Philadelphia, PA – In the Seroonian Community Center, over a dozen ANC activists came together to discuss ways to improve and expand upon Hai Tahd activities in Eastern Pennsylvania. For over 90 minutes Eastern Region Executive Director Karine Birazian, Armenian National Committee of Pennsylvania (ANC of PA) chairman Ara Chalian, and AYF, ARF activists had an insightful conversation, contributing concerns and ideas about our cause, reported the Armenian National Committee, Eastern Region.
Entering the Agoump, one would not be surprised that planning of some Armenian event would be occurring. Birazian was greeted by Homenetmen members decorating for their Halloween party, and was offered a hot homemade dinner that was generously served to all the incoming guests.
The meeting got underway, and a roundtable discussion began. Birazian thanked everyone for coming and admired the fact that so many members came. The meeting opened with introductions and went on to discuss particular ideas and tasks to be carried out by the ANC of PA. Such ideas as community outreach, expansion of the ANC website, increasing genocide education awareness in schools, and reaching out to other Armenian communities throughout the state of Pennsylvania were just some of the ideas discussed.
Aram Hovagimian, former AYF Eastern Region chairman expressed the need to reach out to our own community members and explain to them what the ANC does and how to become more active. Some suggestions included having opportunities for community members to learn who their Congressmen are and their views on our issues. Expanding on this, were the hopes to improve the ANCA Congressional report card in the Philadelphia area and having more Congressmen sign on to the Armenian Caucus.
Anthony Deese, ARF member and AYF Eastern Region Central Executive member took on the initiative of finding other Armenian activists in the state of Pennsylvania to educate them about the ANCA and our issues. This was discussed during the meeting as a means to improve the Congressional report cards in the state of Pennsylvania and work with other Armenian’s in districts that the ANC of PA does not have activists.
During the meeting, Chalian commented, “the discussions we are having tonight are very insightful in finding specific tasks that we can undertake to be more proactive with the organization. I am hoping we can each take the comments and ideas and turn them into accomplishments in the near future.”
Another important issue discussed were having the AYF taking more of a proactive approach to Hai Tahd. One idea brought up by ARF member David Papazian was doing more outreach to the schools on genocide education. Utilizing AYFer Mikael Garbedian’s experience on getting a genocide course taught in his school, it was found that the ANC of PA would take on the task of educating the AYF on promoting genocide education and awareness in the schools.
Finally the meeting ended with additional items like having an additional link on the ANCA website for ANC PA updates, voter registration drives, coalition building with other ethnic and humanitarian organizations. Birazian also presented informational handouts and a CD of various documents to be utilized by the ANC chapters.
Following the meeting, Jim Kzirian, AYF Eastern Region Central Executive Chairman commented, “this meeting was a great opportunity for our community to meet with the new ANC ER director and strategize about Hai Tahd projects that would work well in the Philadelphia area”
“I want to thank the ANC of PA for taking the time to meet with me. Although there are a lot of familiar faces, being active with AYF, I did meet new activists and look forward to working with everyone to accomplish the specific goals the chapter has set for themselves.”