Supports Legislation to Recognize Historical Truth, Learn Lessons of the Past, and Seek Justice for the Living

March 13, 2003

WASHINGTON, DC – The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) joined with a broad-based coalition of civil rights and ethnic organizations today in supporting legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R.40), that would establish a commission to review the institution of American slavery and its impact on today’s African American community.

The author of the legislation, Congressman John Conyers (D-MI), is the second most senior Member of the House and the Ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. Congressman Conyers, who was an original co-founder of the Congressional Black Caucus, has consistently been a leading advocate for official U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide and the full range of issues of concern to Armenia Americans.

“We are pleased to support this legislation, introduced by our long-time friend Congressman John Conyers,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “As Armenian Americans we appreciate this very worthwhile effort to honestly assess the past, learn the lessons of history, and seek justice for historic wrongs that continue to impact the world to this day.”

The commission which would be created by the adoption of this legislation, in addition to examining slavery and its ongoing effects, would be charged with recommending ways to educate the American public on its findings as well as making recommendations for appropriate remedies.

The NAACP, the nation’s leading civil rights organization, is working for the adoption of this legislation. Last year, the NAACP joined with the Armenian American community in supporting Senate legislation, S.Res.307, to commemorate the 15th anniversary of America’s implementation of the Genocide Convention.

Cosponsors of this legislation, as of March 10th, are: Representatives: Sanford Bishop (D-GA), Robert Brady (D-PA), Elija Cummings (D-MD), Danny Davis (D-IL), Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Jesse Jackson (D-IL), William Jefferson (D-LA), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-MI), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Karen McCarthy (D-MO), Jim McDermott (D-CA), Kendrick Meek (D-FL), Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Jaunita Millender-McDonald (D-CA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), John Olver (D-MA), Major Owens (D-NY), Charles Rangel (D-NY), Bobby Rush (D-IL), Janice Schakowsky (D-IL), Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Edolphus Towns (D-NY), Maxine Waters (D-CA), Diane Watson (D-CA), and Albert Wynn (D-MD).

A link to the full text of the resolution, which has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee, is provided below.

For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
Email / Tel: (202) 775-1918
Armenian National Committee of America
888 17th Street, NW, Suite 904, Washington, DC 20006
Tel. (202) 775-1918 * Fax. (202) 775-5648 *
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