Near East Relief to Be Highlight of Rotunda Exhibit during Advocacy Day

An aerial photograph of the orphanage run by Near East Relief, picturing thousands of Armenian orphans from the Genocide


GLENDALE—On Monday, April 7th, 2014, the Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region (ANCA-WR), the California State Legislature, and California activists will join to commemorate the 99th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide at the State Capitol in Sacramento.

Hundreds across California are expected to gather for Advocacy Day to educate and motivate advocates on the legislative process and on issues significant to Armenian Americans who live across the State. The day’s events will include visits to various legislators’ offices, a commemoration of the Armenian Genocide on the State Senate and Assembly floors, and an exhibit in the Capitol’s Rotunda showcasing the Near East Relief’s (NER) rescue of over a million Armenians, including 134,000 orphans, during and after the Genocide.

“The generosity and assistance displayed through the NER by the United States and the American people in the aftermath of the Armenian Genocide is truly unprecedented.
We are grateful to our state legislators for showcasing this important part of American history on a day when hundreds of Armenian-Americans will join the State of California in commemorating the atrocities that took place in 1915,” stated Elen Asatryan Executive Director of ANCA WR.

The NER was established in 1915 at the behest of U.S. Ambassador to Constantinople Henry Morgenthau, who sent an urgent plea for help to the U.S. State Department to rescue the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire from total annihilation. President Woodrow Wilson responded by asking his advisor Cleveland H. Dodge to form a committee, which was promptly provided with unprecedented access to all government information on the condition of non-Muslim minorities in the Ottoman Empire. Though the NER’s initial fundraising goal was $100,000, it actually raised $117,000,000, the equivalent of $2.7 billion in today’s dollars! While every State in the Union was mobilized to participate in this nationwide public effort of philanthropy, California activists from San Francisco to Fresno to Los Angeles raised several thousand dollars in cash and thousands of tons in food and clothing, amounting to a $1M contribution in one year alone. As a tribute to NER, the ANCA-WR has initiated a project entitled “America We Thank You” to recognize the efforts of NER from 1915-1930 in saving the Armenian Nation from total destruction.

For individuals/groups who are interested in participating from the Los Angeles area, bus transportation to and from Sacramento as well as lodging will be provided.
The bus will depart on Sunday, April 6, 2014 and will return the following evening on Monday, April 7, 2014. For tickets, please visit itsmyseat.com/ancawr. Community members interested in participating that do not need transportation or lodging may register online at ancawr.org/registeradvocacyday. For more information about Advocacy Day, visit ancawr.org, email CAstate@ancawr.org or call (818) 500-1918.

The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.

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