DETROIT, Michigan — The Armenian National Committee of America Eastern Region (ANCA-ER) is set to honor Congresswoman Brenda L. Lawrence (D-MI-14) with the ANCA Eastern Region Freedom Award at its 16th Annual Gala on Saturday, October 29, 2022, at the historic Dearborn Inn.
The ANCA Eastern Region Freedom Award is the highest honor the region bestows upon individuals who exhibit extraordinary courage and devotion to freedom and justice. It is presented annually at the regional gala to individuals who have made extraordinary contributions toward issues that concern Armenian-Americans. The Congresswoman will be honored with the Freedom Award alongside award-winning filmmaker Jivan Avetisyan.
Congresswoman Lawrence and Avetisyan will join a long list of notable recipients of the ANCA ER Freedom Award including Dr. Taner Akçam; Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA); former US Ambassador to Armenia John M. Evans; former US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power; US Senator Robert Menendez; US Senators Robert Dole and Elizabeth Dole; Baroness Caroline Cox; and renowned lawyer Robert Morgenthau and the Morgenthau family.
Congresswoman Lawrence, who represents Michigan’s 14th Congressional District, has been a prominent figure in supporting the Armenian cause. She has cosponsored and voted for multiple legislative resolutions and bills that support pro-Armenian topics, such as Armenian Genocide Resolution, H.Res.296, Artsakh Recognition Resolution, H.Res.1203, Condemning the Azerbaijan/Turkey Attacks, H.Res.1165, and many more. The Congresswoman is also a member of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues.
Congresswoman Lawrence was elected into the U.S. House of Representatives in 2014. Before becoming a representative of Michigan’s 14th Congressional district, the Congresswoman was the elected mayor of the City of Southfield in which she was both the first African American and the first woman to serve in this role.
As a Detroit native, Congresswoman Lawrence has a desire to support her surrounding community. During the 2020 war in Artsakh, the Congresswoman was very adamant in her support of the Armenian people, given the large Armenian community located in Metro-Detroit. On September 29, 2020, Congresswoman Lawrence tweeted, “I am deeply troubled by the outbreak in hostilities and the tragic loss of life in Nagorno-Karabakh. Concrete steps must be taken to de-escalate the situation & resume negotiations between Armenia & Azerbaijan. This conflict must be resolved through dialogue, not violence.”
“On behalf of the ANCA Eastern Region’s 16th annual gala committee, it gives me great pride to honor Congresswoman Lawrence for her steadfast support of our community and Armenian American issues. Throughout her service, she has stood beside our community. I look forward to honoring her contributions at this year’s gala alongside our local activists,” said Dzovinar Hamakorzian, ANCA ER Gala Chair.
The region will also honor a deserving Michigan activist with the ANCA Eastern Region Vahan Cardashian Award, as well as the region’s ANCA Leo Sarkisian Internship Program participant.
“I’m looking forward to standing for Artsakh and Armenia alongside my fellow ANCA Eastern Region activists and community members at the 16th annual ANCA Eastern Region Gala on October 29. The gala is the Region’s largest fundraiser of the year and its success is critical in ensuring we have the funds necessary to carry out our advocacy programs throughout the year,” said ANCA Eastern Region Board Member, Steve Mesrobian.
The Armenian National Committee of America Eastern Region is part of the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots organization, the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA). Working in coordination with the ANCA in Washington, DC, and a network of 31 chapters and supporters throughout the Eastern United States, the ANCA-ER actively advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues. For more information, visit https://er.anca.org/.