BY SOSE HOVANNISIAN
Census Bureau member Berj Chorlian, a Ferrahian alumnus, returned to his alma mater to discuss the importance of the upcoming nationwide census for Diasporan Armenians. His visit took place on Monday, On January 13.
Speaking to the entire high school student body, Mr. Chorlian, who has a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Master’s in Humanities from the University of Chicago, explained, “In order for our community to receive the proper funding, influence, and to fully attain our rights, it is crucial that we, Armenian Americans, get an accurate count in the upcoming Census.” He added, “Working for the census was a natural fit for me. Growing up at an Armenian school and church, the importance and privilege of serving my community were instilled in me early on.”
Mr. Chorlian also addressed the principal objectives of the Armenian American Complete Count Committee. According to its website, the AACCC strives to “raise awareness within the Armenian community of Los Angeles County about the upcoming 2020 US Census, encourage Armenian residents to designate themselves as ‘Armenian-American,’ and engender trust about the census process.” Mr. Chorlian emphasized the significance of having each Armenian American to write in “Armenian” on the census form rather than designating the “white” or “other” categories. Doing so not only provides a more accurate estimate of the number of American Armenians, but will demonstrate the potential strength in these numbers.
Indeed, with a more defined and representative community, Armenian Americans will have a stronger voice in local and national affairs, and will facilitate broader representation in government. All this starts with a simple write-in: “Armenian.”
Sose Hovannisian is a sophomore at Ferrahian High School.