PASADENA, CA – Leaders of the Armenian American community in Pasadena exchanged ideas with a leader of the Pasadena chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) at a meeting held at the Pasadena Armenian Center on February 3.
The meeting was with Gwendolyn Jones, a senior member of the Executive Committee of the Pasadena Branch of the NAACP. Present alongside ANC of Pasadena members was Katya Kazarian, a member of the Pasadena Armenian Youth Federation’s “Nigol Touman” Chapter.
“Expanding our working relationship with the NAACP is a priority for the Pasadena ANC,” remarked Pasadena ANC Executive Director Ishkhan Boghossian. “The Armenian American and African American communities have a shared stake in the City of Pasadena and a common goal of making our city a better one. We intend to build a strong and enduring relationship with the local NAACP chapter.”
“It takes a village to keep a community strong,” commented Gwendolyn Jones of the NAACP after her meeting with Pasadena ANC leaders. “The Pasadena ANC has got it right,” she added. Jones extended an invitation for the Pasadena ANC’s leaders to visit the NAACP local headquarters and to meet with her colleagues on the Executive Committee. In addition to the NAACP’s Executive Committee, Jones is also a member of the Legal Redress Committee, where she advances social justice issues for her community.
The meeting with the Pasadena ANC and the Pasadena Branch of the NAACP included an open discussion of a number of items of concern to the citizens of Pasadena. The city’s work on the General Plan was discussed, as were plans for a parcel tax to benefit the Pasadena Unified School District. In addition, the groups discussed the current search for a permanent chief of police to replace Chief Bernard Melekian, who left his post last year to take a position at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, DC.
The NAACP was founded in 1909 and is the nation’s oldest, largest and most widely recognized grass-roots based civil rights organization. The NAACP has over 500,000 supporters nationwide, with thousands of them residing in the City of Pasadena and the southern California region. The NAACP was formed partly in response to the continuing horrific practice of lynching early in the 20th century in parts of America. Today, the organization’s principal objective in Pasadena and across the nation is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of minority groups and to eliminate racial prejudice.
The Pasadena ANC advocates for the social, economic, cultural, and political rights of the area’s Armenian American community and promotes increased Armenian American civic participation at the grassroots and public policy levels.