WATERTOWN, Mass.—Acclaimed author, lawyer, and human rights advocate Anna Astvatsaturian Turcotte will be honored with the Armenian National Committee of America’s prestigious Activism Award at the Dec. 2 Armenian National Committee of America—Eastern Region (ANCA-ER) Gala dedicated to the 30th anniversary of Artsakh Liberation Movement.
The award is presented to individuals and organizations who work toward the enhancement of human rights, democracy, truth, and justice in the United States, Armenia, Artsakh, Turkey, and beyond.
Sayat Tekir and the Nor Zartonk Movement in Turkey last received the Activism Award, at the 2015 ANCA-ER banquet, in Detroit.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this great honor. It is with the support and love of the ANCA five years ago that I made my first public statement on anti-Armenian atrocities on Capitol Hill,” Astvatsaturian Turcotte said.
“This award is a bittersweet moment for me on the eve of the 30th anniversary of Sumgait pogroms that stemmed from the Artsakh freedom movement. My history and Artsakh—its amazing people and a dream of its full independence—is what drives and energizes me. I’ve just started. There is so much more to do, and I know the ANCA and ANCA-ER will support my efforts for years to come.”
The Dec. 2 gala, sponsored by the ANCA-ER Endowment Fund, will take place at the prominent International Place, located in the heart of Boston (Two International Place, Boston, Mass. 02110). The event will kick off with an elegant cocktail reception (beer and wine open bar) and silent auction at 6 p.m., followed by buffet dinner and awards ceremony at 7 p.m. Additional information, sponsorship options, and discounted tickets are available at https://ancaef.org/gala/.
Forced to flee from Baku, Azerbaijan, in the fall of 1989 as a consequence of ethnic cleansing against Armenians, Astvatsaturian Turcotte and her family spent three years in Armenia before coming to United States in 1992.
Astvatsaturian Turcotte received Bachelor of Arts degrees in English & Literature and Philosophy & Religion, and a minor in Russian Language & Literature from the University of North Dakota. She received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Maine School of Law. As a law student, Astvatsaturian Turcotte received an Outstanding Law Student of the Year by Who’s Who American Law Students.
In 2004, Astvatsaturian Turcotte was one of the first Americans to clerk at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague after working toward and observing the ICC’s creation at the United Nations in New York.
In 2012, Astvatsaturian Turcotte published her book, titled Nowhere, a Story of Exile, which she wrote at the age of 14 as her family settled in North Dakota as refugees. The book is based on the childhood diaries she kept as her family was fleeing Baku and during their years as refugees in Armenia.
In April 2013, Astvatsaturian Turcotte successfully spearheaded the recognition efforts of Artsakh Republic independence at the State of Maine House of Representatives. In Nov. 2015, she ran her first campaign and was elected to the Westbrook Maine City Council by a 64% landslide.
Astvatsaturian Turcotte is the recipient of Mkhitar Gosh Medal, the Republic of Armenia’s highest civilian honor, awarded to her by President Serge Sarkisian for exceptional achievements in the political and social spheres, as well as for outstanding efforts in the fields of diplomacy, law, and political science.
Astvatsaturian Turcotte also received a Gratitude Medal from President of the Artsakh Republic Bako Sahakyan, and the ANCA-Western Region Vahan Cardashian award for her contributions within the Armenian Diaspora.