LOS ANGELES—Five hundred middle and high school students at the Ambassador School of Global Leadership learned about the Armenian Genocide last week at a special assembly program and discussion presented by the Genocide Education Project (GenEd), in partnership with the AGBU Young Professionals of Los Angeles (YPLA).
Suzanne Douzmanian, GenEd’s Southern California regional coordinator, led the discussion, which examined the political and historical context of the Armenian Genocide, as part of the continuum of genocides of the 20th century. She also incorporated an examination of the historical journey of her own grandparents, survivors of the Armenian Genocide, into the presentation.
For many of the students, this was the first they had heard of the Armenian Genocide. Although state law requires that the genocide be taught in California schools, many schools still do not include this history in their curriculum.
“This was an eye-opening assembly for my students,” said one teacher. “Since we are part of the International Studies Schools Network, the presentation was especially relevant to our global leadership theme. I would definitely ask them to come back every year.” The International Studies Schools Association (ISSA) is a national network of schools dedicated to improving students’ understanding of the world.
School counselor Nicole Nigosian spearheaded the event to coincide with the 96th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. “My grandparents were Armenian Genocide survivors, so organizing this presentation really meant a lot to me. I was happy to be able to share a part of my cultural and family history with my students. In fact, I feel that this is one of best things I could have done as a personal contribution toward awareness and remembrance,” said Nigosian.
“The role of GenEd, as the conduit for educating teachers and students on the historical facts of the Armenian Genocide, is an important one,” said AGBU YPLA chair Yeghig Keshishian. “We value the incredible work of this organization and its behind-the-scenes approach to bridging the educational gap on a topic that has long gone untaught in our school curriculum.”