LA JOLLA, CA–Armenian Americans from San Diego County (ANC SDC) commemorated the 95th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide with a week-long series of events beginning on April 19th. ANC San Diego County executive committee members and activists actively participated in and helped organize the commemoration events.
On April 19, 2010, the ANC SDC attended an event sponsored by The Holocaust Living History Workshop at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). The event, “From Racism to Genocide: Towards a Hate-Free Campus,” addressed the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust and their effect on society. The Armenian student organizations at UCSD were also co-sponsors of the event.
On April 23, 2010, the ANC SDC, along with several Armenian community organizations through San Diego, hosted a community-wide commemoration of the Armenian Genocide at UCSD’s Great Hall. The event featured remarks by renowned attorney Mark Geragos, UCSD Professor Gershon Shafir, a representative from the office of Congressman Bob Filner, and UCSD Alumnus Nick Vartanian. Following the program, Father Datev Tatoulian of the St. John Garabed Armenian Church in San Diego led a solemn candlelight vigil with all those in attendance.
Throughout the week the Armenian Student’s Association, Alpha Gamma Alpha, and Alpha Epsilon Omega, the ANC urged the campus community to advocate for recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
In addition to crosses which lined the lawns reminding passersby of the 1.5 million victims of the genocide in 1915 and the years that followed, Camp Darfur, an interactive display of tents dedicated to five of the genocides of the 20th century, educated passerby of the history of atrocities and the ongoing cycle of genocide. Joining Armenian students and the ANC at UCSD were Alpha Epsilon Pi, a Jewish fraternity, and the Cambodian Student Association.
A black canvas was set up for people to leave their painted handprints in order for everyone to have a symbolic hand in the commemoration events. But students also directed individuals to the Armenian National Committee of America’s website to learn more about the Armenian Genocide and to take action on the spot by sending a webfax to their member of Congress on the issue.
“It is very important that we work with the campus community and through the various student organizations to educate the public about the Armenian Genocide,” noted ANC SDC Chairwoman Nare Kupelian. “Promoting understanding and recognition is best achieved through such collaborative efforts.”
The Armenian National Committee of San Diego County advances the social, economic, cultural, and political rights of the area’s Armenian American community and promotes increased Armenian American civic participation at the grassroots and public policy levels.