, who, despite many human failings and private arrangements, went all in “with their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor,” to paraphrase another, earlier revolutionary, Dr. Benjamin Franklin. Greed and graft there was aplenty, and atrocities on all sides too bloodcurdling to recall.

In every conflict, Greeks came home to fight, w h e t h e r G re e k s f rom a c om f or t a b l e commercial presence in Egypt, or laborers like my grandfather, in Utah mines. They left Greece—the most painful thing in the world—to escape the “closed shop” but readily returned to give “their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor” when needed.

Yet the Greek identity, emerging from the Byzantine, held in suspended animation for 400 years by the Ottomans, resurrecting the direct inspiration of the Ancient Greeks, and forged in war, proved to be even stronger than the state it created. Few national consciousnesses are as raw and viscerally felt as the Greek one, whether you are in Athens, Greece, or Athens, Georgia. This is an unquestioned success.

If there is a score sheet for the last two hundred years, we must honor the Greek Revolution and identity as authentic, we also can be proud that Greece stood on the right side of history in every major conflict since independence, inspiring so many with her present history as much as with her past. This must be balanced with a real concern that much of the country’s Ottoman heritage remains in a governing system that is more about control and machinations, rather than uncontrolled innovation—the very seed of Greek success at sea and in the Diaspora. If we are also fair, the country also has treated those who do not measure up to the political and social d e f i n i t i o n s o f He l l e n e i n a m a n n e r unbecoming of a Western Democracy.

W h i l e w e c e l e b r a t e , r i g h t f u l l y, o u r reemergence in the concert of nations, we might think a bit about what happened—and is happening “behind the curtain.” While the Greek Revolution was an act of agency to So how does Greece’s Revolution stack up now reclaim our Byzantine and Classical heritage, often enough the means to this end, and the that we take stock after 200 years? activities of state, recalled the Ottomans who There is also room for criticism for the Hellenic Republic activities in the Diaspora, which Pretty well, I would suggest, allowing of course we fought so hard to expel. rather than importing innovation from abroad, for the bias that I am talking about my country, both from a heritage perspective, and, as a While the Constitutions of various Greek ineffective “Ottoman” machinations have been Greek citizen, a legal one. “As an idea whose governments were often far reaching in their exported. Time to put this under the time ha[d] come,” to paraphrase Voltaire, there expansion of the suffrage (except to women, microscope. is no doubt the Revolution was a success. who would wait until 1952), and the immediate Despite the complete hostility of European banning of slavery, all too often in practice We now must rightfully celebrate the Hellenic governments to the Revolution, it succeeded in Greek politics was a closed shop, dominated by Revolution as authentic and largely a great hearts and minds both in Europe, and across a clientelist system that recalled more than success, a great step for human agency. The the Atlantic, where American Philhellenes anything Ottoman pashas of the past. At times, Hellenic Evolution—well this is a work in rushed to the cause, and where another this system directly barred the Greeks’ own process, and one that needs work from all American Republic, Haiti, born of a slave Diaspora from any involvement in the country, Hellenes, in Greece and in the Diaspora. revolt, became the first nation to recognize despite its financial and personal sacrifices for Greece. Greek independence.


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George Petrocheilos’ Catalio Capital Management launches HealthCor Catalio Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: HCAQ) Catalio Capital Management Co-Founders Dr. Jacob Vogelstein and George Petrocheilos

HealthCor Catalio Acquisition Corp. (the "Company"), a special purpose acquisition company formed for the purpose of entering into a combination with one or more businesses, announced recently the closing of its upsized initial public offering of 20,700,000 Class A ordinary shares at a price of $10.00 per share, including 2,700,000 Class A ordinary shares issued pursuant to the underwriter's full exercise of its over-allotment option. Total gross proceeds from the offering were $207 million before deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and other offering expenses payable by the Company. The Company's sponsor is owned by affiliates of HealthCor Management, L.P., founded by Art Cohen and Joe Healey and manages approximately $2.7 billion in assets across long/short and long only healthcare funds. Catalio Capital Management, LP is a private equity firm that invests in breakthrough biomedical technology companies founded by

George Petrocheilos and R. Jacob Vogelstein. The Company is led by Christopher Gaulin, as Chief Executive Officer, Joe Healey, as Chairman and George Petrocheilos, as President. The Company's shares began trading on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the ticker symbol "HCAQ" on January 27, 2021. Jefferies LLC acted as sole book-running manager for the offering. The offering was made only by means of a prospectus.

Leadership 100 Concluded th 30 Annual Conference and Approved $6.2 Million in New Grants

His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America

L100 Chairman Argyris Vassiliou

Leadership 100 Vice Chairman, Demetrios Logothetis was appointed by Archbishop Elpidophoros as Vice Chairman of the National Coordinating Committee of the 200th Anniversary of the Greek Revolution

The Leadership 100 Executive Committee, meeting virtually, approved $6,182,500 in new grants and prior year commitments. New grants approved totaled $1,887,100 and prior year grant commitments totaled $4,295,400. In addition, the Executive Committee unanimously approved a grant of $100,000 to initiate the celebrations of the 200th Anniversary of the Greek Revolution. This brings the total of grants distributed since the inception of Leadership 100 to more than $65 million, according to Argyris Vassiliou, Chairman. “We commend the thorough work of the Grant Committee, chaired by Justin B ozonelis. The Executive Committee approved all the new grants recommended by the Grant Committee.”

Demetrios Logothetis, Vice Chairman of Leadership 100 and Vice Chairman of the National Coordinating Committee of the 200th Anniversary of the Greek Revolution

musical program, Greek Music for the Greek Revolution, 1821-2021, organized and introduced by Nektarios S. Antoniou, Artistic Director and Senior Advisor for Culture of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, which was applauded by hundreds of participants.

Ziogala, ending with the Ss. Cyril and Methodios Choir performing a sing-a-long Greek National Anthem. The music was accompanied by the showcasing of artistic works by master painter and iconographer Dr. George Kordis, and photographs and prints from the collection of The Treasury NYC.

The program, on Friday afternoon, February 19, opened with a heart-warming performance by the Archdiocesan Cathedral School Choir and included stirring renditions of Greek classical and contemporary music performed by Les Vibrations Sympathiques, conducted by Pavlos Kordis, pianist; the acclaimed Polis Ensemble; Soprano Eleni Calenos, accompanied by virtuoso pianist and musicologist, Dr. Athanasios Trikoupis; The 30th Annual Leadership 100 Conference, violinist Dr. Giannis Zarias and the Frog a virtual event, which ran from February 17- String Trio and Violin Orchestra; Mode 19, 2021, concluded with a resounding Plagal; and singers Charis Tsalpara and Erini

The Conference had begun with the Executive Committee, Board of Trustees and General Ass embly me et ing s The pro g ram, A TRIBUTE TO GREECE, In Celebration of the Bicentennial of the Greek Revolution of 1821 and our Hellenic Orthodox Christian Heritage, was opened by Chairman Vassiliou, who introduced Archbishop Elpidophoros, after thanking him for honoring Leadership 100 with leading off the celebration of the Bicentennial.


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Dr. Tom Papademetriou, Constantine and Georgeian Georgiou Endowed Professor of Greek History and Director, Dean C. and Zoë S. Pappas Interdisciplinary Center for Hellenic Studies, Stockton University, Galloway, New Jersey Her Excellency Alexandra Papadopoulou, Ambassador of the Hellenic Republic to the United States of America

His Excellency Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic

Her Excellency Gianna Angelopoulos -Daskalaki, Ambassador-at-Large of the Hellenic Republic and President of “Greece 2021” Committee

Charis Tsalpara, Singer

Both the Chairman and His Eminence thanked Leadership 100 Vice Chairman, Demetrios Logothetis, who was appointed by the Archbishop as Vice Chairman of the National Coordinating Committee of the 200th Anniversary of the Greek Revolution,

Eleni Calenos, Soprano

Les Vibrations Sympathiques, Conducted by Pavlos Kordis, Pianist Nektarios S. Antoniou, Artistic Director

of Greek History and Director, Dean C. and Zoë S. Pappas Interdisciplinary Center for Hellenic Studies. Stockton University, Galloway, New Jersey. The address was a special preview of the exhibition The Greek Revolution (1821-29) through American Eyes, which will open at the Maliotis Cultural Logothetis then led the Tribute with Center on March 22, 2021. introductions of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese plans for the Bicentennial Archbishop Elpidophoros convened a special Celebration and video messages from the meeting earlier in February in which the Pr i me Mi n iste r of Gre e c e, Ky r i a ko s committee for the Bicentennial celebrations Mitsotakis, President of “Greece 2021” was formed. He opened the meeting with Committee and Ambassador-at-Large of words of encouragement and an important Greece, Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, and charge, “The story of Greek-America is an Ambassador of Greece to the United States of exciting one, and its roots in 1821 are a legacy America, Alexandra Papadopoulou. He then of which we should all be proud and of which introduced the keynote address, The Greek we should all be aware. Therefore, I welcome Revolution through American Eyes, delivered all of you to this noble and important work. I by Tom Papademetriou, Ph.D, Constantine want you to imagine for a moment the gift you and Georgeian Georgiou Endowed Professor will be giving by unfolding this history for our

community. Suddenly, young people will see the world around them through new eyes, eyes that behold the light of Greece on our world in a spectrum of radiance they might not have thought existed. Greece will appear in art, science, politics and even the English language, in ways that they might never have guessed.” Following the Archbishop's remarks, Vice Chairman Logothetis reviewed the overview of the campaign that will be divided into three distinct areas. These are: to promote events, whether online or in person, that occur across the US through a centralized calendar, to provide unique educational programs and content, and to hold proper, dignified and safe celebratory events. In addition, Logothetis called upon the members of the committee to join specific subcommittees that will enhance the already planned events and celebrations.


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Hellenic Classical Charter Schools Expansion and Bond Deal Brooklyn school’s status as a National Blue Ribbon School. We are thankful for the help of our community and gove r n m e nt p ar t n e rs i n undertaking this project but an d m o s t of a l l, we are thankful for our students, families, teachers, and staff for their steadfast dedication to HCCS's academic excellence."

Recently, the Hellenic Classical Charter Schools (of Brooklyn and Staten Island “HCCS”), through the Friends of the Hellenic Classical Charter Schools, closed on a $44 million bond deal through the New York City Economic Development Corporation’s “Build NYC” program. HCCS is authorized by The New York State Education Department Board of Regents and has two campuses. HCCSPark Slope (HCCS-PS), established in 2005, is a Pre-K 8 National Blue Ribbon School, and HC CS-St aten Isl and (HCCS-SI), established in 2018, is replicated in its likeness. HCCS-SI has an existing 23,000-square-foot lease at the 1641 Richmond Avenue site for its current grades Pre-K - 2 that was signed in 2019. The HCCS Board of Trustees and its real estate firm, Avison Young, negotiated to expand its relationship with the Holy Trinity Community via this new long-term ground lease on a portion of the land adjacent to their existing building, located at the intersection of Richmond Avenue and Victory Boulevard. HCCS plans to build a new school building at this newly leased Staten Island location that will total 48,000 square feet and house grades 3-8. The new facility will be equipped with classrooms, specialty rooms, an auditorium, and a high-tech library. HCCS-SI renewed the existing 23,000 square foot leased space to coincide with the term of the new building ground lease.

“We see a bright future for our students,'' said Nick Leonardos, HCCS Treasurer. “Together with a tremendous team of professionals, HCCS is on its way to building another incredible structure and is set on continuing its academic and fiscally sound success.” “There’s a blessing with each new accomplishment that one can make and this is the appropriate time to make it and the blessing goes as follows: We thank our maker for allowing us to share in this great day. May we continue to make this blessing,” said HCCS Secretary & Education Chair, Harvey Newman. James Merriman, New York City Charter Center, stated “Hellenic’s ability to tap the capital markets and find stable and affordable financing is partly a function of New York’s rightful commitment to providing leasing assistance to public charter schools. But in a world where a charter is provisional and must be renewed periodically, it is also clear the children of Staten Island will enjoy the opportunity for a great education in a building that is consummate with their hopes and dreams because of the amazing team of educators that Hellenic has assembled—a record of success that has been an essential component of bringing this deal to a successful close. This is yet another example of the mix of talent and energy that charter schools are bringing to New York City’s public education landscape.”

"This marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter in our school's history," said Christina Tettonis, HCCS Superintendent. "We look for ward to continuing to provide an exemplary education to our children in a state-of-the-art building in Staten Island and making key building enhancements to our "The Build NYC bond closing is another great Park Slope school building. Thank you for the accomplishment in HCCS's storied sixteen on-going dedication of our entire HCCS year history" said Charles Capetanakis, HCCS family in making this possible." Board Chair. "First and foremost, we were able to receive this financing based on HCCS's high "It requires a great team, tremendous strength academic achievement as evidenced by our and devotion to make a dream a reality and we couldn't be prouder," said HCCS Chief of In addition, HCCS-PS will improve its already state of the art structure to include HVAC, elevator and other leasehold improvements w h i c h w i l l i n c r e a s e t h e i r s t u d e n t’s experiences.


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Operations, Joy Petrakos. “HCCS provides students in grades prekindergarten through eighth with a rigorous, classical education, rich in challenging classics content. Our education model uses a standardsbased curriculum, coaching, and intensive academic suppor t to promote intellectual curiosity and independent learning. Supported by an exemplary teaching staff, students are prepared to succeed at the best high schools in New York City upon graduation.” The school's culture and philosophy of student learning ensures high-level critical thinking and communication skills. Students in all grades regularly participate in Paideia (Socratic) seminars in which they have conversations developed by open-ended questioning, respecting their peers’ thinking, building on others' ideas, listening closely, and responding to viewpoints other than their own. All students study the language, history, art, and other cultural aspects of Greece, and middle school students receive Latin language instruction as part of their classical education. Other enrichment programs include an Ancient Greek Theater program and the History Day Fair (HDF) program. These students travel to Greece to research topics connected to their studies. HDF's team competes annually on city, state and national levels. The Hellenic Classical Charter School continues to exceed the averages on the New York State English L anguage Arts, Mathematics, and Science Examinations. HCCS is very proud of its 100% graduation rate. Graduates attend the best New York City public high schools, including Stuyvesant, Staten Island Technical, Brooklyn Technical High, Leon Goldstein and Midwood Medical High Schools as well as other high performing private High Schools such as Xaverian High, Xavier, Fontbonne Hall Academy and Notre Dame High Schools and other competitive schools. The entire HCCS community is very proud of this amazing accomplishment and want to thank and acknowledge the hard work of both the schools’ faculty, students and families. This transaction would not be possible without the amazing teamwork, support and dedication of the entire HCCS family and thus is celebrated by all.

When she’s not using her big voice to advocate for social justice, Aggeliki Psoni can be found singing the high sevens on her blue notes, or bringing them down a notch to a smoky low. Aggeliki is a licensed lawyer and jazz singer, and while issues of policy-making and legislation are important to her as a lawyer, her real passion is singing. She was inspired by her dad to go into law. She and her father would debate with each other endlessly, but it was always a struggle on who would have the last word. That ended with her dad saying “you have a big mouth. You should become a lawyer”. After speaking with her I didn’t get the sense she had a “big mouth”, at least not in the negative sense of the word. I found her to be very sweet, delightfully charming, and eager to chat earnestly about her work as a lawyer and singer.

i k i l e g g A Psoni From Legal Notes to Blue Notes,

Charts Her Tunes

Her first experience on social justice was with the United Nations through a study abroad program in Geneva while she was an undergraduate student at Boston University. She always had an interest in international affairs and wanted to make an impact. This interest led her to attend law school. As a student attorney with the CUNY International Human Rights and Gender Justice Clinic, she had the opportunity to prepare a special report to the Human Rights Council. She and her colleagues travelled to Colombia and exposed issues disproportionately affecting Afro-Colombian women, including gender violence, lack of healthcare accessibility, and infringement of land rights.

With her social consciousness, Aggeliki embodies the Greek ethos of Hellenic pride, determination, and strength. As we approach the 200th anniversary of Greek Independence from the Ottoman Empire, to her this major event in Greek history means the epitome of the Greek struggle and “the will and thirst of the Greek people for freedom at any cost. It is the ultimate display of self-sacrifice and it should serve as a beacon for today’s Greeks in their effort to preserve and promote Hellenism.”

Being one of “today’s Greeks”, she likes to keep an open mind to different possibilities. Raised in Greece, she often thinks about going back and giving back, whether it’s to practice law there, follow her musical passion, or something else. She believes that law is a powerful tool for change, but can only be effective with activism, education, and culture: “In Greece, I see the Me Too Movement bringing about some much needed change. The legal framework to support bringing a sexual harassment action may exist, but the culture does not. Alas, laws are just words on paper if they do not get enforced.” She hopes to see reform of the criminal justice system too that includes comprehensive early education on systemic racism, better training of law enforcement officers, and a movement away from incarceration toward rehabilitation.


by Athena Efter


Aggeliki was always sensitive towards matters of social justice. A career in law provided a forum for her to advocate, as she puts it, for “meaningful change, either through policy-making or through litigation. It would give me the ability to give voice to others whose words and experiences – in society’s eyes – do not matter as much because of their race, sex, socioeconomic status, geographical regions or education level, all of which are interrelated. Law school taught me a completely different way of thinking, writing, and speaking than what I was used to. Respect for Human rights is key for any society to function in a healthy and prosperous way.”

She understands that Greece occupies a special space in the world historically and geographically, located at the crossroads of three major continents: “The contribution of Greek citizens and Greeks of the diaspora is enormous and creates a sense of pride and duty to carry the torch of Hellenism forward. Since the Greek language is the root of many Western languages, a serious international effort should be undertaken by the Greek Ministry of Civilization to promote the history and culture of Greece. Science, language and culture raise historical awareness and give a sense of continuity in global affairs.” MARCH 2020


Music was always a big part of her soul and identity, to the point of embarrassing her family: “During family gatherings, I would silence everyone, stand up on whatever chair I could find and sing. Our guests were compelled to pay attention to the crazy fouryear-old whether they wanted to or not. Our family and friends remind me of this years later, referring to my antics as 'endearing', but I try to convince them it was my non-existent twin sister. Thankfully, I haven’t had to command my audience’s attention so aggressively since then. Now I happily perform upon invitation.” Although the pandemic has created some challenges in live performances, in the past few months, she had the pleasure of participating in some online events with her collaborators from Cyprus New York Productions for the Ronald McDonald House in New York, as well as the COSMOS FM Annual Phidippedes Award Ceremony honoring the Hellenic Medical Society of New York. She usually participates in musical ceremonies at various concert halls in New York and Boston, and is grateful to the people i n ou r Gre ek - Ame r i c an c om mu n it y, including Grigoris Maninakis, for their efforts to preserve our rich music culture and to give performance opportunities to young artists. Like many others, she’s anxiously awaiting the reopening of music venues so that she may present some of the exciting musical and theatrical works she’s been preparing. Aggeliki, who also plays the piano, composed her first song in high school, which was performed by her a capella group at their annual multicultural show. This inspired her to start rearranging popular Greek songs and other songs, which led her to compose original melodies.

Aggeliki admits she struggles with the idea of pursuing a career in music-full time, when asked if she could. Her decision to pursue a career in law was a conscious one, and one that her family supported most. She does not come


from a musical family, but she is very family oriented, and gives her parents, especially her mother, great credit for getting her and her brothers involved with music at a young age. She has tremendous respect for those who pursue music full-time, but she feels confident in her approach: “I was always told I couldn’t do both, so I wanted to prove to myself that I could. Paradoxically, what I found is that the


When not talking social justice and reform, or taking legal notes, Aggeliki can be can be found singing the notes to her beloved music genres – blues, Latin jazz, and traditional Greek music, which is near and dear to her heart. The idea of blending these styles is one she finds especially intriguing. She loves languages, and speaks Greek, French, and English fluently. She has a new album coming out that will feature original works and a few covers of her favorite music genres, and will feature a collaboration with well-known jazz musician Spiros Exaras. She is honored to work him, including her past collaborations with Glafkos Kontemeniotis with whom she has recorded a number of jazz rearrangements of popular Greek songs and other songs. She is also working on projects with composer and actor Phytos Stratis who has introduced her to musical theater and interactive performing.

busier I got, the better I got at whatever I was doing. Doing law and music simultaneously forced me to be organized to the point where every minute of my day had to be planned most of the time. I try to give everything I do my very best, whether I do it full time or part time. For me, the two disciplines complement each other and give me a healthy work-life balance. It does get overwhelming, but it is all worth it.” Aggeliki, like all artists, has her inspirations. Her influences include some of the most iconic female singers from around the world, like Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Christina Aguilera, Lara Fabian and Tzeny Vanou. She also draws strength and inspiration from the people in her life and her experiences with them. And like all artists, will always have her dream collaborations. In her eyes,”if Andrea Bocelli asked me to sing a duet with him, I guess I wouldn’t say no. In fact, I’ve been expecting his call. It would also be an honor to share the stage with Bruno Mars, Charlie Puth, Stevie Wonder, Melody Gardot, and Vulfpeck. You might say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one.” I think that last bit of dreamer may have been her homage to the lyrics of John Lennon. A lt hou g h t he p and e m i c has c re ate d challenges in live performances, in the past few months, she had the pleasure of participating in some online events with her collaborators from Cyprus New York Productions to the Ronald McDonald House in New York. Like many others, she’s anxiously awaiting the reopening of music venues so that she may present some of the exciting musical and theatrical works she’s been preparing. She promises to keep everyone posted through social media. In the meantime, it doesn’t hurt to make it a Doris kind of day and “to dream a little dream” and sing like her.


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strategy στρατηγική

Endy Zemenides is the Executive Director of the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC), a national advocacy organization for the Greek American community. To learn more about HALC, visit www.hellenicleaders.com

GREEK AMERICANS MUST LEAD THE CHARGE AGAINST XENOPHOBIA By Endy Zemenides Since the outbreak of COVID, about 3,800 hate crimes have been perpetrated against Asian-Americans. Reports have detailed how attackers often blamed their victims for the pandemic. The effect of “China virus” and “Kung Flu” being used in public debate has been obvious and deleterious. This past week, this epidemic of anti-Asian violence hit a tragic peak, with the murders of six AsianAmerican women in Atlanta. In the aftermath of this latest hate crime, there has been a nationwide outcry. Statements, Congressional hearings, hashtags. There have also been protests (as there are whenever we suffer other hate crimes) that “this isn’t America?” But is what Asian-Americans have suffered over the last year more American than we care to admit? Consider the wrenching story that Congressman Andy Kim (D-NJ) posted onto his campaign Twitter account: I’ll never forget the feeling when I learned that my own government questioned my loyalty. Before Congress I worked in diplomacy at the State Department. I once received a latter banning me from working on Korea issues just because of my last name. I was stunned. I had previously worked in Afghanistan for State. I had a top-secret security clearance. But here was a letter saying we don’t trust you. What confused me more is that I didn’t even apply to work on Korea. The State Department was proactively telling me they didn’t trust me. And it wasn’t just me. I learned that other Asian Americans at State had the same thing happen. It was called “assignment restrictions” – a bureaucratic way of saying “failing loyalty test”. Chalking up the culture of hate we have witnessed over the last few years to conspiratorial minded, chauvinistic white s u p r e m a c y i s t o o e a s y, a n d w r o n g . Congressman Kim’s story is indicative of a more pervasive problem, one that extends even to the most “cosmopolitan” of our 28

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country’s institutions: xenophobia. Of course, most Americans will protest that they have no “fear of the stranger”. Still, many of them will have no negative reaction to this famous quote of President Theodore Roosevelt: There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best A m e r i c an s I h av e e v e r k n ow n w e re naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all ... The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality, than with the other citizens of the American Republic ... There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else. There are even individuals in our own community – some with leadership roles – that celebrate this quote. A less celebrate quote is from President Woodrow Wilson who regarded "hyphenated Americans" with suspicion: "Any man who carries a hyphen about with him carries a dagger that he is ready to plunge into the vitals of this Republic whenever he gets ready." Both the American left and right too often accuse American Jews of dual loyalty. President Trump declared that any American Jews that “vote for a Democrat, you’re very, very disloyal to Israel and to the Jewish people”. Representative Ilhan Omar accused at least some American Jews (specifically, AIPAC members) of dual loyalties. And

during the Obama Administration, when Jewish Senator Chuck Schumer voted against the Iran nuclear deal, he was accused of being more loyal to Israel than to the US. Greek Americans have also been subjected to this xenophobia. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Ku Klux Klan had targeted Greek Americans in the South. Fortunately, AHEPA was founded – boldly forming in the same city (Atlanta) where the Klan was headquartered – and successfully removed the stigma of “stranger” from Greek Americans. Yet the Greek American experience with xenophobia did not end there. A new wave of immigrants faced a new wave of discrimination. US Congressman Nick Galifanakis – uncle to famous comedian and actor Zack Galifanakis – was the subject of xenophobic tactics by the infamous dirty campaigner Jesse Helms and his supporters. And today, the most strident advocates of Hellenic issues in American politics seem to always be compelled to declare that they are speaking as “American citizens” or from “an American point of view”. More than once, we have had our policy concerns minimized because it is assumed that we have some ethnic/cultural grudge to pick with Turkey. T h i s Gre e k A m e r i c an s t r u g g l e w it h xenophobia should make us leaders in the fight against it. Our struggles, our institutions, our proud history – with Archbishop Iakovos marching with Dr. Martin Luther King in Selma as a high point, our values – particularly the values of agape and philoxenia, can make us leaders in this struggle. As proud hyphenated Americans, ones who know that the “Greek” part of our identity makes us even better (not lesser) Americans, we can mark Greece’s Bicentennial here in the U.S. by using our immigrant experience and Hellenic values to not only battle “hate”, but the bias and xenophobia that leads to this hate.

By Nicholas Cotros

Lion in Winter: A last interview with Harry Mark Petrakis

(Harry Mark Petrakis, the legendary author of 24 legendary books, most-notably of GreekAmerican life, died this past February at his longtime home in Chesterton, Indiana at the age of 97. “He passed away imperceptibly, like the flutter of a sparrow’s wing, seemingly without struggle, with my brother and his wife by his bedside,” his son Mark Petrakis told the Chicago Sun-Times. Author Stuart Dybek called him “a major figure, certainly in 20th century Chicago literature. He was part of a movement that was national at the time, with Chicago in the forefront, in which America claimed its identity through its ethnic writers.” A last interview was with writer Nicholas Cotros.) March 25th, 2021 is the 200-year anniversary of Greek freedom: Greek Independence Day. Last year, I was introduced to the work of Harry Mark Petrakis, the Greek-American novelist who first detailed the events of this war in English, in his epic novels The Hour of the Bell and The Shepherds of Shadows.

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surely sported a tee-shirt and shorts. In partnership with other rambunctious young Greeks, he soon joined a local immigrant gang. The youths’ mission: to become Americans! They contended with storeowners, street merchants, and push-carts to, “deride the customs of the old country,” as Petrakis writes in his first autobiography, Stelmark. Ironically, a son of immigrants from “Greek Town” Chicago, Petrakis, who had once subscribed to the idea of eventually shedding his heritage, would later embrace it. At fifty years old, having already authored acclaimed novels and short story collections, Petrakis began writing The Hour of the Bell. Published in 1976, this historical novel documents the events that transpired before and during the Greek war of independence, beginning in March of 1821 as revolts broke out across Greece.

The Hour of the Bell and its sequel, The Shepherds of Shadows (published some thirty years later in 2008), detail how not only the Turks, but also the Greeks, on the backs of Last year, Petrakis and I spoke via telephone stampeding horses, baring muskets and several times. We discussed his novels, short curved swords, slaughtered their enemies stories, and life. At ninety-seven years old, without mercy. Petrakis is kind and thoughtful. He often paused before speaking, as if searching for Bell and Shepherds share with us stories of realcertain words before sharing them aloud. life characters like Theodoros Kolokotronis, Laughing, he said, “Nick, it’s been a journey, the high-ranking Greek general who, for a and I’ve lived it longer than most people live. time, in a sad act of betrayal, was sent to a I’m ninety-eight, so imagine how I look back faraway island by other competing men of across the landscape of my life, and the width their revolutionary military. They tell of and the scope of it, the mistakes, the blunders, patriots like the English poet, Lord Byron, the triumphs, the small victories, the defeats, whose poems inspired English support of the humiliation. The whole cauldron of Greece, and who eventually died in Greece hoping to contribute to its repose. And they human experience sits in my memory.” tell of young villagers who, in the beginning, Harry Petrakis was born in St. Louis, Missouri among swirling whispers of an impending in 1923, the fifth of six children. His family, revolution, joined their older counterparts seven years earlier, had immigrated to and ran away from their homes to enlist in America (from Crete, Greece) with their bands of wild “pakilars” hiding in and father agreeing to be the priest of a small attacking from the mountains. parish in Price, Utah. But the Greek coal miners of Price who yearned for a priest to As 2021 signals the 200-year anniversary of care for them also desperately wanted a priest this war, Petrakis reflects on these novels. “It with a family, to remind them of their own was a time of slavery after four hundred years,” families who still lived in Greece. In his he said, “and the Greeks suffered. The Turks memoirs, Petrakis shares his mother’s treated them like animals. If a Greek walked memory, that when his father, mother, down the street and a Turk approached, he was brothers, and sisters were first greeted by the supposed to get out of the way, not to impede community, the miners cheered jubilantly, his progress. All kinds of cruelty.” Centuries of firing gunshots into the sky. She told Petrakis slavery is important context. Imagine being that, as they approached the men, some were born into slavery and, sixty-seventy years seen with tears in their eyes. Others knelt and later, dying in the same fashion, your children offered prayers of thanks as their family and grandchildren forced to endure a similar life. walked through the congregation.

Soon though, I learned that the life and work of Petrakis far exceed his recounting of these historical events. In fact, his work, beginning with the sale of his first short story to The Atlantic in 1957, has long-chronicled the many struggles and triumphs of immigrants and other working-class peoples, like the Greek shop-owners of Chicago’s once- After pleading with their bishop for months, thriving “Greek Town.” who are at the heart of the coal miners’ collective wish had been granted - a priest and his loving family had his short stories and novels. arrived from the island of Crete. 34

Petrakis’ family later relocated to St. Louis (where Petrakis was born), and soon to Chicago. Although his father wore the traditional, dark-black garments of a Greek Orthodox priest, young Harry Petrakis

His motivation, Petrakis said, was that, “… there seemed never to have been any kind of a major work in English on that war of independence, and it seemed to me that it deserved it.”

Petrakis spoke of his working with the books’ publisher, Doubleday, and with a friend, Kimon Friar, the famous writer and translator of Nikos Kazantzakis. In preparation for The Hour of the Bell, Petrakis and Friar visited Greece. They traveled south to the deep Mani, to the southernmost tip of the Peloponnesus, and to the high mountain ranges that border Bulgaria, where Petrakis said he first witnessed Greek snow.

student finally said they could not talk to the story because it was obviously written from first-hand experience. “I wasn’t a fool,” Petrakis said. “As I walked through the snow in the park across from Michigan Avenue, across from Columbia College, I thought, if I can, in these two pages, so impact a reader they believe it to be true, maybe writing is what I should consider doing.”

(1966, 1967), first for his collection of short stories, also titled Pericles on 31st Street, and again, for the best-selling novel A Dream of Kings, later adapted into a movie starring Anthony Quinn and Irene Papas.

Diana and Harry attended middle school together, at their Greek Parochial school in Chicago. They discovered an enduring, joyful love and together raised three sons, all with families and children of their own. Many of Petrakis later enrolled in some writing classes, Petrakis’ stories begin with a devotion to attending workshops at Columbia College. Diana, and, of course, her baklava. Once, after reading a short, Christmas-time assignment to his classmates, no one raised For Pericles on 31st Street, Petrakis was their hand to offer feedback. After the teacher awarded with an Atlantic First (1957). He is a insisted that someone critique his work, a two-time National Booker Award Finalist

Petrakis said, “That I survived, and that I’ve been able to write my books, that I found Diana, a wonderful wife, and that we had three fine sons, all this is a miracle.” Nikos Kazantzakis, who Petrakis often refers to as the greatest of modern Greeks, described miracles as moments when all hope is lost, yet, in a quick, shooting fashion, the miracle rises and shatters the earth, like the legend of Boukouvalas, a miracle.”

In Greece, Petrakis studied the war logs of Theodoros Kolokotronis, and perhaps A l e x a n d r o s M a v r o k o r d a t o s , Ya n n i s Makriyannis, and others. But neither Bell nor Shepherds begin with these celebrated men. Instead, The Hour of the Bell begins in the small town of Kavasaras that is, as Petrakis writes, “situated on a plain dominated by the towering peaks of the ancient, holy mountain, Parnassus.” It is here we first meet the town’s priest, Father Markos. Petrakis explained that he often used priests as vessels to tell stories through. Because his father was a Greek Orthodox priest, Petrakis knew of their struggle. He said, “I saw him, and I saw the weariness in him. After church, there’d be a small crowd of people waiting to speak to him… asking his help, asking his intercession for them. And I saw the way in which this weighed on him.” Father Markos is a central, through-line character in both Bell and Shepherds. He is a peaceful presence who juxtaposes the stories’ other characters, like the many soldiers whose garments are dressed in bandoliers of ammunition and long, hooked knives. Before Petrakis became a writer, he was a reader. At twelve years old, Petrakis was diagnosed with a terminal case of Tuberculosis. Other than visiting the fresh air of a mountain sanitarium, which his family could not afford, rest was the only cure for Tu b e r c u l o s i s . T h e n b e d - r i d d e n , h e remembers one night in particular, when his parents thought he had fallen asleep. Outside his room, he heard his family’s physician admit to his father that he thought he would not survive. Thankfully, despite this gloomy prognosis, Petrakis endured his debilitating illness. Resting, recovering, he spent two years in bed reading books. Petrakis said, “Now, this was before the days of television, and the good radio programs, like Jack Armstrong, The All-American Boy, didn’t come on until evening. So, I started to read.” During this period, with little else to do, Petrakis “consumed” books. “I’d read a book a day, seven books a week,” he said. “The bookstore advertised the ten- and twenty-five centers, and my brothers and sisters would buy a handful… and bring them to me.”

But The Hour of the Bell and The Shepherds of Shadows may prove to be his most influential work. With these novels, he has provided us with a history of the Greek war for freedom. Although Petrakis is now considered to be a T h r o u g h a r a n g e o f c h a r a c t e r s a n d master of short stories, he recalls receiving perspectives, beside priests, wives, and rejected manuscripts for ten years, before his warriors, we are told this story. first story was published in The Atlantic in April of 1957. Its title: Pericles on 31st Street. Its “You don’t appreciate, when you’re young,” lead character, Nicholas Simonakis, who, in Petrakis said, “the richness of our heritage. Pericles, makes his living at the corner of 31st From that small country, came the great and Dart, is unlike the other tenants who sip literature of that time, which is great today. Of spirits and heckle Simonakis inside, at the the four greatest tragic poets, playwrights, corner bar. three of them are Greek. When you look back, and you think what came from that small Petrakis admits that Pericles may still be his beleaguered country that struggled under favorite. “Well, I write of immigrants because slavery and under invasion, it’s awesome.” that’s the community I knew,” he said. “The parishioners at my father’s church were all At an advanced age, Petrakis has continued from Greece and had come within a space of a writing. At his lakeside home in Indiana, he few years. So, that pride they brought with described his workshop as a little alcove porch, them, that stubbornness they brought with a downstairs anteroom. them, that integrity, I put it into this old man, a street vendor pushing a cart selling hot dogs.” “I don’t have the enthusiasm that I had, the excitement about finishing a work. I realize Of Pericles, Petrakis continued: that any work I’m doing now could remain unfinished if something happened to me. So, “It was a rebirth, Nick. I had been writing for I’m still writing because it’s what I’ve been ten years, not writing with intensity and doing for sixty years. But I don’t have the regularity. I may stop for a few months, then I’d energy, I don’t have the enthusiasm that I had. write a story. Another month passed by before But, like an old professional, like an old actor I typed it and sent it away, and then wait for the who’s been acting all of his life, I do it because rejection slips which came for several years. it’s what I know how to do. And when I finish a And then a note under a rejection slip: ‘Good story or a paragraph or a page that I like, I’m job. Try us again.’ from The Atlantic, which, in grateful that I can still put words together.” 1953, wrote a note in one of my stories and said, ‘We have been following your work with Finally, I asked Petrakis which moments are attention and admire the improvement. Keep worth remembering. “The ones we’ve missed writing, and we think you will make and recall at the end of our lives,” he replied. publication someday.’ My wife and I had a “It’s hard to tell unless you look back at the celebration that night with a bottle of wine and different shadings of experience, and the a candle on the table, thinking a month, two meanings of those experiences…’ months, and I’d sell my first story. It actually took me three more years, and that was the “In other words, if you have an experience in Pericles story, Pericles on 31st Street.” your 20’s, you may reflect on it in a different way in your 30’s, and reflect on it again. In Petrakis’ wife, Diana, was a constant source of terms of the accumulation of experience, it support through years of odd jobs that gives you a different perspective. And so, all preceded his writing career. In his memoirs, your life, there’s a changing evaluation of Petrakis writes how Diana’s mother fed their things that happened to you. That’s the way we family during periods of struggling income. live. We live by stumbling through our days He joked that he closely examined each meal, and remembering our memories, which are convinced that her mother may try to poison sometimes chaotic and jumbled. But here and him to rid herself of Diana’s poor husband. there, we glimpse particles of meaning.”


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AHEPA District Six Scholarship Program Each year the AHEPA District Six Scholarship Program awards scholarships to deser ving students. Thanks to the generosity of some of Brother AHEPANS, they will award seven scholarships. The first is $5,000. The second and third are $1,500. The remaining ones will be $1,000 each. This year the AHEPA District 6 Scholarship Program in addition will give a $1,000 scholarship to a high school senior who is pursuing a career in vocational training i.e. h e a lt h c are , c on s t r u c t i on , m anu f a c tu r i ng , c ar p e nt r y, electronics, plumbing, etc.

downloaded at https://www.ahepad6.com/chapt er-resources. In addition to their scholarship program the AHEPA National Educational Foundation offers many outstanding opportunities i.e. Journey to Greece, etc. For more information their website is https://www.ahepa.org/educatio n.

“We wish all of our high school seniors and college students good luck in their future endeavors”, Chapter President Mike Papaphotes stated. “Please read District Six is asking chapters to t h e r e q u i r e m e n t s o n t h e support this program and to application very carefully and encourage their high school adhere to the deadline. The seniors and college students to application must be e-mailed by apply for a scholarship. The May 15, 2021. If you have any AHEPA District Six application questions, please contact me at and requirements are available education@ahepad6.com.” online and may be easily

International Orthodox Charities Offers Digital Tools for Emotional and Spiritual Care

International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC)’s digitized Care and Care Compass tools are proving to be adaptable resources for emotional and spiritual care in crises beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, deployed most recently amid the adverse effects of extreme winter weather across Texas. The resources’ versatility became ap p a r e nt a s c o mp o u n d c r i s e s unfolded in Texas—from a deep freeze to power loss and then a growing water crisis—and IOCC’s US Program staff coordinated with partners and Orthodox dioceses in affected areas. Through local diocesan networks, IOCC quickly shared Care Calls to help community members, families, and neighbors check on and care for each other amid the ongoing emergency. Care Calls uses a straightforward, phase-based script to guide callers through phone or video conversations with others, helping them feel cared for while they explore their feelings. Crafted to be used by anyone, Care Calls is an outreach tool for responding to crisis with compassion. Developed in consultation with Orthodox clergy, licensed clinicians, counselors, and medical doctors, and under IOCC’s US Program, Care and Care Compass were created to fill a gap that appeared as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. Emotional and spiritual care—offered by specially trained volunteers called Frontliners—is a key component of IOCC’s US disaster preparedness and response initiatives. However, safety concerns amid the pandemic limited IOCC Frontliners’ ability to do this work face to face, as they normally would. Digitizing tools for emotional and spiritual care allowed the work to continue and even scale up.

[that] the person receiving this call had all these thoughts, feelings, and experiences, but everyone around her had the same, and so [she had] no one to share them with; suddenly with IOCC she had a safe platform to share her story.” It was, she concluded, “a powerful moment where we gave someone voice.” Not only IOCC Frontliners but also clerg y, layp e ople, and p ar t ner organizations across the nation have used the tools. Site statistics indicate that together, Care Calls and Care Compass have been viewed over 26,000 times—an indication of the programs’ reach. If Care Calls is an outreach tool, Care Compass is a learning and teaching resource, outlining ways for individuals, families, and communities to navigate adversity with hope. From healthy grieving to cultivating stronger communities, Care Compass helps people build resilience within themselves and within their relationships. Developed by IOCC and its Frontliners, both programs equip communities and individuals with skills that will serve them in any challenge. More info on these programs, at iocc.org/carecalls and iocc.org/carecompass.

International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is the humanitarian relief and development agency of the Assembly of Canonical Bishops of the United States of America. Since its inception in 1992, IOCC has provided more than $715 million in humanitarian relief and sustainable development programs in over 60 countries worldwide. Today, IOCC applies its expertise in humanitarian response to natural and manmade crises in Africa, Europe, the Middle “The most powerful part of this East, and the United States, offering experience,” said one Frontliner after a assistance based solely on need. Care Call that stayed with her, “was 38

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In Memoriam Dr. Dean C. Lomis Dr. Dean C. Lomis, former Chairman of the American Hellenic Institute Public Affairs Committee (AHIPAC) and advocate for Cyprus passed away February 13, 2021. “During his many years as a community advocate that began shortly after Turkey’s illegal invasion of Cyprus in 1974, and especially during his four terms serving as AHIPAC chairman from 1984 to 1992, Dr. Lomis worked relentlessly with AHI Founder Eugene Rossides to bring justice for Cyprus under the rule of law,” AHI President Nick Larigakis said. “He is credited for raising awareness and ‘educating’ then-Senator Joe Biden about the Cyprus issue and as AHIPAC Chairman, he presented in-person witness testimony to key congressional committees on our positions regarding foreign aid to Greece, Cyprus, and Turkey on several occasions. “Dr. Lomis was one of my strongest mentors from whom I learned tremendously beginning from my time at AHI in 1987. We travelled the country together advocating on behalf of policy issues impacting Greece and Cyprus and informing and educating communities. He will be remembered fondly by the American Hellenic Institute and its members as an exceptional individual who worked diligently to promote Hellenic ideals and values in addition to advocating for Hellenic policy issues. Our prayers and deepest sympathies are with the Lomis family, especially his wife, Toula; and sons, Van, Nicholas, and Michael. May his memory be eternal.” AHI presented Dr. Lomis with the Hellenic Heritage National Public Service Award in 1997. He actively promoted the teaching of Modern Greek in American universities and cooperated with AHEPA and the University of Thessaloniki to establish courses for Greek American students. Dean C. Lomis, native of Gary, Indiana, received is BA from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force, and attended flying training in Houston, Texas. In 1956, he was assigned overseas to United States Air Force Intelligence Headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany and in 1957, to the Office of the Air Attaché of the American Embassy in Athens, Greece. In 1960, Dean Lomis began his teaching career at Mesquite High School in Mesquite, Texas while pursuing graduate studies. He received his M.A. in 1965 and his Ph.D. in 1967 in Educational Administration from East Texas State university. From 1959 and until his retirement in 1991, he served as the director of international Center at the university of Delaware where he taught three courses. He also had served as regional Chairman of the National Association for Foreign Student Affairs, Delaware State Chairman of the American Association of university administrators, President of the Delaware Division of United Nations Association, President of the Delaware Division of Unite Nations Association, President of the Delaware Division of United Nations Association, President of the Delaware Branch of the Englishspeaking union, member of the Board of Directors of the Wilmington (Delaware) World Affairs Council, Delaware Council of International Visitors, and Delaware Chapter of People-to-People International, as well as member of various civic and public organizations.

FAITH Accepting Applications for Executive Leadership Training Program FAITH: An Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism, in partnership with The Fletcher School at Tufts University, is excited to announce the launch of the application for its leadership training program, the Executive Education Program in Strategic Leadership and Transformative Action ( S LTA ) , o n i t s w e b s i t e (thefaithendowment.org/SLTA). Following the success and ongoing impact of the 2020 pilot class from the Metropolis of Chicago, FAITH looks forward to offering the program in 2021 to participants from the Metropolis of Boston. Developed by Professor Elizabeth Prodromou, Faculty Director of Fletcher’s Initiative on Religion, Law, and Diplomacy, the SLTA program is designed to give clergy and laity a foundational set of technical, intellectual, and spiritual tools and ideas for strategic management and leadership that can produce transformative action within the Greek Orthodox community. Over the course of five days, participants will learn and discuss best practices, challenges and opportunities for growth within their communities, engage in customized lectures and workshops by Professor Prodromou and Fletcher’s world-class faculty experts in related disciplines of faith-based and non-profit organizations. The program is delivered by Fletcher’s Office of Executive Education, and will cover topics such as

strategic planning and management, financial planning for non-profits, leadership, crisis management, communication strategies and religious literacy.

families and individuals in the Chicago area in partnership with the National Hellenic Museum; Strengthen Stewardship Now, which supported over 14 parishes with resources and tools to increase greater stewardship participation and decrease reliance on episodic fundraising events; and the Communication Technology Initiative, which assisted parishes live-stream liturgies and u s e t e c h n o l o g y t o h o s t v i r t u a l Su n d ay schoolrooms and other youth programs.

"Thanks to the FAITH Endowment for its vision in recognizing the crucial importance of faith-based leadership in meeting the existential challenges that connect local Greek Orthodox communities to global developments across the planet. [This program] helped the SLTA leadership cohort deliver innovative, compassionate solutions to the Chrysso Sarris, a 2020 SLTA program participant, crisis,” Professor Prodromou said. summarized the experience as, “Ambitious, thought-provoking, and collaborative, this forum As part of the application process, each participant allowed participants to discuss challenges and is asked to present a community impact project to opportunities … I am truly grateful for FAITH’s b e d e v e l o p e d d u r i n g t h e p r o g r a m a n d foresight in recognizing the potential benefit of the implemented in their community/parish upon SLTA program.” completion of the program. Given pandemic-related restrictions, participants “It is with great enthusiasm that I announce the will have the choice to attend the program Metropolis of Boston's participation in this r e m o t e l y f r o m h o m e o r o p t f o r h o t e l edifying program in partnership with the FAITH accommodation near Medford, MA. Admission Endowment and The Fletcher School at Tufts priority will be given to clergy and laity from the University. Drawing upon the insights of various Metropolis of Boston. experts in religious and non-profit management, clergy and lay leaders from around New England Upon completion of the program, each participant will be afforded the opportunity to learn important will receive a Certificate from the Office of techniques and many creative approaches of Executive Education at The Fletcher School of Law bringing the Gospel message to God’s people,” and Diplomacy at Tufts University. stated His Metropolitan Methodios. The application deadline is March 8, 2021. For The 2020 SLTA program participants from the m o r e i n f o r m a t i o n t h e i r w e b s i t e i s Metropolis of Chicago were able to adapt their thefaithendowment.org/SLTA individual impact projects to meet their communities’ immediate and pressing needs Since 2004, FAITH has supported and promoted during the pandemic. They established a series of excellence and leadership among young people initiatives, including Operation HOPE, which within the Greek and Hellenic community helped local networks achieve food security and through sponsoring college scholarship programs, has provided meal and care kits to over 2,000 educational programs and cultural initiatives.

Turkey: Poems and Genocides by Uzay Bulut*

the city in the 14th century and captured it The co-organizers of the project, Franz Alto from the Greek-speaking Byzantine (Eastern Bauer and Holger A. Klein, also wrote: From December 7 to 17, Turkey celebrated the Roman) Empire, the name of the city was The ancient city of Bizye (modern Vize) is well “Week of Mawlana,” marking the life and translated into Turkish as “Kırk Kilise.” known not only as a place of exile during the legacy of one of the world’s most popular poets. Jalal al-Din Rumi, also known as Then followed the Republican era with the early Byzantine period, but also as the home Mawlana, was a 13th-century Persian poet establishment of Turkey in 1923. In the early and cult center of St. Mary the Younger, a pious and mystic philosopher. Born in Balkh (now years of the republic, Dr. Fuad Umay, who was woman of Armenian origin who died there in in Afghanistan), Rumi authored thousands of a member of the parliament, presented a 902 and was subsequently buried in the city’s Persian language lines of poetry, sermons, and proposal to parliament to change the name. cathedral…. Cyril Mango was the first to letters. His popularity has become a global The city was then named Kırklareli, meaning suggest that the Byzantine church still phenomenon, and his works have been widely “The Place of the Forties.” Thus both the standing on the acropolis of Vize, now known translated. As Rumi died on December 17, Greek name of the city and its Turkish as Ayasofya or Süleyman Paşa Camii, should 1273 in the city of Iconium (now Konya in translation were erased by the Turkish be identified as Bizye’s Byzantine cathedral and location of the saint’s first tomb as Turkey), he is particularly popular in Turkey. government. mentioned in her Life. His legacy is annually commemorated on his death’s anniversary in Konya, and a full week is Not only the Greek name, but also the Greek inhabitants of this ancient city of eastern The former church was restored by Turkey’s dedicated to his annual remembrance. Thrace were also wiped out from their General Directorate of Foundations in 2007 homeland during the 1913-23 Greek and is still open as a mosque, according to the Genocide in Ottoman Turkey. According to official website of the Kırklareli Provincial the Greek Genocide Resource Center: Directorate of Culture and Tourism.

Hagia Sophia Cathedral (now Ayasofya Mosque), one of many former Greek Byzantine churches across Turkey converted to mosques, is located in the ancient Bizye, present day Vize, in Kırklareli.

One of the Turkish officials who issued a commemorative message was the governor of the city of Kirklareli, Osman Bilgin. Referring to Rumi as “the flesh of compassion and mercy,” Governor Bilgin said on December 2 that Rumi “tried to guide people through his words centuries ago in order to establish a world free from hatred, violence and arrogance.” He continued: “Mawlana enlightens our hearts through his life, his works and his teachings that go beyond centuries. He sows the seeds of unity, solidarity, love and tolerance in our hearts and tells us that a world of peace without discrimination based on language, religion and race is possible. The greatest message of Rumi is love and unity, and at the same time, he is a symbol of peace and brotherhood.” Yet, one hundred years ago, the governor’s city, Kirklareli – like the rest of Turkey – witnessed one of the world’s most heinous crimes against humanity. This genocide that wiped out the ingenious Christian peoples – Greeks, Armenians and Assyrians – from their ancient homeland. Today, Kirklareli has no Christian residents left. Saranta Ekklisies – Kırk Kilise – Kırklareli Among Kirklareli’s indigenous peoples the Greeks called the city “Saranta Ekklisies” (Σαράντα Εκκλησιές), meaning “Forty Churches.” After the Ottoman Turks invaded

A report from Constantinople dated 8th of September 1915 stated that all the villages of the district of Kırklareli had been emptied of their Greek inhabitants. From Yenice (Gr: Skepastos) 3,000 Greeks were deported toward Tekirdağ. On the 8th of September 4000 inhabitants from Sophides were e vac u ate d. The Gre eks of D emirköy (Samacovo) in the district of Vize (5,000 inhabitants) were also deported around this time. Tourla and St. Stefano of the Vize district (3,150 inhabitants) were surrounded by Turkish gangs and no one remained.

Turkish state authorities often talk of “tolerance,” “democracy” or “coexistence.” However, in the 1913-23 Christian genocide, which Turkey still aggressively denies to this day, Greeks, Assyrians and Armenians were largely exterminated. According to scholars Colin Tatz and Winton Higgin, Turkish paramilitaries dealt with the three Christian minorities (Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians) through pogroms, deportations, and other atrocities laced with spectacular and gratuitous sadism. The Turks deployed concentration camps and special killing units; they engaged in massacres, public butchering, drownings, and poisonings; they employed elementar y gas chambers, medical experiments, starvation, and death marches. (A quarter of a century later the German Nazi regime would assiduously replicate all of these genocidal methods.)

Yet, the “Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya) Mosque,” one of many former Greek Byzantine churches across Turkey, is located in the ancient Bizye, present day Vize, in Kırklareli. And it stands as a testimony to the Greek Christian history of the city. According to the Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites, Bizye was a capital of the last dynasty of the Odrysian line and the home of Tereus who in Greek Professor Hannibal Travis also nother that during the genocide, mythology was king of Thrace.

Greek men became victims of murder, torture, and starvation; Greek women suffered all this and also became slaves in Muslim households; Greek children wandered the streets as orphans ‘half-naked and begging for bread’; and millions of dollars’ worth of Greek Located in the ancient Acropolis of Bizye and property passed into Muslim hands. often identified as the town’s episcopal church during the Byzantine period, the former Until the Turkish government officially church of Hagia Sophia at Vize — also known recognizes the Christian genocide and puts an as the Ayasofya or Süleyman Paşa Camii — end to its abuse of churches and other nono cc upies an imp or t ant, if s ome w hat Muslim places of worship, Turkey can never ambiguous position in the histor y of be a truly civilized and democratic country. No fancy “cultural event” including the Byzantine ecclesiastical architecture. “Mawlana Week” can rid Turkey of its moral Despite some early hagiographical references responsibility of acknowledging historical mentioning the episcopal (Cathedral) church truths and its crimes against humanity. of Bizye, historical information about the building is scant until the late nineteenth- Uzay Bulut is a Turkish journalist and political century, when several Greek authors mention analyst formerly based in Ankara. the church and its dedication to Hagia Sophia. The Depar tment of Ar t Histor y and Archeology at Columbia University has carried out an archeological project entitled “the Byzantine Church of Hagia Sophia at Vize in Turkish Thrace,” which states in part:

The article was first published at jihadwatch.org


MARCH 2020


Utah’s Greeks to Mark Greece’s Independence Day by Presenting the State Commemorative Flag from Athens

The flag being raised at the Acropolis with President Katerina Sakellaropoulou The Greek Orthodox Church of Greater Salt Lake and Utah’s Hellenic Cultural Association will observe the 200th anniversary of Greece’s independence from Turkey in a nationally significant manner. According to George Karahalios, president of the church’s parish council, the church and the historical preservation group (HCA) will present the state of Utah a Greek flag that recently was flown atop the flagpole at the iconic Acropolis in Athens, site of a similar ceremony held there March 25, 1821 when Greece declared its freedom from 400 years of Ottoman (Turkish) rule. The gift to the state came from the President of the Hellenic Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou. It was accompanied by a letter from the public relations director for the president, Maya Solomou, who wrote: “President Sakellaropoulou would like to compliment the Greek Orthodox Community of Greater Salt Lake and the Hellenic Cultural Association of Utah on their project to observe the bicentennial anniversary of the independence of Greece, which constitutes an e v e n t o f m a j o r s i g n i f i c a n c e .” A l s o accompanying the flag was a letter issued by the Commander of Greece’s Presidential Guard certifying the banner was raised on the pole at the Acropolis. Photos of the flag-flying ceremony there also were included. According to Karahalios, the presentation of the commemorative flag to the people of Utah – likely the only one like it in the country – will be one of several commemorative events 52

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planned by the Salt Lake area Greek Utah 125 years ago.” She adds that the flags community to observe Greece’s bicentennial. also serve to acknowledge the influence of the Greeks of today on Utah’s cultural, civic, Karahalios notes that the idea to present Utah business, educational, religious, legal and with a unique commemorative flag from political landscapes. Athens was generated by HCA board member Mike Korologos. The American Hellenic “With the incredibly significant flag gift to the Institute, a Washington D.C.-based advocacy state of Utah - and with the expansive displays organization specializing in U.S.-Greece and of Greek flags at other venues -- we will be U. S . - Cy pr u s relations as well as the HellenicA m e r i c a n Community, through its president and chief executive officer Nick Larigakis, handled the logistics. A duplicate flag also flown atop the pole at the Acropolis will be on display at the HCA museum at the lower level of the The same flag that was raised Ho l y Tr i n it y at the Acropolis arrived in Utah Cathedral in downtown Salt Lake City. Jeannine Pappas Timothy, president of the HCA of Utah, says the flag displays on the lawns at Salt Lake City’s two churches “will pay tribute to the courage and foresight of our grandfathers and great-grandfathers who toiled in the region’s coal, copper and silver mines and on the railroads, and established businesses, built a church in downtown Salt Lake City in 1905 and otherwise set roots in

proudly displaying our patriotic pride and close affiliation with the Motherland as well as all of Utah,” says Karahalios. “We want to show Greece we are with its citizens in spirit, if not in person, as they observe this significant date in their history - their 200th anniversary of freedom.”

The True Meaning of Fasting in the Orthodox Church by Philip Kariatlis

When we think of fasting in the Orthodox Church today, our mind almost immediately goes to certain rules relating to what we can and cannot eat. Moreover, this practice is especially associated with Great and Holy Lent. And so, when it comes to this “forty-day” fast, there are some who will almost exclusively focus all their attention on familiarizing themselves with all of the Church’s prescriptions regarding when they need to abstain from particular foods. Then, there are some who might go to great lengths, meticulously checking all ingredients of certain food items in supermarkets for example, in order to ensure that there are no traces of foods which they know are not permitted during fasting periods, also rejoicing with delight when they happen to find substitutes to their favorite food. What necessarily results from such an understanding of fasting, amongst its practitioners, is a belief that if they have been “successful” in this effort, they are then prepared to receive the risen Lord on Easter night. A question which justifiably arises, however, is whether this in fact is what fasting is all about. If Great Lent is a preparatory time within the Church’s liturgical year meant as a means for preparing the faithful to encounter the risen Christ on the day of Easter, how does such an understanding of fasting assist in this “spiritual” journey? Is this the true meaning of fasting? Or, have we reduced it merely to rules about what foods are permitted and what are not? In studying some of the hymns found in the Triodion—a liturgical book out of which many beautiful hymns are chanted during the period of Great Lent—the hope is that we might recover the true meaning of fasting. This approach is plausible to the extent that the hymns of the Orthodox Church, more generally, reflect its theological vision; indeed, they reveal, in sung form, the theological outlook of the Orthodox Church. More specifically, we will briefly look at certain hymns known as “Aposticha idiomela” of Vespers since they all specifically focus on presenting the Church’s understanding of fasting. Indeed, these would have been intentionally inserted in the Service to remind the faithful of the true meaning of fasting. Unfortunately, the connection of these hymns to fasting have been lost sight of and therefore their significance largely overlooked today.

Even a cursory study of these Lenten hymns clearly shows that fasting is primarily about renewing our relationship with God, neighbor and the world more broadly. Already, at the Vespers Service of Pure Monday, we are reminded that fasting involves a personal cleansing of our whole self and not simply a dietary “detox”:

be lifted up on high in the joy of virtue and by the delight of excellent works we shall be glad in God, the Lover of Humankind.

Let us observe fast, not only by abstinence from food, but also by separating ourselves from every bodily passion… so that we may be counted worthy to partake of the Lamb [τῆς τοῦ Ἀμνοῦ μεταλήψεως]… the Son of God… Thus, we shall

Philip Kariatlis is Academic Director and Senior Lecturer in Theology at St Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Theological College in Sydney, Australia.

Accordingly, fasting finds its true meaning when the outward abstinence of food is connected with the inward struggle to intensify our longing for God through the dynamic of purity and repentance—the consummation of Let us fast in a way that is acceptable and pleasing which is realized in Holy Communion. to the Lord. True fasting is flight from evils, temperance of the tongue, refrain from anger, Coupled with observing a balance between the separation from lustful desires, and from lies, material and spiritual aspects of true fasting, from falsehood and from perjury. The absence of there is a third necessary dimension, namely, all these makes our fasting true and acceptable. practical compassion towards neighbor. At the first Liturgy of the Pre-sanctified Gifts, the In this instance, fasting is connected with the Idiomelon makes this explicit: dynamic of purification. Following Christ’s call for holiness (cf. Mt 5:8), many fathers of the While fasting with the body, o brethren, let us also Church speak of purification as a necessary first fast in spirit; let us loosen every connection with step towards encountering God. Fasting injustice… Let us give bread to the hungry and therefore needs to be accompanied with effort introduce into our house the poor who have no in purification. roof to cover them, that we may receive from Christ our God the great mercy. In the same way, the hymn in question, is an injunction for purity. The meaning of purity, True fasting requires not only fasting from like fasting, ought not to be impoverished. foods but also practical works of compassion Purification [κάθαρσις] essentially signifies a which, in this case, include working towards process towards integrity [κατ-ἄρτιος]—note o v e r c o m i n g i n j u s t i c e a n d e x t e n d i n g the etymological proximity between the two hospitality—philoxenia—especially to those in concepts. Accordingly, purif ication is need. In simple terms, the hymn underscores understood as internal consistency or integrity that there cannot be genuine fasting without of character which, in the face of temptation, love towards the “other,” especially those in remains totally devoted to God. Put another most need. In the end, fasting is a means to way, it involves a gradual transformation from remind us not only of our dependence upon brokenness to wholeness. And so, according to God, but also the often-forgotten truth that God the hymn, true fasting is a ‘means’ towards is beheld in the face of the “other.” “wholeness.” Without this struggle to fix our eyes on God Together with an undertaking towards through beholding God in our neighbor and all temperance from the passions, the purpose of of his creation, mere fasting from food has no fasting is to open up the faithful to the splendor value. On the other hand, when truly practiced, of the new life that comes from the Cross. fasting becomes a positive action, nothing less Namely, in experiencing a little physical hunger than a true theophany opening us up to the through fasting, the hope is that this might be beauty and splendor of the Risen Lord. recast towards ‘hunger and thirst’ for Christ. This article was first published in Public Orhtodoxy which This transformative aspect of fasting is captured seeks to promote conversation by providing a forum for in the troparion sung on Tuesday of the first diverse perspectives on contemporary issues related to week of Lent: Orthodox Christianity.


MARCH 2020


Greece: 200 years of fighting enemies within and without We have a proverb in Greek that some attribute to Pythagoras and others to Plato, which goes, “η αρχή είναι το ήμισυ του παντός;”meaning, “the beginning is half of everything.” That is probably why the ch ronol o g i c a l c ou nt i ng of Gre e c e ' s independence from the Ottoman yoke starts with the official commencement of the revolution, March 25, 1821, and thus this year we are celebrating the country's bicentennial.

most importantly, enriched the various countries with more giants in all those fields, including business and commerce. The US is the perfect example that reflects this enrichment. Two Nobel prizes in poetry: one for George Seferis and another for Odysseas

Well, that beginning, if taken literally, was much less than half, as in the years that followed the small, sickly kingdom became more than three times bigger, and in 1921, with another Constantine as king (the last Byzantine emperor was also Constantine), almost materialized our nation's Great Idea: the liberation of all the historical Greek territories with Constantinople as capital. That dream turned to a nightmare thanks to our own mistakes and the betrayal of our allies. But “little” Greece didn't stop growing. At the end of WWII, the Dodecanese Islands were returned to Greece by the defeated Italian occupiers, and in the '60s, after a bloody liberation struggle for freedom from colonial Great Britain and union with Greece, Cyprus became independent, until 1974, when again due to our mistakes and our allies' betrayal, the Turks invaded and occupy since almost 40% of the island. In these 200 years, the Greek people proved their ascendancy from their Byzantine and ancient forefathers through a number of accomplishments that caused international awe and admiration. The country was on the side of the winners in the two World Wars and its participation proved decisive. Defeating the Ottomans time and again during WWI, Greece managed to destroy Germany's southeastern flank, paving the way for the Entente victory. In WWII an under armed Greece defeated the Italians and resisted longer than any other European country the Nazi invasion that followed, keeping the German forces busy and delaying Operation Barbarossa against Russia long enough for the winter to start which proved fatal to Berlin's planning.

Nowadays, having survived an economic collapse due to our institutional shortcomings, but also in order for the German and other northern European banks to avoid a fallout due to overexposure, Greece again had started recovering and reclaiming the lost ground--a stunning 25% of its pre-crisis economy. But then just when things looked finally to be in her favor - Covid ensued and put everything on hold! Let's see how this will play out, not only there, but here as well. Happily, Greece is again part of the solution, because the first anti-Covid vaccine came out of Pfizer, a company whose CEO is Albert Bourla, a Greek from Thessaloniki! Despite the downturns and the difficulties, this is a time to celebrate and rejoice in our nation's accomplishments. Even people like me who see wrongs all over the place, and don't miss an opportunity to criticize, most of the time for good reason, can take a break and this is what I'm doing basically. But celebrating isn't only about being festive and proud, rather it's about taking a short break to contemplate our way in order to start again with renewed will. This bicentennial isn't an end but another beginning, After all, what's 200 years in 5000 years history? We are a work in progress, as Archbishop Demetrios used to say “we are a nation on a mission,” not in ...intermission. And the best way to look to our collective future with realistic optimism is to begin, finally, learning from our mistakes! If we ever manage to do that then sky is the limit--and I'm not referring to the Greek TV station by the same name--that would be a disaster…

Elytis came, and almost two more if not for the sabotage by the Greek state, to Angelos Sikelianos and Nikos Kazantzakis. Yannis Ritsos won the Lenin Prize, the equivalent of Nobel in the communist world. Manos Hatzidakis won the Oscar for his score in Never on Sunday, a movie, that like Zorba the Greek, made Greece popular again in five continents (I think there six now?) along with syrtaki, souvlaki and saganaki! Greece's merchant fleet remains the biggest in the world - even with Filipinos as crew! (Greeks stopped going to the sea en masse because the Albanian immigrants, and lately the Africans, would have a feast with their wives Xronia Polla Hellas! left behind!)

The Greek Revolution of 1821 did not only result in the creation of modern Greece, but became the catalyst for the breakup of the Ottoman Empire, paving the way for other liberation movements to erupt and lead to the formation of a number of countries in the area, including - Turkey, which was proclaimed a republic in 1923, the last Then the Civil War came, brothers took arms independent state to come out of the former against brothers and the country was in mighty empire. shambles - and what the Nazis and Italians started was completed by us! Yet, in a few The litany of our successes could go on for years time, like the Phoenix of the legend, hours. As can the list of our tragedies, Greece was reborn from its own ashes and unfortunately, most of which were the result gave the world poets, artists, musicians and of our own making. Following the steps of wave after wave of immigration that our ancient forefathers, time and again we reinforced our communities abroad and have proved ourselves our worst enemies!

P.S. 1) Behind almost every successful man is a woman - his mistress! (which explains why I'm not successful)! Happy Women's Day! 2) Sometimes, getting out of prison takes a small step (and the guards looking the other way)...


MARCH 2020


The 2021 Concordia Annual Summit Adopting a Hybrid Model! Matthew A. Swift

The 2021 Concordia Annual Summit is taking place the week of September 20, 2021 and will adopt a hybrid model with both digital and in-person opportunities. The Annual Summit is the leading and most inclusive forum alongside the UN General Assembly in New York City, convening the world’s most prominent business, government, and nonprofit leaders to foster dialogue and enable effective partnerships for positive social impact while examining the world’s most pressing challenges to identify avenues for collaboration. They have over a decade of experience bringing together heads of state, leaders of the private and NGO sectors, and those often not included in critical discussions around policies that impact them the most. At Concordia, they believe in the power of in-person engagement.

Nicholas M. Logothetis

That’s why they are offering an in-person component to the 11th Annual Summit, while of course adhering to all CDC guidelines. With preparations for the Summit well underway, Concordia’s Matthew Swift stated that “The shift to virtual and hybrid convenings is improving inclusivity and accessibility. We can reach a much broader and globally diverse audience through digital channels, bringing conversations into living rooms and home offices while removing travel barriers. What’s vital is that we embrace this momentum and the new environment we’re all finding ourselves in. And perhaps that will mark the start of something new for convening and, as a result, collaboration on a global scale. With that, 2021 may yield some of the best conventions in human interaction, even if they don’t occur inperson. And Concordia will be part of that success.” 62

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Concordia is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to actively fostering, elevating, and sustaining cross-sector partnerships for social impact. It was founded in 2011 by Matthew A. Swift and Nicholas M. Logothetis. It aims to produce powerful and inclusive convenings that elevate voices and perspectives from across all sectors and levels to advance critical conversations around globallyimpacting issues; Utilize expertise and insight into partnering best practices around a diverse range of issue areas to effectively connect, position, and fuel relationships between individuals and organizations to create a unique community of unlikely partners; Nurture, enhance, and build long-term partnership models that transform conversations into action and achieve positive social impact.

Profile for NEOgraphix

NEO magazine - March 2021  

Every issue will feature profiles of prominent Greek Americans and what they’ve done this year, what they’ve done in their lives, what polit...

NEO magazine - March 2021  

Every issue will feature profiles of prominent Greek Americans and what they’ve done this year, what they’ve done in their lives, what polit...