National Education Association distributes Armenian Genocide education guide to over 3 million members – Asbarez.com

The ANCA-WR Education Committee website offers age-appropriate educational resources on the Armenian Genocide for educators

LOS ANGELES—On the 107th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, more than 3 million members of the National Education Association received a fact sheet and a digital guide how they can incorporate the Armenian Genocide into their classrooms.

The National Education Association is the largest labor union in the United States. It represents public school teachers, college and university faculty and staff, 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 follows the adoption by the NEA Convention of a resolution led by Taline Arsenian, member of the ANCA-WR education committee and delegate of the California Teacher’s Association in July 2021, which called on the NEA “to use people and print media to promote Armenian Genocide education by writing about the history of the Armenian Genocide, including assistance to Genocide victims and orphans through Near East Relief.

The guide referred educators to the ANCA-WR Education Committee websitewhich offers age-appropriate teaching resources, books for teachers and students, relevant films and videos, fact sheets, sample lesson plans, and more.

Highlighting 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 must shed 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 strives to mobilize the best of humanity for those in need help.

“Our public schools must help educate the next generation to look critically at the present day effects of genocide denial,” Arsenian said in a quote to the NEA.

“We have a moral responsibility to ensure that the Armenian Genocide and other crimes against humanity are taught by educators,” noted Verginie Touloumian, Acting Executive Director of ANCA-WR. “We congratulate the NEA for taking a step in the right direction, but our work is far from done. We look forward to working with our partners to ensure that every educator in the country has the tools necessary to teach the Armenian Genocide in their classrooms to ensure this crime is never forgotten – and never happens again,” concluded Touloumian.

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 an issue of American politics.

In an important step towards this goal, the ANCA has worked closely with Congressional leaders in recent weeks to support the Armenian Genocide Education Actsubmitted to Congress on Thursday, April 21 by Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) — which has already garnered more than 40 co-sponsors.

This landmark legislation, introduced on the eve of the international commemoration of the Armenian Genocide on April 24, seeks to provide $10 million in funding over five years to the Library of Congress to educate Americans about the systematic and deliberate mass murder sponsored by by the state of Ottoman Turkey, 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 grassroots American Armenian advocacy organization in the western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters in the western United States and affiliated organizations across the country, the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a wide range of issues.

Andrew B. Reiter