--Harvard Professor Samantha Power to receive ANCA Freedom Award
--Community Supporter Martha Aramian to receive 'Vahan Cardashian' Award

July 22, 2008

NEW YORK, NY- The Armenian National Committee of America, Eastern Region (ANCA-ER), announced the honorees for its Second Annual Banquet and Awards Program, to take place on Saturday, September 13, 2008 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City.

As announced previously, the ANCA-ER will present the ANCA Freedom Award to Harvard University professor and human rights activist Dr. Samantha Power. A leading voice on genocide awareness, Power won the Pulitzer Prize for her book A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide. She teaches at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and was a senior adviser to U.S. Democratic Party presidential candidate Barack Obama.

The Vahan Cardashian Award will be presented to Martha Aramian of Providence, Rhode Island, a long-standing active member of the Armenian community. Aramian has been a strong activist in her local Providence community and supporter of the ANCA’s efforts at a national level. In 2006, on the occasion of the ANCA’s Capital Campaign, she donated $200,000, greatly facilitating the purchase of the ANCA’s new national headquarters in Washington DC. She is perhaps best known for conceptualizing and developing the Armenian Heritage Park in Providence Rhode Island – a lasting memorial to the brave Armenian men and women, boys and girls whose lives had been flung to the seven winds of the world, but who found refuge in Providence. Aramian has sponsored the establishment of a child care center, senior center, and youth camp in Vanadzor, a city devastated by the 1988 earthquake.

“We are pleased to honor Samantha Power and Martha Aramian,” commented Banquet Committee Chair Stephen Mesrobian. “These are two individuals who have had a lasting impact and made a real difference in the Armenian Cause through their dedication and support.”

The ANCA Freedom Award honors individuals who have succeeded in bringing the history of the Armenian people and the truth about the Armenian Genocide to the mainstream public consciousness. Recent recipients have included U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John Evans, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez and musical band System of a Down.

The Vahan Cardashian Award is given annually to an ANC activist or supporter who demonstrates longstanding accomplishments on behalf of the Armenian Cause. The award is named for Yale-educated lawyer Vahan Cardashian who set aside his successful New York practice to dedicate himself to the establishment of the American Committee for the Independence of Armenia (ACIA), predecessor organization to the Armenian National Committee and advocate for the plight of the Armenian nation. The 2007 Cardashian Award was presented to Vahe Amirian of New Jersey.

Plans are currently being finalized for the banquet. The evening will begin with a silent auction and cocktail reception, followed by a dinner and awards program. For more information and reservations, visit, email or call 917-428-1918.

The Armenian National Committee of America is the largest and most influential Armenian-American grassroots political organization. Working through a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the US and around the world, the ANCA actively advances the concerns of the Armenian-American community on a broad range of issues.


Photo Caption: Vahan Cardashian Award recipient Martha Aramian

For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Karine Birazian
Email / Tel: (917) 428-1918
Armenian National Committee of America
Eastern Region
122 W 27th St, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10001
Tel. (917) 428-1918 * Email.
Your generosity empowers our advocacy, inspires our work, and sustains our momentum.