SANTA CRUZ, Calif.— On Tuesday, June 2, the student government at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UC Santa Cruz), unanimously passed “A Resolution to Divest from the Republic of Turkey to End the Perpetuation of the Armenian Genocide”. The resolution ultimately called for UC Santa Cruz, the UC Santa Cruz Foundation, and the University of California to divest $72.6 million dollars worth of University of California bonds and investments in the Republic of Turkey for its crimes in, and continued denial of the Armenian Genocide.
Various students of UC Santa Cruz, members of the Armenian Students’ Association (ASA), along with members of the greater Armenian community gathered for the hearing of the resolution and spoke about the university’s investments in the Turkish government, its compliance in genocide denial, and the need for divestment.
“Going through the process of this divestment was an amazing feeling and experience. With this victory we are showing the Republic of Turkey, which is a remnant of the Ottoman Empire that we are still here. This divestment resolution proves that the efforts to eliminate our people failed. It is incredibly empowering to have the students of UC Santa Cruz stand with us in solidarity fighting for acknowledgement of the crimes committed against our people, and more importantly for justice.” said Kami Kahwedjian a UC Santa Cruz student.
Over the last few months, similar resolutions have passed at UCLA, UC Irvine, UC Davis, UC Riverside, and UC Berkeley as the strength of the “#DivestTurkey” campaign continues to grow.
Maral Tatoian, an Armenian student at the university stated, “I’m very grateful to have been a part of the divestment process here at UC Santa Cruz. It’s very important that, we, as students, take the initiative to make these types of things happen to show the Republic of Turkey that the Armenian youth are stronger than ever and we will fight for the Armenian cause until we die. Lastly, I want to thank Kami Kahwedjian for working on the divestment process with me and the Divest Turkey team as well.”
The resolution is an initiative started in part by the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) Western United States- a grassroots community organization dedicated to justice for the Armenian cause and the Armenian people. For any questions, comments or inquiries on the #DivestTurkey campaign, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.