LOS ANGELES, California – On the 107th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, more than 3 million National Education Association (NEA) members received an informational sheet and a digital guide on how they can incorporate the Armenian Genocide in their classrooms.
The National Education Association is the largest labor union in the United States. It represents public school teachers, faculty and staffers at colleges and universities, retired educators, and college students preparing to become teachers. The NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.
The distribution of the digital guide on teaching about the Armenian Genocide followed the NEA Convention’s adoption of a resolution spearheaded by ANCA-WR Education Committee member and California Teacher’s Association delegate Taline Arsenian in July of 2021, which called on the NEA “to use existing digital and print media to promote teaching about the Armenian Genocide by writing an article about the history of the Armenian genocide, including the assistance of genocide victims and orphans through the Near East Relief.”
The guide referred educators to the ANCA-WR’s Education Committee website, which offers age-appropriate teaching resources, books for educators and students, relevant films and videos, fact sheets, sample lesson plans, and more.
Emphasizing the importance of combating genocide denial and revisionism, and the vital role of genocide education in ensuring the prevention of mass atrocities, the NEA guide noted that “educators and leaders alike must shine a light on these horrors to help build a better world for our children—a society that stands firmly against the violent oppression of any group and works to mobilize the best of humanity for those in need of assistance.”
“Our public schools must help to educate the new generation to look critically at the ongoing present-day effects of genocide denial,” said Arsenian in a quote to the NEA.
“We have the moral responsibility to ensure that the Armenian Genocide and other crimes against humanity are taught by educators,” remarked Verginie Touloumian, Interim Executive Director of the ANCA-WR. “We applaud the NEA for taking a step in the right direction, but our work is far from over. We look forward to working with our partners to ensure every educator in the country has the tools to teach about the Armenian Genocide in their classrooms to ensure this crime is never forgotten – and never repeated,” Touloumian concluded.
When the U.S. Congress recognized the Armenian Genocide in 2019 with the passage of H.Res.296 and S.Res.150, both resolutions explicitly encouraged education and public understanding of the facts of the Armenian Genocide as a matter of U.S. policy.
In an important step toward this goal, the ANCA has worked closely with Congressional leaders in recent weeks to support the Armenian Genocide Education Act, submitted to Congress on Thursday, April 21st by Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) – which has already garnered over 40 co-sponsors.
This landmark legislation, introduced on the eve of the international commemoration of the Armenian Genocide on April 24th, seeks to provide $10 million in funding over five years for the Library of Congress to educate Americans about Ottoman Turkey’s systematic and deliberate state-sponsored mass murder, national dispossession, cultural erasure, and exile of millions of Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syriacs, Arameans, Maronites, and other Christians, between 1915 and 1923.
The Armenian National Committee of America-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 ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.