History of the Program
Quo Vadis is an annual congregation of college and graduate students as well as young professionals aimed at creating a sustainable world-wide network of young members of the Polish Diaspora. The Quo Vadis conference series originated in Canada when a group of several students at the University of Ottawa decided to put this idea into action in 2009. The main aim of this project is to unify and strengthen local communities as well as create networking opportunities through discussions, lectures, and panels on leadership, heritage and the future of our Diaspora. In the last four years, there have been five editions of Quo Vadis in Canada and the United States, which have attracted delegates from all corners of the North American continent, as well as Europe and Australia. The Quo Vadis network alone is already 500 alumni strong; in the year 2013 there will be three conferences: Montreal, Canada, Connecticut U.S.A, and Sydney, Australia.
Quo Vadis Connecticut 2013
The second installment of the Quo Vadis conference in the United States will be held in New Britain, Connecticut on August 2-4th, 2013. New Britain has a long and withstanding history of Polish immigrant settlement as well as a strong cultivation of Polish culture and heritage.
The host University, Central Connecticut State University, has Polish studies minor that one can incorporate in their plan of study. The Endowed Chair in Polish and Polish American studies was established in 1974 with support from the community. Within the endowed chair many lectures, concerts, and exhibits are organized. The University also has an active Polish Club on campus that exposes students to the culture, traditions, and language. The Polish Heritage Collection of books and the Connecticut Polish American Archives are located in the library. The University is currently hosting Polish Movie Nights where students and people from the community can view Polish movies with English subtitles. These movie showings are open to the public. This has been made possible through cooperation between the Endowed Chair, the Semper Polonia Foundation, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland.
The city of New Britain entertains a Polish language school, Polish language newspapers, yearly Miss Polonia scholarship pageants, the Polish Scouting association and numerous other Polonia (Polish diaspora) organizations and events. These include the Little Poland Festival. The Broad Street area is the centre of Polish businesses and has been officially designated as the “Little Poland” area of the city by the Mayor.
By hosting the second American edition of Quo Vadis in Connecticut , for the first time on the East Coast, the organizational committee hopes to provide opportunities for students as well as young professionals to create lasting ties with other Polonia communities in the United States as well as world-wide. The team also will aim to demonstrate to future generations that great things and initiatives can also happen in smaller cities.