WOODLAND HILLS, CA–Armenian National Committee (ANC) activists from the greater Los Angeles area participated in Jewish World Watch’s (JWW) 4th annual anti-genocide walk-a-thon. The “Walk to End Genocide” was hosted at Warner Center Park on Sunday, April 18th and featured over a thousand anti-genocide activists walking in support of efforts to confront genocide, especially in the Darfur and the Congo regions of Africa.
“As a community which has been victimized by genocide it is important that we also stand in solidarity with others to confront genocide today,” said Nichan Kulukian, an activist with the ANC of Northern Los Angeles County.
Founded in response to the genocide in Darfur, JWW both educates the community about current genocides as well as the history of genocide, including the Armenian Genocide. In addition to its educational mission, it also leads humanitarian aid projects, such as its Solar Cooker Project to help deal with the day-to-day survival challenges faced by victims of genocide in Darfur.
Christina Toroyan, an ANC activist from Granada Hills and a student at California State University at Northridge, participated in the event and documented her experience for a photojournalism class project. She is participating in several genocide awareness events this week – primarily related to the Armenian Genocide – but felt it was important to take part in the JWW walk-a-thon.
“Genocide is a human rights issue and it demands a response by everyone,” noted Toroyan. “Seeing over a thousand people gather early on a Sunday morning to take to the streets to raise awareness and demand justice is inspiring as well as an example for others to follow.”
On May 6th, JWW will be hosting another genocide awareness event featuring J Michael Hagopian of the Armenian Film Foundation and Dr. Taner Akcam. The event will feature a screening of “The River Ran Red”, the final installment of the “Witness” trilogy of documentaries about the Armenian Genocide produced by Hagopian. Hagopian was previously honored by JWW as its first recipient of its iWitness Award along with UCLA’s Dr. Richard Hovannisian in May 2007.
The Armenian National Committee-Western Region is the largest Armenian American grassroots community 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 ANC-WR works to promote understanding regarding issues of concern to the Armenian American community.