March 20, 2008
For Immediate Release
Contact: Ani Garabedian
tel: (818) 500-1918

Western Region Activists Take Anti-Genocide Message to Capitol Hill

Washington D.C. – Human rights activists from all over the western United States gathered in Washington D.C. from March 12-14 to take part in the second annual “End the Cycle of Genocide: Grassroots Capitol Campaign” seminar. Jointly organized by the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) and Genocide Intervention Network (GI-Net), this important event is part of a global effort to call attention to denial of the Armenian Genocide and to help stop the ongoing genocide in Darfur.

Over the course of three days, constituents from California, Oregon, Idaho, Arizona and Texas met with Members of Congress and their offices to advocate on issues of concern to the community. Through this effort, students and professionals helped raise awareness regarding the long-term strategic concerns associated with Armenian Genocide denial particularly as it relates to the ongoing genocide in Darfur.

“It was an amazing experience and I look forward to Texahyes continuing their regular participation in these advocacy days,” said Nathalie Kolandjian, a student at the University of Texas, Austin. “These issues are very important to us and it is crucial to remind our representatives that there is an active Armenian American community back home that cares,” she added.

Advocacy week participants also took the opportunity to explore the Capitol and many of its historical attractions including the White House, Capitol Hill and the Washington Monument.

“Our participation during this week of advocacy has given members of our community an insight into the Washington, D.C. political environment,” noted Armen Donigian a participant San Diego, CA. “This was a positive step in growing the relationship between San Diego Armenian Americans and their local Congressional district offices,” he added.

The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots political organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the United States and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCA actively advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.

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Photo caption #1: (center) Congressman John Culberson (R-TX-07) joined by (from left to right) ANC San Gabriel Valley Member Jack Hadjinian, ANC Texas Activist and Constituent Nathalie Kolandjian and Genocide Intervention Network Activist Colin Christensen.

Photo caption #2: Genocide prevention activists work together at the ANCA office in Washington, D.C. preparing informational materials for Members of Congress.