Our patron

Lane Kirkland – our patron
Lane Kirkland was born on March 12, 1922 in Camden, South Carolina. In 1948, after graduation, Kirkland started working for the American Federation of Labor (AFL).

Lkirkland wikiHe soon became well-known for his witty outlook on life. Furthermore, Kirkland was also a gifted writer, whose advice was much appreciated by political leaders such as Lyndon Johnson, Harry Truman, John Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Henry Kissinger and Allan Greenspan. In America he became an outspoken advocate for equal rights of Afro-Americans. He also supported Lyndon Johnson in his "War on Poverty". What is more, Kirkland played a significant role in the victory of "Solidarity" (a Polish trade union federation) that initiated fall of communism in this part of the world.
In 1979 he became the leader of AFL-CIO. After Martial Law was declared in Poland, Kirkland called for Western governments and the International Trade Union Confederation to topple the regime. He also redoubled financial support efforts for the Polish opposition - "Solidarity" obtained 4 million American dollars in total, including funds for the electoral campaign in 1989.  This same year, Lech Wałęsa attended the AFL-CIO Convention and in 1990 Lane Kirkland together with the federation delegation participated in the second convention of "Solidarity".
In 1990 Kirkland joined the Board of Directors of the Polish-American Enterprise Fund appointed by the U.S. Congress in order to support the development of the Polish market economy by way of loans and other investment initiatives. Kirkland was a spiritual founder of the Polish-American Freedom Foundation, who shared Polish experiences in transformation with  Eastern Europe.
Lane Kirkland died in 1999. He was buried with honors at Arlington Cemetery, where the most prominent Americans lie. 
One year after Kirkland's death, the Polish-American Freedom Foundation created a scholarship program named after him, which following the example of the Fulbright Program is addressed to young leaders and experts from the Central and Eastern European countries, the Caucasus and Central Asia, and which is implemented in the form of scholarships granted at Polish universities.

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Biuro Programu Stypendialnego im. Lane'a Kirklanda

Fundacja Liderzy Przemian

Al. Jerozolimskie 133 lok. 56

02-304 Warszawa 


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