LOS ANGELES, CA–Starting this week eight billboards throughout Los Angeles are drawing attention to the Armenian Genocide. Sponsored by RoarUSA, the signs draw the attention of hundreds of thousands of residents each day and exclaim that the “truth will triumph.”
“While there are many Armenian Americans in Los Angeles, the Armenian Genocide is still unknown to many. This is a very effective way to make people aware that there is an issue and it compels them to look further into it,” noted Ara Oshagan of the Genocide Project. A photo from the Genocide Project, by Levon Parian and Oshagan, is used as part of the billboard message.
The billboard sponsor, Los Angeles-area businessman and owner of the apparel manufacturer RoarUSA, Deepak Vasandani was inspired to pursue this project after learning about the Armenian Genocide during a dinner conversation with business colleagues and friends Hovig Khaloian and Rafi Ekmekian. Ekmekian also told Vasandani about his own family’s experience during the genocide.
Vasandani, who had already engaged in other socially responsible corporate advertising campaigns with RoarUSA, suggested that the Armenian Genocide would be a good issue to address. It was Vasandani who contacted Khaloian after the recent March 4, 2010 vote in the US House Foreign Affairs Committee on .Res.252 to discuss the vote and relay the news that he had reserved the billboards for the project. H.Res.252 is the current Armenian Genocide resolution making its way through the US House of Representatives.
“Deepak is an exceptional human being with an extraordinary vision and an unconventional approach to tackling complex issues,” said Khaloian. “His determination and commitment to corporate social responsibility is admirable and it is an example that should be followed by others.”
The billboards are located at La Cienega & Whitworth, Western & Lexington, Westwood & Santa Monica, Topanga Canyon & Schoolcraft, Roscoe & Reseda, Santa Monica & Western, and Sepulveda & Lucerne. They will be displayed for the next month.
“The ANC would like to commend Mr. Vasandani’s effort to provoke greater knowledge about the Armenian Genocide,” remarked ANCA-WR Chairwoman, Aida Dimejian. “Being a human rights issue, it is the responsibility of everyone to help end the cycle of genocide. Education and awareness are the first steps towards this end.”
The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.