PASADENA, Calif.– L.A. City Councilman Paul Krekorian and California Courier publisher Harut Sassounian spoke about the important role of the Genocide Education Project at a luncheon hosted by David and Margaret Mgrublian in Pasadena on Saturday, November 6. Krekorian and Sassounian urged community support for the organization’s mission to educate California’s educators about the Armenian Genocide.
“The Genocide Education Project fills a niche that nobody else has filled. It’s a very unique project,” said Krekorian of the non-profit organization, which develops and distributes teaching materials about the Armenian Genocide and conducts teacher training workshops.
Krekorian said public knowledge of the Armenian Genocide must become part of the American collective experience, similar to the Holocaust. “There are still educated people, including members of Congress, that say, ‘Why did I never learn about this?'” said Krekorian. “That gives them the freedom to be denialists, to question the Armenian Genocide. When we start teaching it in school, that’s when we start to win hearts and minds.”
“What GenEd is doing is going to the heart of the matter,” said Harut Sassounian. “Every day new babies are being born, and they don’t have any knowledge of anything. They need to be taught. They’re all going to be somebody someday.”
Commenting on The Genocide Education Project’s effectiveness, Sassounian said, “With very few people, they’ve performed miracles.” He urged Armenian-Americans to support the organization. “There are thousands of schools and millions of students to reach. Every dollar given to GenEd turns into millions of dollars worth of results.”
Luncheon host and donor Margaret Mgrublian told more than 80 attendees how she discovered The Genocide Education Project while on a search for educational materials to provide to the Tolerance Education Center in Rancho Mirage. “The Genocide Education Project provided swift, professional service and excellent instructional materials,” said Mgrublian. She said she was happy to host an event to better familiarize the community with The Genocide Education Project.
Board member Roxanne Makasdjian described the origins of the organization, a response to the general lack of instruction on the Armenian Genocide in schools, despite a law passed in California and 10 other states mandating lessons on the Armenian Genocide. “We want every student to graduate high school with an understanding of the Armenian Genocide and the pattern of genocides that followed,” she said.
The director of The Genocide Education Project, Raffi Momjian, described its activities, including the creation of step-by-step lesson plans, teacher-training workshops, and presentations at social studies conferences. He showed attendees sections of the organization’s comprehensive online resources, noting that approximately 15 people download GedEd’s lesson plans from the site each month, including downloads from 47 different states and 25 countries. He also noted that the online lesson called “Nicole’s Journey”–at LearnGenocide.com–has been taken by more than 1500 students.
The Genocide Education Project is a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization that assists educators in teaching about human rights and genocide, particularly the Armenian Genocide, by developing and distributing instructional materials, providing access to teaching resources and organizing educational workshops.