LOS ANGELES–On Friday, May 29th, the Armenian National Committee-Western Region (ANC-WR) joined students at Valley Alternative Magnet School (VAMS) for its 2009 Peace Day Program. The event, organized by students for students, faculty, and parents covered several humanitarian and social justice topics. Shant Hagopian, a recent graduate of UC Berkeley and an ANCA Leo Sarkisian Intern alumnus conducted a seminar about the Armenian Genocide.
“Teaching the next generation about these often neglected parts of history is extremely important,” explained Shant Hagopian who has been an active volunteer with the Genocide Education Project over the past two years. “In the case of the Armenian Genocide, education is the most effective means of countering genocide denial and turning a historic injustice into a catalyst for social change.”
The one hour seminar for the 7th-11th grade students included a lively question and answer session. The students, many of whom were already familiar with the Armenian Genocide, discussed the dangers of genocide denial as well as the importance of acknowledging and addressing all human rights issues.
Hagopian noted that his work with the Armenian National Committee in the San Francisco Bay Area while a student at UC Berkeley and with the Genocide Education Project prepared him for the opportunity to work with the students at VAMS.
The ANC-Western Region has worked with the VAMS Peace Day organizers over the past few years to provide educational speakers for the event.
The Armenian National Committee – Western Region is the largest Armenian American grassroots community organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANC-WR works to promote understanding regarding issues of concern to the Armenian American community.