GLENDALE, Calif.The Armenian National Committee – Western Region (ANC-WR) has announced that world-renowned performing artist Serj Tankian will serve as a panelist in “Lights, Camera, Activate,” which will cover the ways in which film, music and the arts can be used to promote grassroots activism. The presentation is part of the ANC Grassroots weekend that will take place from Friday, November 25 to Sunday, November 27, 2011, at the Sheraton Universal Hotel. Tankian will discuss the use of music, poetry and the arts to promote grassroots activism. An Armenian immigrant born in Lebanon and re-rooted in Los Angeles, Tankian was introduced to the melding of cultures, ideas and ideals from an early age. Early in his career, Tankian found an outlet as the rabble–rousing lead singer and songwriter of the hugely successful rock band System of a Down, which reached millions of people around the world with their message of awareness and activism. Two of their songs, “P.L.U.C.K.” and “Holy Mountains,” were specifically written about the Armenian Genocide.
Along with fellow musician Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave), Serj co-founded the non-profit organization Axis Of Justice in 2002, which unites musicians and their supporters with grassroots political organizations in order to fight for social justice. He has also been a co-host on the Axis Of Justice Radio Network, which can be heard via Sirius Satellite Radio and KPFK in Los Angeles. “There are many routes that people can take to become civically engaged, and oftentimes film, music and the arts are a catalyst for a paradigm shift. As an artist and an activist, it’s important to stay vigilant about issues that matter to us as citizens of good conscience – and Serj Tankian is a powerful voice in the global grassroots movements for social justice,” said ANCA-WR Chairman Andrew Kzirian. 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. 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. ANC Grassroots and the Annual Banquet are open to interested individuals throughout the entire United States, and participants are encouraged to register early. 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 a keynote luncheon on Sunday, are $150. Tickets for the Annual Banquet are $200. Those interested in attending the Annual Banquet and ANC Grassroots can purchase a package for $300. Students with valid ID can purchase discounted tickets to the Annual Banquet and Conference. For more information, please visit www.anca.org/ancgrassroots. 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.