Philadelphia, P.A. – On April 11, 2016 the Armenian Students Cultural Association (ASCA) organized the second annual Genocide Awareness Event at the University of the Sciences in West Philadelphia. The event was attended by members of the university community, along with representatives of the sizeable Armenian-American community in the greater Philadelphia area.
ASCA’s president, Alexander Bimson, opened the program by introducing the audience to the organization and speaking about the recent activities and achievements of the club. The first guest speaker, Dr. Ara DerMarderosian – professor emeritus of pharmacognosy at the University of the Sciences – took the podium, touching upon the events of the Armenian Genocide and its historical legacy.
The evening continued with remarks by Dr. Ara Chalian, Chairman of the Armenian National Committee of Pennsylvania. Dr. Chalian’s inspirational speech called upon the youth to become activists within their own communities by following the footsteps of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He shared some of his own personal experiences with grassroots activism and urged the attendees to remain steadfast in their fight for justice for all people everywhere.
During the interlude, Hamazkayin Meghry Dance group performed three traditional Armenians dances in celebration of cultural heritage and as a sign of perseverance of the Armenian nation a century after the genocide.
The guest of honor, Mr. Armen Sahakyan of ANCA-ER, briefed the audience about the present geopolitical challenges of the Republics of Armenia and Artsakh in the volatile South Caucasus region. He also touched upon the history of Karabakh and the recent aggression (with credible reports of war crimes) of Azerbaijan against the people of Nagorno Karabakh Republic. Mr. Sahakyan also talked about citizen activism and how everyone can get involved through the new online March to Justice platform.
Toward the end of the evening Sareen Streeter, Vice President of the ASCA, provided with a brief overview of the upcoming “Armenian Genocide Sit-In” to be held at Philadelphia’s City Hall on Saturday, April 23, followed immediately by closing remarks by Geena Kludjian, Secretary of ASCA.