Denver, CO – The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region (ANCA-WR) announced earlier that it will open a new office in Denver, Colorado, to be shared with the Armenians of Colorado (AOC) right across the street from the State Capitol at the historic First Baptist Church of Denver on 1373 Grant Street, Suite 101A. ANCA-WR and AOC will jointly hold an opening reception and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday, May 2, 2016, 8:30am with local and state-based community leaders, representatives, organizations, and public officials. The event is free and open to the public.
The opening ceremony will include a short program with remarks from organizational leadership, Colorado state officials and community representatives, including Denver’s Deputy Mayor Don Mares. State Representatives Alec Garnett and Cole Wist, and Senator Beth Martinez Humenik, are expected to join Mares at the opening. A breakfast reception is to follow.
“The opening of our joint offices in the year following the Armenian Genocide centennial warrants nationwide celebration, as it signifies the strides of our community against all odds. A people on the verge of annihilation, Armenians have in fact risen like a phoenix from the ashes, and have mobilized into an active citizenry and grassroots force with unparalleled vigor and resolve. It is important to note the serendipitous reality that Colorado’s relief efforts in rescuing the Armenians during and after the Armenian Genocide were coordinated from the First Baptist Church of Denver, the very same space that, one hundred years later, the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of those whose lives were saved will be using for their headquarters from where they will tirelessly work on the grassroots level to preserve the Armenian cultural heritage and impact change both locally and statewide” stated ANCA-WR Executive Director Elen Asatryan.
“Last year, we hired Denver based Simon Maghakyan as our Community Development Coordinator and launched an ANCA Colorado chapter. Having Simon join our team has allowed us to truly expand our efforts and activities in the region. Opening of our Colorado office is part of our expansion efforts with Colorado being one of the key target states where we hope to secure a statewide call for Artsakh’s Independence and right to self-determination, implement Armenian Genocide curriculum in the framework for both world history and U.S. history classes, just as we have recently done in California, in addition to our community outreach and education, legislative and voter registration/get-out-the-vote initiatives.”she added.
Establishing Denver’s Armenian community offices builds on last year’s successful centennial commemoration in Colorado, which included Governor John Hickenlooper’s unveiling of the State Capitol khachkar Memorial dedicated to all victims of crimes against humanity as well as the recent 100+1 Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide organized by the AOC at the memorial on April 24 and the legislature commemoration, when on Friday, April 22, the Colorado community took to the capitol to join the CO Senate and House, and the AOC in commemorating the Armenian Genocide on the house and senate floors and spent the day meeting with over 50 officials to educate them about the current realities on the front-lines in Artsakh, the Armenian Genocide and our priorities and initiatives for the year during our CO Advocacy Day. Details on the ANCA WR Colorado Advocacy Day can be found at ancawr.rg/coadpost .
While the missions of the Armenian National Committee of America Western Region and the Armenians of Colorado vary in scope, both organizations strive to empower and give voice to Armenian-Americans, build bridges within communities, and establish meaningful and effective partnerships with a multitude of cultural, community based and civically-engaged organizations.
“As our community is growing, we are excited to announce that with this new space and its central location, we (the AOC) will be able to expand our programs and offer new services to our community,” stated Sona Hedeshian, President of AOC Board.
The Armenian community has been a vibrant part of Denver’s cultural fabric since the 19th century. Denver’s first family-owned business was established by an Armenian family- the Sarkisian’s. In the early 20th century, Armenians arriving in Colorado were those fortunate enough to have survived the Armenian Genocide. The parallels of the relationship between the Armenian people and Colorado one hundred years apart serve as testimony to the unwavering will and endurance of the community.
To attend the office opening and reception, RSVP online at www.ancawr.org/DenverOffice or to ANCA-WR’s Denver-based community development coordinator Simon Maghakyan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 818-862-2622. Community members interested in making a donation for the ANCA-WR Denver office and activities, may make a contribution online at www.ancawr.org/denver-office-sponsorship or contact Elen Asatryan at email@example.com or 818.500.1919.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, ANCA-WR is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the United States. Since its founding in 1979, AOC has furthered the understanding of Armenian history and heritage through educational and cultural programs in Colorado.
Additional information about ANCA-WR may be found online at ancawr.org and AOC at armenianofcolorado.org. To learn more about Colorado’s humanitarian assistance during the Armenian Genocide please watch this brief documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2nWikyTE30
The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region is one of the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots organizations in the Western United States and working with their network of local offices and chapters through the region, the ANCA-WR makes sure the concerns of the Armenian American community are heard and answered, as should every minority’s voice.