DETROIT, Mich.—Former House Majority Whip David Bonior (D-Mich.) will be honored with the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Eastern Region’s highest honor—the prestigious ANCA-ER Freedom Award—for his quarter century of outstanding leadership on Armenian Genocide reaffirmation and Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh) independence at the organization’s 9th Annual Banquet, to be held in his home town of Detroit.
“David Bonior has been a congressional trailblazer on Armenian Genocide reaffirmation efforts as well as a steadfast supporter of Artsakh’s inalienable right to self-determination and freedom from the earliest days of the Karabagh movement,” said ANC of Michigan chairperson Lara Nercessian. “With this award, we honor his leadership and cherish his friendship with the Detroit Armenian community and across the U.S. His commitment to truth and unwavering commitment to genocide justice are the cornerstones to principled policymaking and dedicated community representation so very much needed in Congress today.”
Bonior will be joining renowned lawyer, writer, and human rights activist Fethiye Çetin in receiving the ANCA Freedom Award this year.
Bonior was born on June 6, 1945. He was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1976 serving as Democratic whip in the House from 1991 to 2002, making him one of the highest-ranking Democrats in the House. While in office, Bonior was a leading force behind passage of Armenian Genocide legislation, co-authoring, co-sponsoring, and repeatedly calling for a full House vote on successive resolutions. In 1988, following the devastating Armenian earthquake, he was instrumental in supporting relief efforts. Later, as Azerbaijan mounted its attack against Armenia and Artsakh, Bonior became a staunch advocate for Karabagh freedom and U.S. assistance to the fledgling state.
The ANCA-ER Freedom Award is presented to individuals who have made tremendous contributions toward recognition of the genocide and who have pursued other issues of importance to the Armenian-American community. Earlier recipients have included renowned lawyer Robert Morgenthau and the Morgenthau family, critically acclaimed author Chris Bohjalian, U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John M. Evans, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and current U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Dr. Samantha Power, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, the late U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy, former U.S. Senator Robert Dole, former U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole, and Baroness Caroline Cox.
The banquet, sponsored by the ANCA Eastern Region Endowment Fund, will begin with an elegant cocktail reception and silent auction at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and awards ceremony at 7:30 p.m. on Sat., Nov. 14. Tickets for the banquet are $150 but are available for $125 if purchased before Oct. 20. Banquet attendees are encouraged to buy their tickets early to take advantage of the special rate. To purchase tickets, visit the secure payment portal at www.ancaef.org/banquet.
The event will take place in the heart of Detroit at the prestigious Westin Book Cadillac Hotel located at the corner of State Street and Detroit’s Washington Boulevard, once dubbed the Fifth Avenue of the Midwest. For details on hotel reservations, call 1-800-241-3333 and reference “ANCA” to get the reduced rate of $149/night for the rooms. Additional information about the banquet is available at https://er.anca.org/banquet/.
The ANCA Eastern Region Endowment Fund is a 501(c)(3) charitable and educational organization that supports the ANCA Eastern Region in outreach to Armenian-American communities.