Countdown to the 100th Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide
The Armenian Genocide’s centennial is upon us. This momentous occasion will be marked by a number of high-profile events – public rallies, ecumenical services, cultural exhibits, memorial programs – in signature venues including Times Square, the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, and Arlington National Cemetery.
As part of these efforts, the Armenian Cultural Association of America, Inc. (ACAA) is helping underwrite costs for a number of ongoing activities that will leave their mark during and beyond April 2015. Briefly summarized, these activities include the following:
- 1. Legal Research and Advocacy: We will support new, independent efforts to conduct research on Armenian Genocide-related claims – property deeds, insurance claims, other forms of material damage – in an effort to determine their applicability according to US, Turkish, and European law.
- 2. Museum Exhibits: We will support the traveling exhibit organized jointly by the Near East Foundation (NEF) and Armenian National Committee (ANCA), designed to build public awareness through collaboration with museums and other institutions. They Shall Not Perish: The Story of Near East Relief is a panel exhibition will be made up of high-quality scans of documents and photographs from NEF’s extensive archives.
- 3. Responsibility 2015 conference: A large-scale academic conference is scheduled for March 13-15 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. The conference will feature both retrospective and prospective views of scholarship on the Armenian Genocide, with a wide range of participants, both Armenian and non-Armenian. These include well-known scholars such as Geoffrey Robertson, Richard Hovannisian, and Robert Fisk; equally renowned figures from the arts such as Chris Bohjalian, Eric Bogosian, and Scout Tufankjian; as well as up-and-coming journalists, policy analysts, celebrities and other opinion makers. Click here to view the article in The Armenian Weekly on the conference.
- 4. Genocide education. This effort involves a) advocacy aimed at including the Armenian Genocide in state educational curricula; and b) training workshops for public school teachers, mainly in history and the social sciences. The workshops will impart effective teaching practices to a broad US audience, and will continue beyond 2015. New curriculum on the Near East Relief Project will be launched in the Spring of 2015, and both hard and electronic copies will be available to teachers throughout the nation. This work is being carried out by the Genocide Education Project, Near East Foundation and in conjunction with the ARF Eastern Region.
- 5. Cultural Engagement with Western Armenia: The ARF Eastern Region will initiate a series of junkets to historic Western Armenia, now found in Eastern Turkey. The purpose is to acquaint and immerse diasporan Armenians in a) historic sites and villages of Western Armenia; b) areas featuring islamized Armenians, genocide survivors and their descendants, and other living remnants of the Armenian nation; c) Kurdish-populated areas, where pro-Armenian elements are becoming engaged with our people and our cause. Tour groups will run every 6-8 weeks, and are open to all interested parties. In addition to regular tours, a few “celebrity tours” will be organized, in which Armenian opinion makers and other notables will travel to their ancestral villages, with the goal of publicly discussing their experiences upon return. Click Here to view the article in The Armenian Weekly on the trips.
Clearly we are on the cusp of a momentous occasion, and the activities listed above are quite ambitious. In order to accomplish all of this and more, we require extra-budgetary resources in the form of grants and donations; these will enable us to work effectively and without interruption throughout 2015 and beyond. Please note that all donations made to the ACAA, 510(c)(3) corporation, are fully tax deductible. We thank you in advance for your support.