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Armenian Genocide Centennial Events Abound in South Florida

Months of Educational and Cultural Activities Planned

BOCA RATON, Fla.—In February 2014, Armenian Genocide Commemoration, Inc. was formed to oversee Centennial activities in South Florida, with involvement from St. David Armenian Church in Boca Raton, St. Mary Armenian Church in Hollywood, and nine other local Armenian organizations. The Armenian community in South Florida has been active in hosting numerous educational, fundraising, and cultural events to commemorate the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide. Below is a list of both upcoming and past events.

Kicking off the Centennial events nationwide, on Jan. 25, the Sayat Nova Dance Company of Boston performed “A Journey through Time” at Florida Atlantic University’s Carol and Barry Kaye Performing Arts Auditorium, to an audience of more than 700 people.

On April 15, the school board of Palm Beach County issued a proclamation in the presence of national and local Armenian community leaders that acknowledged the Armenian Genocide and encouraged educators to teach it to their students.  Virtuoso violinist Sage Kevorkian McBride performed Gomidas’ “Groung.”

On April 19, Florida Atlantic University’s Center for Holocaust and Human Rights Education hosted Dr. Taner Akçam, as he discussed his book, The Young Turks’ Crime against Humanity: The Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in the Ottoman Empire, to a sold-out venue that ended in a standing ovation.

The Fulton-Holland Educational Services Center in West Palm Beach will hold a commemoration, with poetry readings and speakers, on April 23.  Coffee and Armenian pastries will be served afterwards.

On the morning of April 24, there will be an official demonstration in front of the Turkish Consulate in Miami, with round-trip bus service available through St. David Armenian Church.  Educational literature on the genocide will be made available to the public at that time, in both English and Spanish.  On the evening of April 24, an ecumenical prayer service and program will be held at Spanish River Church in Boca Raton, which will include the premier of Jean Mazmanian’s film “People of the Ark.”  A candlelight procession to the St. David Armenian Church’s khatchkar will immediately follow.  A dedication and official ribbon cutting ceremony of the Garden of Humanity in Boca Raton will take place the next afternoon, on April 25.

To round out the commemorative events, a “Walk against Genocide” will be held on the evening of May 16 in Ft. Lauderdale, starting in Huizenga Plaza.  Paper lanterns will light the paths of hundreds of participants as they raise their hearts and voices against genocide.

In support of national Centennial events, many members of the South Florida community will attend the Divine Liturgy and Times Square program in New York City on April 26, and the commemorative events in Washington, D.C. from May 7-10.

To learn more about the Centennial events and initiatives in the greater South Florida area, visit www.stopgenocide.net  or e-mail AGC1915@gmail.com.

AGC Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose purpose is to observe the Armenian Genocide, as well as to bring awareness to the public on all genocides.  The committee was incorporated in February 2014, and is comprised of representatives from the following South Florida organizations:  St. David Armenian Church, St. Mary Armenian Church, Armenian Revolutionary Federation, Armenian National Committee of America, Armenian Relief Society, Armenian Assembly of America, Florida Armenians, Homenetmen, Knights of Vartan, and Armenian Cultural Association of America.

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