Hearing the news that Mississippi recognized the Armenian Genocide was overwhelming. As an Armenian American, descendant of Genocide survivors, and Mississippi state resident, I have, for years, advocated for Mississippi to recognize the Armenian Genocide, ensuring state-wide recognition was unanimous.
Telling my loved ones – especially my parents – about this news was a life full-circle moment for me. After countless conversations, phone calls, letters and emails to the governor, state representatives and more, Mississippi officially became number 50 when Governor Tate Reeves issued a proclamation marking April as Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month.
Only now the real work begins.
Recognition is a key component, but awareness must drive education because it is through education, I believe, we can end the cycle of genocide.
I’m thankful to Governor Reeves, and yet, I am also going to double down even more in my commitment to ensuring that our nation’s children learn about the Armenian Genocide in our schools.
I am tired of explaining who the Armenians are and what our people and our nation have endured for more than 107 years. That history – our history – should be taught in our schools.
The Armenian Genocide is a historical fact. It always has been. In recent years, President Joe Biden officially recognized it, the US House and Senate recognized it and every state in the country has recognized it, with Mississippi closing the loop.
Acknowledgment of the Genocide – a crime the governments of Turkey and Azerbaijan deny to this day and tried to repeat during the 2020 war against Artsakh and Armenia – is an opportunity for all of us in the Diaspora and Homeland to renew our faith and commitment to justice for the Armenian nation.
That is why I’m calling on Governor Reeves, Mississippi legislators and state legislators across the nation to join Armenian Americans in helping ensure that US states have the resources to teach about the Armenian Genocide and Genocide prevention by lending their support for the passing the Armenian Genocide Education Act (H.R. 7555).
The power is in our hands. Take action now.
Sevan Kazanjian Pulliam
ANC of Mississippi