Our goals include:
- To commemorate the Armenian martyrs who died during the Genocide. As many as 1.5 million Armenians lost their lives in the period 1915—1923 at the hands of the Ottoman Turkish government. On April 24th 1915, the Young Turk regime arrested and eventually executed hundreds of Armenian religious, academic, and political leaders—it was the first step in their plan to exterminate an entire people. Many succumbed to starvation and exhaustion during state-mandated deportations or “death marches” that left Western Armenia devoid of its native inhabitants even to this day. Others were murdered outright, often in ways that defy all sense of humanity. Each year on April 24th, Armenians around the world gather to remember victims and survivors of the Armenian Genocide.
- To educate others about the Armenian Genocide and historical injustice. Though widely reported in the international press at the time, the Armenian Genocide is largely a forgotten tragedy today. The modern Republic of Turkey not only fails to acknowledge this dark chapter in its history but denies that the Genocide ever occurred through misinformation and revisionist historical narrative. The United States government—whose official diplomats and envoys in the Ottoman reported and recorded in detail the deportations as they were happening —currently does not recognize the Armenian Genocide according to the United Nations Convention on the Crime of Genocide. Much like Native Americans, African Americans, and other politically disenfranchised peoples of the United States, Armenians have sought to educate and raise awareness about the Genocide at the local, national, and international level as their primary means to find justice.
- To inspire people to overcome adversity through the story of the Armenian Genocide. Certainly, Armenians are inspired that one day justice will be served and that the Republic of Turkey will finally come to grips with its past. As a hopeful people, Armenians today also find some inspiration in the stories of the survivors, who, though dispersed to the corners of the earth, were able to settle and ultimately flourish in their adopted counties. That sentiment is best expressed by the words of author and Fresno born William Saroyan, who remarked that even in the face of unspeakable crimes, the Armenian spirit was indestructible.
President, Ara Karkazian
Vice-President, Zar Der Mugrdechian
Treasurer, Edward Saliba
Co-Treasurer, Mary Ekmalian
Secretary, Clarice Krikorian
The following organizations comprise Armenian Genocide Centennial—Fresno Committee:
First Armenian Presbyterian Church, Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church, Pilgrim Armenian Congregational Church, St. Gregory Armenian Church, St. Mary Armenian Church, St. Paul Armenian Church, St. Sahag Mesrob Armenian Church, Ani Guild, Ararat Armenian Cemetery Association, Armenian-American Citizens League, Armenian Church of Christians of the Evangelical Faith—Fresno, Armenian General Benevolent Union, Armenian Museum of Fresno, Armenian National Committee—Central California, Armenian Relief Society—Mother Chapter, Armenian Relief Society—Sophia Chapter, Armenian Revolutionary Federation, Fresno State Armenian Studies Program, Fresno State Armenian Students Organization, Armenian Technology Group, Inc., Armenian Youth Federation—Kevork Chavush Chapter, California Armenian Home, Charlie Keyan Armenian Community School, Hamazkayin Educational and Cultural Association, Homenetmen, Knights and Daughters of Vartan, Mousa Ler Association of Fresno, Tekeyan Cultural Association, Triple X Fraternity—Fresno Chapter, Triple X Fraternity—Selma Chapter, and Vasbouragan Compatriotic Union.