ANCA-ER to Bestow Congresswoman Niki Tsongas with 2017 Freedom Award

WATERTOWN, Mass.—Representative Niki Tsongas (D-Mass.-3), together with Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts, will receive the 2017 Armenian National Committee of America—Eastern Region (ANCA-ER) Freedom Award—the organization’s highest honor given to individuals who have made extraordinary contributions toward issues of concern to the Armenian-American community.

Congressman Tsongas with ANC of Merrimack Valley members Stephen Dulgarian, the late Tom Vartabedian, and Aram Jeknavorian (Photo: The Armenian Weekly)

The Dec. 2 ANCA-ER Boston gala is dedicated to the 30th anniversary of Artsakh Liberation Movement as well as the pursuit of truth and justice for the victims of the anti-Armenian pogroms in Soviet Azerbaijan.

“Elected in 2007, Tsongas is the first woman to serve in Congress from Massachusetts in 25 years. Every April since, she has been present at the Armenian flag-raising at Lowell City Hall,” noted ANCA-ER Board Member Tsoleen Sarian. “With her pledge of unwavering support for Armenia and her membership in the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, she champions the responsibility to acknowledge the truth of the Armenian Genocide, a necessary step to building a more just future for all.”

The Dec. 2 gala, sponsored by the ANCA Eastern Region 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 (open bar for beer and wine) and silent auction at 6 p.m, followed by buffet dinner and awards ceremony at 7 p.m.

Out-of-town guests may lodge at the Newton Crown Plaza Hotel (320 Washington St, Newton, Mass. 02458), about 15 minutes from Boston. Ten rooms are available for $119/night and include breakfast for one, and five rooms are available at $129/night and include breakfast for two. To reserve, please call (617) 969-3010 and mention “ANCA Gala.” The deadline for the reduced rate is Nov. 25.

A discounted $14 garage parking rate will be available at Two International Place, Boston, Mass. 02110.

Additional information, sponsorship options, and tickets are available at

Previous ANCA-ER Freedom Award recipients include U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John M. Evans; Pulitzer Prize-winning author and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power; U.S. Senator Robert Menendez; the late U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy; U.S. Senators Robert Dole and Elizabeth Dole; Baroness Caroline Cox; renowned lawyer Robert Morgenthau and the Morgenthau family; Former House Majority Whip David Bonior; lawyer, writer, and human rights activist Fethiye Çetin; President of the Artsakh Republic Bako Sahakyan; U.S. Senator Mark Kirk; and U.S. Senator Christopher Van Hollen Jr.

Since her election, Congresswoman Tsongas, a member of the Armenian Caucus, has been a consistent and staunch supporter of Armenian issues.

For the centennial commemoration of the Armenian Genocide in 2015, Rep. Tsongas offered remarks on the U.S. House floor, stating, “I rise today in remembrance of the 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide, which began 100 years ago on April 24.  I join with the Armenian National Committee of the Merrimack Valley of Massachusetts and Armenian communities across the country and throughout the world in mourning those lost and honoring the survivors and their descendants as we recognize this centennial commemoration…. The systematic, premeditated mass murder committed by the Ottoman Empire against the Armenians was genocide.  Other countries have formally acknowledged dark and painful chapters in their past, and it is time for Turkey to do the same. The Armenians and the descendants of those who were victimized deserve justice. On this somber anniversary, we have a responsibility to acknowledge the truth about this horrific event.  It is a necessary step to building a more just future for all Armenians.”

During the 114th Congress, Rep. Tsongas co-sponsored the Armenian Genocide Truth + Justice Resolution (H. Res. 154), signed the October 2015 Royce-Engel letter offering common-sense solutions to stop Azerbaijani aggression against Artsakh and Armenia, and also signed the March 2016 Royce-Sherman letter calling for implementation of the Royce-Engel proposals to end Azerbaijani Aggression.

In 2014, Rep. Tsongas wrote a letter to then-President Barack Obama urging him to display Armenian Orphan Rug at the White House Visitor Center.

For the years 2012, 2014, and 2016, Rep. Tsongas received an “A” or “A+” grading on the ANCA Congressional Scorecard for her leadership and strong support on issues of importance to the Armenian-American community.


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Guest contributions to the Armenian Weekly are informative articles or press releases written and submitted by members of the community.

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