LAEF 45th Annual Luso-American Education Conference


The Portuguese Beyond Borders Institute at Fresno State and the Luso-American Education Foundation present the 45th annual Luso-American Education Conference from Saturday, Sept. 26, through Saturday, Oct. 3, hosted virtually at Fresno State.

As a global language, Portuguese is officially spoken in eight countries by nearly 300 million inhabitants on five continents. It is an additional language for many more millions worldwide, a language of commerce, trade, research, navigation, engineering, manufacturing, information technology and international diplomacy.

It is also one of the official languages of the European Union, the United Nations and the Organization of American States.

People of Portuguese descent have rich music, theater, literary and poetry traditions that contribute to the cultural fabric of the Central Valley, the United States and the world.

This year’s education conference features virtual events during the mornings on weekends and the evenings on weekdays so educators can more easily attend. All events are free and open to the public.

  • Portuguese as a global language — 10 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 26, on Zoom. This opening session will welcome an international panel representing strategic Lusophone countries who will discuss the evolution of Portuguese in their respective jurisdictions to keep the language authentic, dynamic and relevant in the information age and beyond. Emphasis will be placed on the panelists discussing special initiatives and projects that highlight how the language is being taught and prepare learners who can carry out their academic and career goals in international contexts — especially in Portuguese-speaking professional settings. Members of the audience will have the opportunity to interact with the panelists by posing questions and exchanging ideas in “real-time” via the platform “chat system” and having those addressed by panel members including Lusitano Club’s Nuno da Cruz representing the Macaense Community!  
  • Portuguese-Americans in California: our community, our concerns, our voices — 10 a.m., Sunday, Sept. 27, on Zoom. Panel with representatives from Statewide Portuguese-American organizations including Lusitano Club’s Maria Roliz representing the Macaense Community!
  • The Portuguese Community Halls in California in Pandemic Times — 6 p.m., Monday, Sept. 28, on Zoom. Panel discussion with representatives from halls across California.
  • Portuguese Popular Traditions in California-Reflection and Prospective — 6 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 29, on Zoom. Panel discussion with cultural activists from communities in the Central Valley, Bay Area and Southern California.
  • Portuguese Language Teaching in California: A Community Endeavor-a Bridge to the Future — 6 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 30, on Zoom. Panel with school administrators, teachers, community schools and academics.
  • From the Azores to the Golden State-Writing the Portuguese Diaspora in California — 6 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 1, on Zoom. Panel discussion with writers and poets who use their Portuguese-American identity to inform their creative work.
  • The Portuguese-American Media in California-Building Community and Connecting with Portugal — 6 p.m., Friday, Oct. 2, on Zoom. Panel with broadcasters, journalists and podcasters regarding the Media’s role in Portuguese and English in the Portuguese-American community.
  • Showcasing the Community-Debating our Future — 10 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 3, on Zoom. The final general sessions will explore the Luso-American Education Foundation and PBBI’s work in the community, followed by a panel of young Portuguese-Americans. The session will end with closing remarks for the Conference.

The Portuguese Beyond Borders Institute is a collective effort between the College of Arts and Humanities, Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology and College of Social Sciences at Fresno State. Through a lecture series and an oral history project, the institute will function as a hub of cultural, literary, pedagogical and research resources for the Portuguese-American experience and to promote the connections with the Portuguese-speaking world, focusing on the archipelago of the Azores, with a strong emphasis on the Azorean Diaspora in California.

It aims to be Central California’s nucleus for cultural events, teacher conferences, colloquia, literary resources, publications, academic research, artistic exhibitions and performing arts productions, not only for the matriculated students at Fresno State, but also for the enrichment of the Portuguese-American community and society at large.