Dartmouth, MA (March 13, 2014) -- UMass Dartmouth will welcome Dr. Duarte Freitas, President of the Social Democratic Party of the Azores, for a lecture on "The Azores and the Free Trade Agreement between the USA and the European Union" Tuesday, March 25, 2014, at 1:00 p.m., at the UMass Dartmouth Claire T. Carney Grand Reading Room. The political leader and author will present the lecture to UMass Dartmouth Charlton College of Business and Portuguese Studies students and faculty. The UMass Dartmouth community and general public are also invited to the lecture on March 25.
"Dr. Duarte Freitas brings an important perspective on the trade policies and relationships between the Azores and the United States, and I'm looking forward to his visit to UMass Dartmouth," said Rep. Antonio F.D. Cabral (D-New Bedford). "Massachusetts has a very large Portuguese-American population and I believe we need to continue to advance the relationship between our communities today."
Dr. Freitas is a former member of the European Parliament and is author of the book "The Azores and Europe". He is a member of the Order of the Portuguese Economists and member of the Portuguese Chamber of Accountants. Dr. Freitas also serves as President of São Roque do Pico Municipal Assembly. In addition, he has served as a member of the Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Region of the Azores, from 1996 to 2004 and from 2009 through present day.
"It is a singular honor for the Center of Portuguese Studies and Culture to host Duarte Freitas visit to our campus," said UMass Dartmouth Professor João M. Paraskeva, Director of the Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture. "A former member of the European Parliament representing the coalition Social Democratic Party and Popular Party, and currently President of the Social Democratic Party in the Azores, Duarte Freitas has been one of the figures in the front line reframing, what I would call the Azorean question."
The Social Democratic Party is a center-right political party in Portugal. It is commonly known by its initials, PSD. The party was founded in 1974, two weeks after the Carnation Revolution. It is considered politically to the right of the Socialist Party and the left of the People's Party.
"We look forward to welcoming Dr. Freitas to campus for a day of thoughtful engagement and discussion," said the Charlton College of Business Dean Angappa Gunasekaran. "At the Charlton College of Business, we strive to create opportunities for our students to learn, grow, and succeed, which includes forums and dialogue with global thinkers, such as Dr. Freitas, on wide ranging topics with economic, social, and civic impact."
The Azores, with a population around 250,000, became an Autonomous Region of Portugal in 1976. The government of the Autonomous Region of the Azores includes the Legislative Assembly, composed of 57 elected deputies, the Regional Government and Presidency, with parliamentary legitimacy, composed of a President, a Vice-President and seven Regional Secretaries responsible for the Regional Government executive operations. The Autonomous Region of the Azores is represented in the Council of Ministers of the Central Government by a representative appointed by the President of Portugal.
UMass Dartmouth's Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture is a multidisciplinary international studies and outreach unit dedicated to the study of the language, literatures and cultures of the Portuguese-speaking world. The Center promotes outreach efforts in the arts, education, economic development, health, and politics related to the Portuguese-speaking communities of the United States.
UMass Dartmouth is also home to the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives, named for the pioneer Portuguese-language radio and newspaper personality, Affonso Gil Mendes Ferreira. The archives hold the largest collection of historical material documenting the experience of Portuguese immigrants and their descendants in the United States.