The Armenian National Committee of America–Western Region welcomed the adoption of a resolution by the American Federation of Teachers, formally recognizing the Armenian Genocide. The resolution also incorporates a Genocide Education component and calls on the leadership to publish an article and classroom resources for its 1.7 million members.
The resolution was submitted to the AFT Convention by Ingrid Gunnel, a member of the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) and longtime supporter of the ANCA-WR, and adopted by the Executive Council on February 3, 2021.
“The resolution sends a strong message to those around the nation and across the globe who continue to advance Turkey’s shameful denialist campaign,” remarked ANCA-WR Chair Nora Hovsepian, Esq. “By educating today’s youth about the Armenian Genocide and the heroic response by the United States during the Genocide through the Near East Relief, we have the power to prevent future crimes against humanity and hold accountable those who seek to distort the historical truth,” she continued.
The American Federation of Teachers is the second largest teacher’s labor union in America, representing 1.7 million professionals that “champion fairness; democracy; economic opportunity; and high-quality public education, healthcare and public services for students, their families and our communities.”
“Without a doubt, educators continue to be champions and advocates of racial, social, and civil right issues,” remarked lifelong educator and Chairperson of the ANCA-WR Education Committee, Alice Petrossian. “On behalf of the committee, I applaud the American Federation of Teachers and thank the California Federation of Teachers, Ingrid Gunnel, and Taline Arsenian (President of Glendale Teachers Association and a member of ANCA-WR Education Committee) for their work on this resolution and look forward to our continued partnership in providing resources to teachers to accurately teach about this horrific period in our world history,” she continued.
Comprised of dedicated community members mostly from the field of education, the ANCA-WR Education Committee fosters and maintains relations with officials, administrators and representatives from community based organizations that deal with education and youth matters. More specifically, the committee focuses on implementing Genocide Education curricula in public schools and works with local ANCA-WR chapters to address the needs of Armenian-American teachers, parents and students at school sites by monitoring and proposing activities and programs.
The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region is the largest and most influential nonpartisan 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 in pursuit of the Armenian Cause.
Text of Resolution:
WHEREAS, 1.5 million people were massacred by the Turkish government beginning in 1915; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. Congress formally passed resolutions recognizing the Armenian Genocide in 2019; and
WHEREAS, Turkey has continually denied the genocide:
RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers will formally recognize the Armenian Genocide; and
RESOLVED, that the AFT will call on the president of the United States to formally recognize the Armenian Genocide; and
RESOLVED, that the AFT will publish an article educating our members on the Armenian Genocide, including classroom resources.