BY PATRICK BAIRAMIAN
In 2011, we said we’d be back with a bang – and now we are! Please allow us to officially present: ANCA Western Region’s 2013 Grassroots Conference! Boy, do we have a dynamic event scheduled for you! “Two years ago was the start of an idea to create a community dialogue. With the first Grassroots event we had over 600 participants! This year we aim to have 1000 participants join in on the dialogue!” said Ara Khachaturian, the ANCA Western Region Grassroots Committee Chair with excitement. Panelists will be announced in the coming weeks, but we’d like to get started with which panels and workshops we have in store for you at 2013 ANCA Western Region’s Grassroots!
The panels are as relevant to the issues facing the Armenian community as they were last time. But we’ve got some changes as well to address new issues that call for our attention.
Film and the Arts: Last time we had Serj Tankian, Eric Nazarian and others present to event participants on how they blended their talents in the arts with activism that marched to the beat of their own instruments and the Armenian Cause. This year we sit down with another group of talented individuals who will share their experiences of advocating for the Armenian cause through such mediums as: music, cinema, writing, and art.
Homeland and the Diaspora: We are the Diaspora. The fact that you’re reading this piece in Glendale, CA; Austin, TX, or Washington D.C means that you are part of a global network of Armenians living outside of the Homeland. So, how do we stay connected to the Homeland, and to each other in the tumultuous times we live in being continents apart? This dynamic panel discusses what we’ve done so far to preserve our roots, and what we need to do tomorrow, next week and next year to keep the global web of Armenians tenacious and resolute.
Transnational Justice: For those of you who know, the ANCA Western Region is more than a community organization. We’re an advocacy group that protects the community’s stake in this democratic society to keep our rights whole, and our voices heard! This year’s Transnational Justice panel will explore an array of ideas and campaigns that have led us to victory, and will explore the battles ahead of us where we seek justice in places that injustices have been committed. Listen in from International scholars and academics as they join us this year with the campaigns they are presently in the midst of to seek reparations for the Armenian-American community.
Western Armenia – Regional Factors Shaping the Cause: In 2011, Armenians from all over the world celebrated with Armenian-Americans as the “Save the Churches” campaign reached its apex when United States Congressional leaders advised the Turkish Government to give back all Armenian Churches in Western Armenia (presently “Eastern Turkey”) to the Armenian authorities. This year we explore new challenges that we face in the region as our expert panelists present to us their activism and prospects for developing progressive and comprehensive campaigns in Western Armenia.
Two years ago, participants from the 2011 Grassroots Conference filled out surveys that were handed to them after each panel. Along with a host of phone calls, letters and opinions shared at public forums, we have decided on three new panels that address issues YOU – the community – have wanted to learn more about. So it is with great pleasure that we present our new panel/workshop forums:
iZartonk: We don’t have to write that we are living in the age of a digital revolution. Everyone reading this article likely has one form of a social media account either on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or YouTube. But then the question becomes, how do we use these tools to do more for our community as far as augmenting our network with each other? How do we mobilize an online petition with over 100,000 signatures in an hour? How can we create an interactive learning space where everyone’s voice can be heard? Join us for iZartonk to find out.
HyeTad – Global Initiative: Sometimes words like “global,” and “international” involvement don’t make sense when you don’t hear from the people you’re talking about that operate half-way around the world. That’s why this year the ANCA wants to change that. From Europe, Armenia, the Middle East and other chapters, we’re connecting with our international counterparts over the digital stream so that they can share their campaigns of advocacy, victories, struggles, and their own issues they deal with on a regional level respective to their host-country’s political scene. Get ready, we’re about to plug into the world.
HyeVotes – Activism through Politics: Since the last Grassroots conference, a successful campaign led by the ANCA Western Region HyeVotes initiative has seen Armenian-Americans be successfully elected to seats in the State Assembly, Municipal council seats, school-boards, and community official positions. Our community’s allies have won reelection to their Congressional offices and State seats by the work that the HyeVotes campaign has been committed to running. Our activism only grows each year, and this year we present an insight into the HyeVotes campaign, how it is growing, and how participants can be part of its growth as an entity that helps register citizens to vote, creates a grassroots movement to mobilize the community to come out and vote and elect public officials that allow for the voice of the Armenian-American community be heard.
“We’re thrilled to have Grassroots come back for the continuation of what we hope to be a long standing tradition of the ANCA Western Region. For that reason, we want to include as much benefit to all participants as we can to make it worth their time, and energy,” says ANC-WR Executive Director, Elen Asatryan; and we couldn’t agree more. So, when is this dynamic event taking place?
November 29 – December 1st – a great way to wrap up the Thanksgiving holiday and usher in the holiday cheer of the Christmas and New Year’s season.
The regular price is $79 per ticket, BUT – if you book now, you can get the Early-Bird Special price of $59.
What does the price get you?
Access to 3 day Grassroots conference full of interactive panels and workshops
All reception events, including:
Welcome Reception (Friday)
Breakfast (Saturday, Sunday)
ANCA Professional Network Cocktail Social (Saturday evening)
Knowledge, Networking, and a chance at Inspiration
Loews Hollywood Hotel
1755 N Highland Avenue
Hollywood, CA 90028.
Hotel Accommodations 1-855-563-9749
Book Now and Save – $159/night
The ANCA Western Region 2013 Annual Banquet will also be held at the Loews Hollywood Hotel, in The Ray Dolby Ballroom on the evening of November 30th. The cocktail reception starts at 7:30pm, and the Banquet commences at 8:30pm.
If you want to attend the ANCA Western Region Annual Banquet and the Grassroots Conference, a combination ticket can be purchased for $299 – which will give you access to the 3-day Grassroots Conference and all things that the 3-day pass includes (listed above) as well as an ANCA WR Banquet Ticket good for one seat at the ANCA WR Annual Banquet.
The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy 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 ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.