Armenian Cause 2.0: A Unique Opportunity

William Bairamian

BY WILLIAM BAIRAMIAN

The United States is a big country – and it has Armenians strewn across every single state.

Despite the strength of Armenian Americans on the national political stage, there aren’t any events that allow all politically motivated members of the community to congregate in one place to discuss the future of our efforts – except one. The ANCA Leadership Conference, hosted by the ANCA National Headquarters is the only such event. 

It is the premiere occasion event where Armenian American activists can gather to learn about the challenges the Armenian Cause faces and an opportunity for them to discuss, face to face, ways to improve the approach to our work.

In the past half century, a lot has changed for Armenians. An independent Armenian state was founded. An historic Armenian land was fought for and regained by the brave sons and daughters of the Armenian nation. The Armenian Genocide went from the brink of being forgotten in many places and denied in others to being discussed on the international stage, with nary a serious denier to be found today.

These developments didn’t happen by accident – activists made them happen. Whether they were declaring independence in Armenia, fighting for independence in Artsakh, or bringing the issue of justice for the Armenian Genocide to the fore, activists were the ones who accepted the personal responsibility of advancing the Armenian Cause.

Now, as the Cause has reached a crossroads, active and powerful but facing resurgent enemies with financial resources greater than that of all Armenians combined, it must change to adapt to the current environment. That’s why the ANCA has entitled this year’s Leadership Conference “Armenian Cause 2.0.”

It’s all about the direction to take, learning from the great successes and the occasional shortcomings, while using the community’s potential resources – financial, human and, especially, technological – to forcefully promote the Cause and to unapologetically stand up for what’s right. 

This conference is for every Armenian American. The decisions made in Congress are affected by constituents on the ground in their districts and those decisions in turn affect everyone. We as a community must be better prepared to confront the challenges that we will undoubtedly face in the near and distant futures.

We have been fortunate to have dedicated leaders, activists, and benefactors to clear the path over the past decades. Now, with a large, more widely educated, and better integrated Diaspora, we have to seize the power that is ours for the taking. There is no better way to learn how to do this than to hear it from the seasoned veterans of the Armenian Cause while meeting the new generation of leaders who will carry the mantle for the coming many decades.

Do not wait for next time. Armenia can’t wait. Arstakh can’t wait. Javakhk can’t wait. Justice for the Genocide can’t wait. Go to Washington, DC and come back to your community with a renewed vigor and the skills necessary to take the Armenian Cause to the next level – 2.0.

To read more about the conference and to register, visit here.

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5 Comments

  1. Hrant K. said:

    Too, Plains of (Tashdayin) Artsakh can’t wait, Nakhitchevan Region can’t wait, Kars, Ardahan, Van,

    Erzurum, Erzengan can’t wait,Dickranagerd Proper and the 5 other “Dikranagerd”s(“Tigranocerta”s) can’t wait, Drabizon(Trepizond) can’t wait, the whole Cilician Kingdom

    can’t wait! Restitution, Restitution, Restitution cant wait! The Diaspora, The Fatherland and its Satellites

    can’t wait! Welcome to the New Armenian World, Welcome to the New World Order, Welcome to the

    New Democratic, Reunited Historic , Free and Independent, Powerful and Unshatterd Dream’s SACRED

    ARMENIA!!! (7) ACT NOW , NEVER EVER POSTPONE!!!!!!!

  2. Gregory Deyermenjian said:

    Never again should Armenian-Americans throw away their principles of morality for seeming expediency, such as was done in the ANCA’s support, in the most recent presidential election, of the candidate who most had shown himself–to anyone willing to really see–through all his previous actions, to be the least in accord with the tenets of Armenian religion, custom, and national loyalty. The ANCA jumped, in response to empty promises, without concern for what effect such an unprincipled candidate might have upon the well-being of the USA, or how out-of-sync this candidate was with what should have been their own moral compass. The deal with the devil was made, and both the USA and the Armenian cause have been the worse for it.

    • manooshag said:

      Gregory, did you vote for McCain? He spoke up and said he was not interested in the issue of the Turkish Genocide of the Armenian nation. Shall all of us voted for McCain? What would you have
      said then?? Obama, knowingly, lied to the Armenians, obviously, to gain our votes… too, he has proven to be “just another politician” seeking votes. Too, Samantha Powers, wrote so well in the first chapter of her book of the Turkish Genocide of the Armenians… and look what she did… she met a Turk – to marry! Politics – stranger than fiction…

  3. amb said:

    The ANC and the Assembly have done a good job of reaching out to representatives of Congress in Washington to lobby and advocate for the Armenian cause.

    But we need more.

    It is time to reach for the hearts and minds of the American public so that the Armenian
    Genocide becomes an incontrovertible and incontestable fact of history among the general public in the US.

    Of course, there would always be people who would question it, like there are people who question the Jewish Holocaust, but remember that these people are always portrayed and dismissed in the media as cuckoos, lunatics, on the fringe of the society so not worth listening to. That’s how the Armenian genocide deniers should be treated by the US media as well. We need to make it an indelible part of the American society, and yes even the American psyche that the Genocide took place in the way we know it did and there is no denying that.

    It has been the mandate and mission of the ANC and the Assembly to concentrate on a particular segment of the society, namely elected representatives or would-be representatives, and by focusing on them to try to bring about the acceptance of the Armenian Genocide by the federal government of the United States. And that’s fine.

    But we need more.

    We need to establish the fact of the Armenian Genocide and spread its truthfulness and definiteness in such a way that it is the base and starting point for the average Joe or the average reporter in the country when thinking about issues remotely or closely related to the Genocide.

    The Turkish lobby has been successful in establishing and convincing the average reporter in the land to always qualify any thinking or inquiry with the words like “the alleged” or phrases like “both sides suffered”.

    We need to change that.

    We need to conceive and establish a new narrative to counter Turkey’s efforts. This narrative has to be devised in a smart way so that it sticks (like the narrative that Turks have perpetuated which has stuck). We have to be clever, crafty and effective about this, not ideological or haughty, always keeping in mind the final goal of the acceptance of the Genocide by all Americans as fact.

    This may require a new organization, an entity separate from the ANC or the Assembly. This calls for a public relations type of effort rather than a government lobbying one. We don’t even have to create one from scratch but taking a page from the United States government’s playbook, which in the past, to help support certain policies, has employed private PR firms, can hire private PR consulting firms to advise and conduct PR campaigns.

    We need new approaches to our old problems because our adversaries are gaining ground and our old ways have run their course and are not effective anymore.

  4. Hrant K. said:

    The AMAA, ANCA, AAA have got a lot of energy to spare and educate the States of Alabama,

    Mississippi, Texas,West Virginia, Indiana, Iowa, Wyoming, South Dakota (correct me if I’m wrong,

    Probably 2 out of the 8 have already recognized) about the Armenian Genocide, to follow suit to the 44

    States, who have courageousely and humanely recognized it. Uncle Sam won’t be able and CANNOT

    slip away from the Hour of Truth if all 50 States ram the White House and the State Dept with our

    Just and Fair Demands!!! (7)

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