PASADENA–Assemblymember Carol Liu (D-La Caada-Flintridge) will host a fundraiser at her home on February 22–in support of the first Teacher Training Workshop on the Armenian Genocide. The event will focus on coordinating plans for this special educational project–sponsored by Assemblymember Carol Liu and the Pasadena Chapter of the Armenian National Committee (ANC).
"Despite the severe budget cuts our schools are facing–this project is evidence that we can provide our students with quality education through a collaborative effort between the community and Pasadena Unified School District"–said Shahan Stepanian–Chairman of the Pasadena Chapter of the ANC. "We appreciate Assemblymember Liu’s leadership and support in this joint effort."
The training workshop will provide teachers with lesson plans and materials on human rights and civil rights violations–and training on how to incorporate lessons into classroom curricula. As part of the program–high school history teachers from the Pasadena Unified School District will be invited to participate in an informational seminar to discuss and analyze the State model curriculum for human rights and genocide–including the Armenian Genocide–and its impact on society.
"In this era of increasing violence and intolerance–I believe it is imperative that young people learn about what humans have done to each other in the absence of understanding and freedom from prejudice," Assemblymember Liu noted.
Existing law requires the State Department of Education to provide a learning framework that includes material concerning civil rights–human-rights violations–genocide–slavery–and the Holocaust. The provision also encourages state and local professional-development training to provide teachers with the content–background–and resources needed to assist in the educational process. The Teacher Training Workshop has been designed to help implement this law.
The ANC San Francisco Bay Area chapter–has successfully implemented Genocide Educational curriculum for schools in the Oakland School District–and recently launched a website to teach about genocides www.teachgenocide.org.
The workshop will also provide transparencies that outline the history of the Native Americans–European Jews–Cambodians–Rwandan Tutsis–and Bosnian Muslims. It will also present stories of the Transatlantic Slave Trade–the Great Famine of the Ukraine–the Rape of Nanking–and the Chinese agricultural disaster that occurred under Mao Tse-Tung’s "Cultural Revolution."
The phenomenon and horror of genocide is not confined to one specific geographic location–making it important for students to appreciate the wisdom of philosopher George Santayana’s words–"Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it."
Other participants include Facing History and Ourselves–a non profit organization that works with teachers and helps students find meaning in the past and recognize the need for participation and responsible decision making. In addition–special guest Dr. Richard Hovannisian–Armenian Education Foundation Chair holder in Modern Armenian History at the University of California Los Angeles–will be the keynote speaker at the workshop. Dr. Hovannisian will provide the historical context within which the Armenian Genocide took place in 1915.
"I would also like to recognize The Southern California Gas Company who has graciously agreed to serve as the main corporate sponsor for the workshop," said Assemblymember Liu.
Assemblymember Liu invites the community to her home on February 22–4:00 to 6:00 PM to help raise funds for the Teacher Training Workshop. Those interested should RSVP by February 18–by contacting Diana Mangioglu at Assemblymember Liu’s District Office: 626-577-9944.