Armenian Genocide Education Act introduced in U.S. House

  • 21.04.2022
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Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) were joined by close to 50 U.S. Representatives in introducing the Armenian Genocide Education Act, an ANCA-backed bipartisan measure that would fund Library of Congress educational programs about the history, lessons, consequences, and ongoing costs of the Armenian Genocide.

“As the saying goes, if we do not learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it,” said Congresswoman Maloney. “That is why I am proud to introduce the Armenian Genocide Education Act to teach the horrors and lessons of the Armenian Genocide accurately and effectively. Both chambers of Congress voted with overwhelming bipartisan majorities to officially recognize the Armenian Genocide, and last year President Biden made it clear that it is the official position of the United States that these systematic killings were genocide. It is imperative that we now ensure Americans have access to the resources they need to learn and teach about this atrocity.”

Rep. Bilirakis concurred, noting, “our darkest moments as a human race have come during times when those who knew better stood silently, making excuses for passivity and allowing injustice and persecution to reign. We must acknowledge the atrocities of the past so that we might hopefully prevent them in the future. One of the best ways to achieve this goal is through education and awareness, which is why I am proud to co-introduce the Armenian Genocide Education Act with Carolyn Maloney.”

This landmark legislation, introduced on the eve of the international commemoration of the Armenian Genocide on April 24th, seeks to provide $10 million in funding over five years for the Library of Congress to educate Americans about Ottoman Turkey’s systematic and deliberate state-sponsored mass murder, national dispossession, cultural erasure, and exile of millions of Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syriacs, Arameans, Maronites, and other Christians, between 1915 and 1923.

“The ANCA welcomes this landmark launch of the Armenian Genocide Education Act,” remarked ANCA Chairman Raffi Hamparian.

“With White House and Congressional recognition of the Armenian Genocide secured – we must now ensure that America’s school children are taught about the historical lessons and present-day consequences of this crime against Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syriacs, Arameans, Maronites, and other Christians,” the ANCA Chairman added.

“The ANCA looks forward to working with Congresswoman Maloney, Congressman Bilirakis, and their growing bipartisan list of Congressional cosponsors to advance this timely measure. We are committed to challenging genocide denial at every turn, with the clear goal of securing a just resolution for all the victims of Turkey’s crimes – past and present,” concluded Hamparian

Joining Armenian Genocide Education Act lead authors Rep. Carolyn Maloney and Rep. Gus Bilirakis as original cosponsors of the measure, are Representatives:  Nanette Barragan (D-CA), Karen Bass (D-CA), Tony Cardenas (D-CA), David Cicilline (D-RI), Katherine Clark (D-MA), Lou Correa (D-CA), Jim Costa (D-CA), Danny Davis (D-IL), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), John Garamendi (D-CA), Jimmy Gomez (D-CA), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Josh Harder (D-CA), Brian Higgins (D-NY), Sara Jacobs (D-CA), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Young Kim (R-CA), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), James McGovern (D-MA), Grace Meng (D-NY), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Scott Peters (D-CA), Katie Porter (D-CA), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), John Sarbanes (D-MD), Janice Schakowsky (D-IL), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Christopher Smith (R-NJ), Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Dina Titus (D-NV), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Paul Tonko (D-NY), Lori Trahan (D-MA), David Valadao (R-CA), and Juan Vargas (D-CA).  Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO) has already added his name to the cosponsor list and congressional support is expected to grow in the upcoming days.

In addition to the ANCA, the Armenian Genocide Education Act already has the support of a diverse and growing coalition of ethnic, faith-based, and educational organizations including the American Friends of Kurdistan, Armenian Assembly of America, Armenian Legal Center for Justice and Human Rights, Armenian National Institute, Assyrian Policy Institute, The Genocide Education Project, Hellenic American Leadership Council, Hindu American Foundation, In Defense of Christians, International Association of Genocide Scholars, Middle East Forum, and UCLA’s Promise Institute for Human Rights.

Building upon the 2019 passage of H.Res.296 and S.Res.150 – which specifically rejected any official U.S. association with Armenian Genocide denial – and President Biden’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide in 2021, the Armenian Genocide Education Act seeks to counter discourse and propaganda that claims that Ottoman Turkey’s systematic and deliberate state-sponsored mass murder, national dispossession, cultural erasure, and exile of millions of Christians between 1915 and 1923 did not take place.

“Remember the Armenian Genocide and all genocides. Remember with caring and protest. We cannot bring back our victims, but we can honor them by pledging to human history that we will oppose any and all genocidal murders of peoples and cultures. Preventing genocide – including to our enemies – is our true memorial,” stated genocide studies pioneer Dr. Israel Charny, upon introduction of the Armenian Genocide Education Act. 

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