GLENDALE–In the wake of an outpouring of community concerns ‘s and a formal protest by the Armenian National Committee – Glendale chapter ‘s the Glendale Unified School District announced yesterday that a three-day seminar that was to be conducted by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) at Herbert Hoover High has been postponed due to the sponsor’s opposition to Congressional legislation recognizing the Armenian Genocide.
“The Armenian National Committee ‘s Glendale Chapter welcomes this step by the Glendale Unified School District Administration to postpone this seminar until parents, teachers and students have a chance to carefully consider the implications of having the ADL ‘s a group that is working with Turkey to prevent the recognition of the Armenian Genocide ‘s teaching our schoolchildren about tolerance and human rights.” Said ANC-Glendale Chapter, Executive Director, Elen Asatryan.
The seminar, which was to be on the topic of "A World of Difference," is billed as an education and diversity training resource program that seeks to help participants explore prejudice and bigotry, examine diverse viewpoints, and combat racism.
Upon learning of the seminar from concerned parents, ANC-Glendale Chapter contacted the GUSD board members and district officials to voice concerns about the mixed message that an ADL program would send students about tolerance, and diversity, and human rights. After investigating the issue, GUSD postponed the scheduled seminar.
The ADL has been embroiled in a national controversy over its vocal opposition to the Armenian Genocide resolution in the United States Congress. ADL National Director Abraham Foxman has publicly labeled the Armenian Genocide resolution as "counterproductive" and has followed Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan in calling for joint commissions to be established regarding the genocide. In response, numerous New England towns have disassociated theselves from the ADL’s “No Place for Hate” (NPFH) program, citing the fact that the ADL cannot, on the one hand, stand for human rights, and, on the other, defend the genocide denial campaign of the Turkish government.
“It’s unfortunate that an organization that professes tolerance and truth won’t support the truth and facts of the Armenian Genocide. They are hiding behind Turkish denials and its my hope that they would support not only this [Armenian Genocide] resolution, but support the true recognition of the Armenian Genocide, reparations, and recognizing the true boundaries of Armenia,” noted GUSD Board President, Greg Krikorian. “Once this happens, we’d be more than happy to welcome them to our district, where they can help educate our students of tolerance and working together as a community, but it troubles me that an organization can’t be true to themselves,” added Krikorian.
The Armenian National Committee – Glendale Chapter advocates for the social, economic, cultural, and political rights of the city’s Armenian American community and promotes increased Armenian American civic participation at the grassroots and public policy levels. It is the voice of this vibrant community, which seeks to advance and enrich Glendale.