Los Angeles, CA – On January 5, 2008, representatives from nearly a dozen college campuses throughout southern California attended a media outreach and advocacy workshop presented by the Armenian National Committee-Western Region (ANC-WR). Hosted by the Armenian Student Association and Armenian Graduate Student Association at UCLA on the UCLA campus, student leaders and activists took the opportunity to learn more about Armenian American issues and how they can promote greater awareness of these issues on campus. “It was a necessary and informative event. Students need to know about these issues, that they have a significant voice, and that they can make a difference,” said Chris Khatchatryan, President of the UCLA Armenian Student Association. “Being a world premier university, UCLA was a great setting for the workshop and I look forward to follow up workshops hosted by our sister ASAs,” he added. Saturday’s workshop featured two speakers, ANC-WR Board Member Vicken Sonentz-Papazian and Glendale City Clerk and former UCLA Armenian Student Association President, Ardashes Kassakhian. Sonentz-Papazian opened the event providing an overview of Armenian American activism and issues in the past century to the present day. Kassakhian spoke about his experiences as a student leader addressing Armenian American issues on campus and discussing the impact students can have on their campus and beyond. “I was impressed by the participants’ depth of understanding of the topic and their commitment to promote and advance Hai Tahd,” noted Sonentz-Papazian. The workshop was the first in a series being offered by the ANC for youth leaders and activists. The workshops were inspired by the high volume of community – and especially campus – activism during the recent consideration and adoption of H.Res.106, the US House Armenian Genocide resolution. During October and November of 2007, ANC-WR Community Relations Director Haig Hovsepian delivered community issues briefings to over a dozen campuses. He also discussed opportunities for student involvement with the ANC such as the ANC-Western Region Internship-Externship Program (ANC-WR IEP). The media outreach and advocacy workshop series is the most recent addition to the ANC’s community leadership development programs.
The Armenian National Committee – Western Region is 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 ANC-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.
Photo Caption: ANC-WR Board Member Vicken Sonentz-Papazian (right) addresses participants during the workshop at UCLA.