*Joins with broad-based coalition in backing legislation celebrating diversity.
WASHINGTON–The Armenian National Committee of America joined with leaders from more than fifteen national ethnic organizations in the Roosevelt Room of the White House for a round-table discussion on national policy options aimed at bridging America’s racial and ethnic divisions.
The meeting–called by Assistant to the President Ben Johnson–the director of the first-ever permanent White House office on racial and ethnic diversity–focused on the status of the "Celebrate One America" Resolution–introduced by Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) and House International Relations Committee Chairman Ben Gilman (R-NY) and cosponsored by 50 House Members.
The resolution–which was set to be adopted by the House on October 12–calls upon all people of the US to "reach out across our differences in ethnicity–race and religion to respect each other and to celebrate in friendship and unity–one America."
Participants also discussed arrangemen’s for the October 14th "One America Day" celebration on Capitol Hill–which will include the participation of House Democratic Leader Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.)–a bipartisan group of House members and representatives of over a dozen ethnic–civil rights and social justice organizations.
The White House meeting was attended by the National Italian American Foundation–the National Urban League–the B’nai Brith–the National Council of La Raza–and a broad range of other ethnic organizations. The ANCA was represented at the October 1 meeting by Communications Director Elizabeth S. Chouldjian–who encouraged greater youth and youth organization participation in "One America" initiatives across the nation.
"We applaud the President’s efforts to bridge our nation’s ethnic and racial divisions and are gratified to have this opportunity to play a central role in developing the White House strategy to move the American people toward this noble goal," said ANCA Chairman Mourad Topalian.
"We are very pleased to support the ‘Celebrate One America’ resolution and to participate in the Capitol Hill celebration next week. As always–we look forward to working closely with our allies among other racial and ethnic groups as well as with our friends in the White House to advance the cause of tolerance and to underscore the value of diversity," he added.