BY ARAM S. HAMPARIAN
As we approach the June 1st broadcast of the ANCA Telethon, and you are asked (likely more than once) to lend a helping hand to our nationwide grassroots fundraising campaign, you’ll naturally ask yourself what it means today to donate to the ANCA.
Well, one way to think about the ANCA (and there are surely many – including as a “second army of the Armenian nation”) is that it’s something like a mutual fund for the Armenian Cause, one that invests in a broad array of our community’s most promising fields of endeavor and that pays dividends far into the future for our common cause.
Our track record, over more than a century of service, shows that the ANCA delivers a great return-on-investment (ROI), in my view, among the very best in the Armenian world.
That’s because every dollar you donate to the ANCA funds priorities that are aligned with one goal: the viability of the Armenian nation.
All our work – from State House to the White House – contributes directly to the survival of our homeland, the strengthening of our diaspora, and bold reinvention of our proud heritage to meet the challenges of a new age. We are committed, to our core, to defending our place as Armenians at the table of nations, where we can, in mutual respect, contribute to the rich diversity of the international community.
We are guided by the “North Star” of Armenian survival in all we do, every day, on each priority we advance on behalf of our community and cause:
— Justice for the Genocide: International Recognition, National Reparations
— Growing Armenia’s Economy: Aid and Trade to Create Jobs and Opportunity
— A New Focus on Law and Justice: Defending our Rights, Advancing our Cause
— Freedom First: Security for the independent Nagorno Karabakh Republic
— A New Capital Gateway House: A Home for our Next Generation of Leaders
— Middle East Armenians: Supporting and Sustaining our Community in Syria
— U.S.-Armenia Ties: Strengthening an Enduring Bilateral Partnership
— Return of Churches: Asserting our Christian Rights and Religious Freedom
— Standing Strong: Taking on the Turkish and Azerbaijani Lobbies
— Voters and Volunteers: Mobilizing the Armenian American Base
— Electing our Own: Helping Armenian Americans Win Public Office
— Getting it Right: Supporting Citizen Rights and Government Reform in Armenia
From school-houses across America (where we’re working to expand Armenian Genocide education) to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee (which just recognized the Armenian Genocide) we are advancing toward a truthful and just international resolution of this still unpunished crime. We are pressing for increased aid and, especially, expanded trade and investment to foster hope, reform, and sustainable job growth, to reverse the tide of out-migration from Armenia. Our defense of Artsakh is growing stronger, as we help isolate Azerbaijan as an aggressor state and reaffirm Nagorno Karabakh’s right to self-determination, the same fundamental right to freedom that we enjoy here as American citizens. On each of these issues, and so many others, we are not only working in the political arena, we are now, with your help, securing improved U.S. and international media coverage of our issue, and increasingly making use of movies, television, books, and the arts to advance our cause.
Your investment in the ANCA delivers real-world dividends in rolling back our enemies, raising awareness of our issues, and advancing our interests. To grasp what our work means, consider, for a moment, what would have happened if we had left the political arena to Turkey and Azerbaijan: The Armenian Genocide, if not totally forgotten, would be portrayed by Turkey as a failed rebellion by treasonous Armenians. Artsakh would be (mis)understood as an Armenian land grab and occupation of foreign soil. Armenia itself would be isolated and alone. And that’s just the start.
Thankfully, because of you, we have stood by our homeland, neither forsaking the burdens nor forgetting the blessings of our heritage. Standing strong and proud as the sons and daughters of our ancient nation, we have, in our time, done what we must to leave a better future for those who will follow. And so, I will end today right where I started: Please invest in the Armenian nation, by renewing your financial support for the ANCA.
Aram Hamparian is the Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of America.