April 24: A Call for Justice to Honor the Victims of the Armenian Genocide, Salute Congressional Recognition and Demand Justice for this crime
WATERTOWN, Mass.—In light of Covid-19 and in response to the guidelines prohibiting public gatherings, the Armenian National Committee of America Eastern Region will host a virtual three-day commemoration on the ANCA-ER Facebook page honoring the victims of the Armenian Genocide, saluting Congressional recognition and demanding justice for this crime on Friday, April 24 – Sunday, April 26.
The ANCA Eastern Region’s virtual April 24 commemoration will begin on Friday, April 24 at 11 am EST, with messages from congressional members including Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), Representative Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Representative Jim McGovern (D-MA), Representative Lori Trahan (D-MA), Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Representative Haley Stevens (D-MI) from the U.S. House and Senate, along with coalition partners including the Hellenic American Leadership Council, A Demand for Action and In Defense of Christians, as well as sister organizations including the Armenian Youth Federation Eastern Region, Armenian Relief Society Eastern Region, Hamazkayin Eastern Region and Homenetmen Eastern Region.
Underscoring the importance of ensuring that genocide education is taught in our nation’s schools, three of the region’s activists Dikran Kaligian, Genocide Education Project board member, Lara Nercessian, ANC of Michigan and Pauline Getzoyan, ANC of Rhode Island, will join Genocide Education Project’s Executive Director Roxanne Makasdjian and Educational Director Sara Cohan. They will provide an overview on the resources available for teachers through the Genocide Education Project as well as the ways in which these activists have successfully instituted genocide education in their state’s schools.
“I am honored to take part in the genocide education segment of the virtual April 24 commemoration for the ANCA Eastern Region. I know firsthand how important it is to ensure that the teaching of the Armenian Genocide, Holocaust and other genocides so that our history isn’t ignored or marginalized. I look forward to sharing the work we did in Michigan with the viewers on Friday,” said Lara Nercessian, ANC of Michigan and ANCA-ER board member.
New York Times’ Best Selling Author Chris Bohjalian will preside over the evening’s program on Friday, April 24 beginning at 7 p.m. EST, which will feature a regional message from ANCA Eastern Region Communications Director Tamar Gregorian, a keynote address from ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian and a conversation on reparations by New Jersey City University Chair of African and African American Studies Jermaine McCalpin, PhD. McCalpin is an expert on transitional justice, genocides and reparations. His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, the Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy of the United States, will conclude the program with a prayer and special message.
“We are honored to commemorate the 105th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide with the participation of these speakers. As the Hai-Tahd movement focuses on reparations for this great crime against humanity, the participation of these thought leaders on the topic of justice and reparations is of vital importance,” said Ani Tchaghlasian, ANCA Eastern Region Board.
At Noon on Saturday, April 25, the AYF Eastern Region will take over programming with a discussion on continued Turkish aggression, survival and a call to action.
On Sunday, April 26, former MLS Cup Winner and MVP Alecko Eskanderian, will preside over the region’s program at 2 p.m. EST. The program will spotlight the region’s 31 states and the commemorative events that have taken place throughout the region over the past six decades narrated by Tatul Sonentz Papazian, ANC of Eastern Massachusetts; Joe Dagdigian, ANC of Merrimack Valley, Ani Haroian, ANC of Rhode Island, Dikran Kaligian, ANC of Eastern Massachusetts and Karine Birazian Shnorhokian, ANC of New Jersey.
Viewers will also be taken on a photographic journey through Western Armenia curated by George Aghjayan, ANC of Central Massachusetts and Khatchig Mouradian, ANC of New Jersey, narrated by Nairi Balian, ANC of Greater Washington.
ANCA Eastern Region Executive Director Aram Balian will close the program on Sunday, April 26 with a call to action – a special message to the world created by the voices of 80 of the region’s activists.
“This virtual event, which brings us together in these difficult times, demonstrates our community’s resolve in the face of uncertainty. The ANCA Eastern Region’s network of locals and activists and the AYF represent the strength and future of one of the oldest and most vibrant communities in the Armenian diaspora. We are strong and we are passionate. We are united by our culture and our heritage, and we will never stop in the struggle for our cause – justice for the Armenian Genocide and a united, free and independent Armenia. I look forward to the weekend’s program, commemorating the 105th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and issuing the call for justice,” said Aram Balian, ANCA-ER Executive Director.