November 1, 2011

Author and Journalist Mark AraxGLENDALE, CA — The Armenian National Committee – Western Region (ANC-WR) has announced that award-winning journalist and author Mark Arax will deliver the keynote address at ANC Grassroots, on Sunday, November 27.

Mark Arax is the author of “In My Father’s Name,” and “West of the West,” and the co-author of the bestseller “The King of California.” A former senior writer at The Los Angeles Times, he now teaches writing at Fresno State University and is working on a new book, this one a fictional novel. His Los Angeles Times stories revealing state-sanctioned murder and cover-up in California prisons were praised by The Nation magazine as “one of great journalistic achievements of the decade.” In a review of his most recent book, “West of the West,” the Washington Post called Mark a “great reporter…tenacious and unrelenting.” His books on California have been compared to the “great social portraits” by William Saroyan and Joan Didion, and he is considered one of the finest journalists of his generation.

In “West of the West, Arax deftly weaves the little-known history of the Golden State, finding tragedies hidden from most Californians. His stories on the land are told from the vantage point of a native whose own family narrative is found in the same soil. His grandfather Aram’s first job in America was picking the fruits and vegetables of the San Joaquin Valley; his father, Ara, was born on a raisin farm outside Fresno. A top graduate of Fresno State and Columbia University, Mark left the Los Angeles Times in 2007 after a public fight over censorship of history on the Armenian Genocide. He has taught literary non-fiction at Claremont McKenna College and Fresno State University and served as a senior policy director for the California Senate Majority Leader. The father of three children, Mark lives on his suburban farm in Fresno.

The three-day ANC Grassroots program is a groundbreaking weekend of workshops and panel presentations that will educate the community about civic leadership arising from grassroots efforts. This powerful event encompassing Armenian economic, cultural and social issues with a number of dynamic speakers will provide activists with the tools to amplify the Hai Tahd message. ANC Grassroots will bookend the Armenian National Committee of America- Western Region (ANCA-WR) Annual Banquet, which will take place on Saturday, November 26 at 7 p.m.

The conference and Annual Banquet are open to interested individuals throughout the entire United States, and participants are encouraged to register early.

Due to a generous contribution by an anonymous donor the ANC has announced a significant reduction in ticket prices.

Tickets for ANC Grassroots, which includes the Friday night cocktail in the Starview Room; as well as conference sessions on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, which include breakfast, post-banquet dance, and the keynote luncheon on Sunday, are $49. Students with valid ID can purchase discounted tickets for $39.

Tickets for the Annual Banquet are $200. Students with valid ID can purchase discounted tickets for $150.

For more information, to register and purchase tickets, please visit

The Armenian National Committee-Western Region is the largest Armenian American grassroots community 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 works to promote understanding regarding issues of concern to the Armenian American community.

For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Jenny Mankerian
Email / Tel: (818) 500-1918
Armenian National Committee of America
Western Region
104 N. Belmont Street, Suite #200