The Brazilian Association of the Triangle – ABT is a non-political, non-profit organization whose general purposes are to promote the integration between Brazilian immigrants and the local community, and to foster a deeper understanding of Brazilian culture, tradition and heritage in the Triangle and in the state of North Carolina - NC.
The idea of a Brazilian Association in the area aroused from a group of 5 Brazilian students of the North Carolina State University. Headed by Paulo Kageyama, visiting research fellow from Universidade de São Paulo, they were: Dario and Tânia Gratapaglia, Antonio and Gil Neto.
ABT’s first meeting happened on July 19, 1991, at the King Village-NCSU in Raleigh, NC. On August 2nd, the first board of Directors was elected: Fátima Roma, President; Antonio Neto, Vice-president; Claudio Zanzonowisky, Secretary; Ziad Odeh, Treasurer; Tânia Gratapaglia, Communication Director; Nelson Braga, Sports Director; Marcela Moreira, Events Director. It was decided that the Association would be a nonprofit organization. At that time, the first bylaws were also written.
The main purpose of the Association was to integrate the Brazilian inhabitants of the triangle area as well as to promote Brazilian culture, disseminate and discuss political-economical-social issues from Brazil, keep an open information channel with the members through a newsletter, at that time called “Verde-Amarelo” (Green-Yellow). It was first issued on September 1st, 1991. At that time, without the Internet, the newsletter was anxiously expected by the members.
The first event organized by ABT was the Independence Day Celebration, on September 7th, 1991, which was held at the East Gate Park, in North Raleigh. In December, an End of the Year Celebration and, the biggest event, the Carnival which happened in February 1992, counting with approximately 500 participants and sponsored by the North Carolina State University.
The mission and the work were pursued by the successive boards of Directors and the Brazilian presence in the region grew a lot during the years.
The Association was incorporated in 2003.
Currently, ABT has more than 500 members, keeps its information channel open through its Website and a weekly newsletter, promotes events and traditional Brazilian celebrations, and is always strengthening its role and its mission on behalf of the Brazilian community.
In 2011, ABT will celebrate its 20th anniversary.