GLENDALE—The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region announced last week that it will honor the Armenian Youth Federation Western United States (AYF WUS) with the “Vahan Cardashian” Award at its 2015 Annual Gala Banquet, taking place on Sunday, October 25 at the prestigious Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles.
The AYF, founded in 1933, is a relentless foot solider in advancing the Armenian Cause through its community activism in the United States. With a legacy of over eighty years of community involvement and organizational structures in over 17 regions around the world and 14 chapters in the Western United States, the AYF has always and continues to stand prepared to play a leading role in the preservation and advancement of the Armenian nation.
The AYF’s foundation is built on five pillars that guide its activities: Educational, Hye Tahd, Social, Athletic and Cultural. As the largest and most influential Armenian American youth organization in the world working to advance the social, political, educational and cultural awareness of Armenian youth, the AYF promotes a fraternal attitude of respect for ideas and individuals among its members.
The Vahan Cardashian award is given to activists who strive for the advancement of Hye Tahd. 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 to advocate for the plight of the Armenian nation.
This year, the AYF-WUS played an instrumental role in coordinating with the Armenian Students Associations across California to implement a student-led multi-million dollar divestment campaign within the UC System. They also organized the “100 Days of Action,” a campaign to mark the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, which included weekly social media campaigns, educational community forums and participation in the historic March For Justice. In addition, the AYF collaborated with social media giant Snapchat to highlight the Republic of Armenia to the world.
To top it all off, AYF WR also played a crucial role, along with other community organizations in organizing the March for Justice in Los Angeles on April 24th, which brought out over 166,000 protesters onto the street of Hollywood, making it the second largest march in the history of Los Angeles. They have also continued to empower our community through AYF Camp, which brings together hundreds of youth to educate, motivate and activate them about issues of concern to our community and many other programs. “The AYF is the blueprint for our future activists,” said Elen Asatryan, Executive Director of the ANCA-WR. “This is only the beginning. This is our moment, this is our movement, and this is our destiny to shape our Cause together.”
“Recognizing our youth on this milestone year is symbolic for our community because it reminds us of the work that lies ahead,” said Raffi Kassabian, Esq., ANCA-Western Region Board Member. “The AYF-WR is that shining star who will lead our grassroots through the trenches to a place where we will achieve justice and new heights for our Cause.”
The ANCA-WR Gala Banquet will take place on October 25, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles. Individuals interested in attending the Gala Banquet and Grassroots Conference are encouraged to contact the ANCA-WR office at (818) 839.1918 or purchase tickets online at www.ancawr.org
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.