Sara Cohan of the Genocide Education Project conducts a workshop with community activists on strategies for teaching genocide in public schools
GLENDALE, CAThe United Human Rights Council on Thursday, January 28, hosted a Genocide Education Workshop with the Armenian Youth Federation and the ARF Shant Student Association focusing on effective methods for implementing Armenian Genocide education in public schools.
The workshop was conducted by Sara Cohan, the Educational Director of the San Francisco-based Genocide Education Project (Gen Ed) at Sardarabad Bookstore in Glendale.
This was a great opportunity for students and activists to learn effective ways to educate others about genocide at their local campuses, said UHRC Chairperson Sanan Shirinian. There is no better place to teach about the horrors of genocide than on campus, where you have an educated, captivated and motivated audience ready to absorb truth and take action.
Cohan discussed the implementation of Armenian Genocide education in public schools and gave a brief overview of trends in genocide education, highlighting the strides made in implementing the history of the Armenian Genocide into secondary level curricula as well as hurdles still left to overcome. She also explored ways to be more involved in promoting the history of the Armenian Genocide in U.S. schools.
The Gen Ed projec is a non-profit organization assisting educators in teaching about human rights and genocide, particularly the Armenian Genocide, by developing and distributing instructional materials, providing access to teaching resources and organizing educational workshops.
What the Project does is that we create materials and resources for teachers to use in the classroom to teach about the Armenian Genocide and other human rights violations. And we also create seminars and provide individual support and information for teachers, Cohan said.
Sara Cohan of the Genocide Education Project
We have a variety of materials that tap into different types of learning styles and abilities, and we have a curriculum thats available online for free, Cohan said, adding that the organizations curriculum has a series of lesson plans based on a one-day, two-day, or ten-day programs that include studying maps, hearing survivor testimony, a mock trial, and various other interactive components.
During her workshop, Cohan looked at different ways to bring genocide education into schools and how kids on campuses can participate in the project. In addition to introducing workshop attendees to the organizations tools and methods, the workshop also served as a forum for discussion about individual school cases and current and foreseeable community projects.
Vache Thomassian, an AYF activsit and member of UHRC, asked Cohan about the prospects of setting up workshops specifically geared toward giving young activists the tools and experience they need to become field workers for Genocide Ed.
“The Gen Ed project does great work setting up workshops and helping teachers incorporate the Armenian genocide into their cirriculum,” Thomassian said. Just as important as it is to teach teachers, the Gen Ed project can be an amazing way to teach activists who in turn can educate others.”
Last year the AYF went to several high school and junior high campuses to present to the students on the topic. Thomassian said. “We did a good job conveying the basics, but the prospects for more effectively teaching the issue to youth becomes all the more promissing when you have an army of trained and empowered activists holding workshops at local schools and college campuses,” he added.
The United Human Rights Council is a committee of the Armenian Youth Federation. By means of action on a grassroots level, it works toward correcting and exposing the human rights violations of governments that distort, deny, and delude history to disguise past and present genocides, massacres, and human rights violations. For more information about the activities and mission of the UHRC, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The Glendale Roupen AYF Chapter is hosting a laser tag fundraser on Thursdaym February 4m to send a kid to AYF Camp this summer!
Please join us in giving a child the opportunity to have an AMAZING summer!
The Armenian Youth Federation Summer Camp, established in 1977, provides a great atmosphere for young Armenians between the ages of 8-17 to make new friends, become better acquainted with Armenian history and culture, and participate in a wide array of athletic activities. Each year, Armenian youth from all over the United States and Canada make AYF Summer Camp an integral part of their summer agenda.
DATE: Thursday, February 4, 2010
TIME: 5:00pm – 10:00pm
LOCATION: Jungle Zone
ADDRESS: 826 N. Glendale Ave. Glendale, CA
COST: $15 for 2 games
Last summer summer, AYF Youth Corps sent nine young diasporans to Gyumri, Armenia to set up a day camp for the citys youthto live among them, share in their experiences, and make a small but positive impact on their lives.
DATE: Sunday, February 14, 2010
TIME: 9:00am – 1:00pm
LOCATION: Orange County Armenian Center
ADDRESS: 5305 W. McFadden Santa Ana, CA
UHRC Chairperson Sanan Shirinian introduced event keynote speaker Kurdish human rights activist, Kani Xulam.
BY PATIL ASLANIAN
GLENDALE, CA The continued struggle for freedom of speech in Turkey was the theme of the second annual Opposite of Silence event organized by the United Human Rights Council (UHRC) on January 15.
Spotlighting the work of several prominent activists who continue to fight the oppressive Turkish government was keynote speaker Kani Xulam from the American Kurdish Information Network. This tribute to Tutkey’s human rights advocates also marked the third anniversary of the assassination of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink.
Mr. Xulam spoke of his first-hand observations of the Kurdish struggle in Turkey. He said as a child, his parents did not speak about their past because it was unsafe. As an adult, he found out that his hometown was once inhabited by Armenians who were later killed or driven out. Unfortunately, he said, the cycle of atrocities continues today against the Kurds of Turkey.
Members of UHRC spoke about human rights activists Hrant Dink, Eren Keskin, Ayse Gunaysu, Akin Birdal, and Leyla Zana, all ending their speeches with the phrase, “I will not be silenced!
Whether imprisoned, fined, or assassinated, the freedom of speech of each of these activists was violated by the Turkish government, yet they continue to struggle for their basic right to freedom of speech and equality.
It is important to show solidarity with activists who are struggling to achieve a bit of humanity in their country,” said UHRC Chairperson, Sanan Shirinian. “We have to hold Turkey accountable for what they did to the Armenians in 1915, what they did to Hrant Dink in 2007, and what they continue to do to the Kurds today
The event included the recitation of slam poetry by Armen Soudjian, a musical performances by the band Palm of Granite, and attendees watched a video revealing the brutality of the Turkish police. The video documented that Turkish modus operandi has not change since 1915.
The video was moving, bringing attention to the fact that people in the 21st century are still being oppressed for speaking their minds, said Nanor Melkonian, an AYF member from San Fernando Valley. “For these activists to put their lives on the line, being constantly threatened and imprisoned for the idea of equality, which we take advantage of living in the United States, is commendable and admirable.
Those present at the event were given the chance to voice their thoughts to the Turkish government by signing the Messages to the Turkish Government board, which will be delivered to the Turkish Consulate in Los Angeles.
Those attending also viewed artwork created by Ani Ishkhanian, Cynthia Kossayan and Gayaneh Novshadian. The posters and art were dedicated to human rights and human rights activists in Turkey.
Opposite of Silence organizer, the UHRC, is a committee of the Armenian Youth Federation. Its mission to to bring change from grassroots level, and it works toward correcting and exposing human rights violations of governments that distort, deny, and delude history to disguise past and present genocides, massacres, and human rights violations.
For more information about the Opposite of Silence or on the activities and mission of the UHRC, contact email@example.com.
Sleeping bags not provided. 18+ event–please bring ID. Equipment rentals are limited, so we encourage everyone to arrange their own equipment prior to the trip. For rental information please contact your local Sport Chalet or other sporting goods shop.