Genocide Education Advocates Testify at State Senate Education Committee

From left, actor Dean Cain, Roxanne Makasdjian and Nora Hovsepian testify at the senate hearing
From left, actor Dean Cain, Roxanne Makasdjian and Nora Hovsepian testify at the senate hearing

From left to right: Frank Pisi, Roxanne Makasdjian and Nora Hovsepian testify at the senate hearing

SACRAMENTO—State Senator Anthony J. Portantino on Thursday invited Armenian education leaders to testify before the State Senate on the importance of Genocide Education and Genocide Curriculum.

“Accurately telling the history of the Armenian Genocide is critical to student education and helps combat denialist efforts that continue today. This Tuesday we witnessed efforts in Washington to bow to Turkish pressure. I’m proud that California does not and I’m grateful to the education advocates who came to Sacramento to help argue this case,” commented Portantino.

Senator Anthony Portantino presides over the hearing

Senator Anthony Portantino presides over the hearing

Last year, Portantino placed $10 million dollars into the State Budget to update the social science curriculum framework in California to include among other issues, Armenian Genocide Education. Today’s hearing provided the genocide education experts the direct opportunity to testify in front of the California Legislature and the Department of Education representatives.

Senator Portantino who is the chair of the Senate Budget Sub Committee on Education Finance invited Roxanne Makasdjian, Executive Director of the Genocide Education Project, Dean Cain, Prouder of the Architects of Denial, and Nora Hovsepian, Chair of the Armenian National Committee of America Western Region to testify at this morning’s hearing.

Senator Anthont Portantino (left) with hearing participants

From l to r: Senator Anthonty Portantino,  Nora Hovsepian, Roxanne Makasdjian, Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, and Senator Scott Wilk

“It is so appropriate that we had the opportunity to testify during Genocide Awareness Month and we’re very thankful to Senator Portantino for providing us the opportunity to bring the accurate implementation of genocide education to the forefront of the discussion,” added Roxanne Makasdjian, Executive Director of the Genocide Education Project.

“We are grateful that California is leading this discussion and our input will ensure that the history of our ancestors is accurately taught. Having both a State Senate that promotes complete understanding of civil rights and a Senate Education Budget Committee that cares so deeply about getting historical facts right is testament to the relationships the Armenian-American community has cultivated with California’s leadership.” commented Nora Hovsepian, Chair of the Armenian National Committee of America Western Region.

Senator Portantino is also the chair of the Senate Select Committee on California, Armenia and Artsakh Mutual Trade, Art and Cultural Exchange.

Sen. Portantino represents nearly 930,000 people in the 25th Senate District, which includes Altadena, Atwater Village, Bradbury, Burbank, Claremont, Duarte, Glendale, Glendora, La Cañada Flintridge, La Crescenta, La Verne, Monrovia, Montrose, Pasadena, San Dimas, San Marino, Shadow Hills, Sierra Madre, South Pasadena, Sunland-Tujunga, and Upland.

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