Words Spoken at the 2009 ANC-WR Banquet
The words activist or visionary hardly explains it. Tireless leader and devoted teacher to generations of Armenian-Americans starts to scratch the surface. The attraction to Harut lies in his passion with a direct magnetic draw to his courage, exuberance, and resolve.
Harut is a highly respected name in many circles. He has helped define the political fabric of our time, championed free speech, and fought on local, national and international grounds for justice. His persistence has received national media attention and has gently pushed open the gates of reform.
His first major activism proved successful in the U.N. in the early 1970’s. From that day forward, Harut serves as a timeless moral voice- an author, publisher, speaker, community activist and leader.
Through his columns, Harut is one of the first to diagnose a problem and write a prescription. Countless examples come to mind—with the campaign against L.A. Times and its Managing Editor Douglas Franz, to Time Magazine and Time-Warner lobbying against the paid Turkish denialist DVD, from the dismissal of Ambassador Evans and nomination of Ambassador Hoagland, to a letter writing campaign countering the denial of the Armenian Genocide by the British Ambassador, to PBS stations nationwide to counter plans to air a panel discussion with Turkish scholars. And the list goes on to cover more than 30 years of activism.
The power of Harut’s humble determination has made a difference. The shared vision of Harut and the ANC does not start and stop with Genocide Recognition. Behind Harut, behind the ANC, behind the work of every single public servant is an army of volunteers committed to sharing the burden of every issue, every outbreak, every success.
On behalf of the extended ANCA family, I would like to present this well-deserved Legacy Award to Mr. Harut Sassounian for his grassroots leadership and distinguished vision. Please help me welcome the ANC-WR 2009 Legacy Award recipient, Mr. Harut Sassounian.