ESTONIAN AMERICAN NATIONAL COUNCIL, INC.
The central organization of Estonian Americans, the Estonian American National Council, Inc., was established on July 19, 1952, in New York City.
Its purpose was twofold:
To provide a free voice for the Estonian people and fight for independence of Estonia and human rights for its people. Estonia had been forcibly annexed and occupied by the Soviet Union. Estonians in their homeland could not speak freely for themselves. A central organization of Americans of Estonian descent was essential with the start of the Cold War and because the United States of America was the leader of the Free World. United States never recognized the Soviet annexation of Estonia and its Baltic neighbors, Latvia and Lithuania.
To preserve the Estonian cultural heritage in the United States and provide mutual assistance for the ethnic group members.
The Estonian American National Council is elected nationally every three years by Americans of Estonian descent. The Council currently has 35 members, which in turn elects a governing Board. It is sustained by the voluntary, tax-deductible contributions of the Estonian American community.
The focus of EANC activities has changed somewhat with the rebirth of Estonian independence in 1991. It is essential to help Estonia now to have security and stability. American support for these goals in vital. There is a need to help Estonia develop democracy, recreate civil society, rebuild its democratic institutions and establish a viable NATO. The EANC aids in all these efforts. It also funds scholarships in Estonia and provides assistance in other social and educational programs. The EANC continues to help fund Estonian American cultural activities, schools, youth camps, boy and girl scouts and folk dance groups. It provides support for the U.S. Estonian Archive and the work of the Estonian-American Historical Commission, which aims to preserve Estonian American heritage in the United States. The EANC is an active member and supports the work of the Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc. and the Central and East European Coalition, both located in Washington.