On Saturday, December 5th, the Armenian National Committee of America – Dallas (ANCA Dallas) hosted an energetic grassroots talk with ANCA Western Region’s Executive Director Elen Asatryan as the guest speaker at the Dallas Metro area Cascades Event Center, titled The Role of the Grassroots and the Armenian Youth post Armenian Genocide Centennial.
“We are thankful to Elen Asatryan for paying her second visit to Dallas this year to educate, motivate, and empower our community,” remarked ANCA-Dallas chair Lucia Nazarian. “She walked us through projects and goals and recruited volunteers from the audience to accomplish our agenda for 2016, including thanking Texas for its humanitarian efforts during and after the Armenian Genocide. We, ANCA-Dallas, have planted strong roots and will work day and night to become a staunch advocate for our community in the political process.
The event was kicked off with the national anthems performed by Rita Katanjian then remarks from ANCA Dallas Chair Lucia Nazarian, who welcomed attendees and called on them to get involved locally. Nazarian also took the opportunity to introduce the ANCA Dallas Board of Directors which was formed earlier in 2015. Following Nazarian, ANCA Dallas Board Member Avo Marzwanian took to the podium to introduce Asatryan.
During the event, which lasted for over 2 hours and consisted of continuous open dialogue, Asatryan presented the ANCA organizational structure, its priorities for the coming year and the challenges facing the Armenian American communities at the local, state and federal levels. Other noted topics of discussion included the ANCA WR America We Thank You initiative, incorporation of the Armenian Genocide in public schools, the many ways community members young and old can be involved on the local level and the importance of their involvement, not just in policy matters, but also in local, state, and federal elections. Finally, Asatryan discussed the various community service initiatives launched recently by the ANCA-WR and its local chapters. The meeting wrapped up with a Q&A session, followed by one-on-one discussions with attendees during a wine and cheese reception on how they can get involved in locally in Dallas.
“It was wonderful to be met with such enthusiasm by our community members in Dallas. Texas is one of the states that we have a lot of ground to break in and each person’s participation serves a critical role in that effort,” stated Asatryan. “We are confident that such events will only help foster local activism in the months and years ahead in pursuit of our Cause and look forward to working with our local chapter in Dallas to reconnect with our new friends in the coming weeks to increase our activities in the area,” added Asatryan.
Since its founding in 2015, ANCA-Dallas has co-organized Advocacy Day in Austin, helped pass Texas House Resolution 1541 in praise of Near East Relief 1915-1930 efforts to save “Armenians threatened with genocide in Turkey,” helped defeat anti-Armenian resolutions in the Texas legislature, and hosted an information booth at the annual Dallas ArmeniaFest in October.
ANCA-Dallas is a chapter of ANCA-WR, 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. To learn more or to get involved visit ancawr.org.