AGBU, ANC young professionals tackle assimilation issues
Published: Saturday July 21, 2012
Montreal - Questions of assimilation have long dominated the public discourse within the Armenian diaspora. At a recent panel discussion co-hosted by the AGBU Young Professionals of Montreal (YP Montreal) and the Armenian National Committee Professional Network (ANC PN), new answers were considered by the very leaders who will help turn these ideas into a reality.
The May 3 event named, "What's Next: Assimilation?," prompted young professionals to strongly consider their roles and responsibilities in the preservation of Armenian culture and language. An emphasis was also placed on the importance of activism among today's young generation to ensure public representation and visibility of the Armenian diaspora community.
Part lecture and part interactive forum, the discussion was moderated by Lalai Manjikian, a PhD candidate at McGill University, and featured speakers Chahé Tanachian of the AGBU Alex Manoogian School and Apraham Niziblian, former Government Affairs Director of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA). Following their presentations, the audience, who filled the seats of the AGBU Montreal Alex Manoogian Center, raised important issues concerning the challenges now facing the Armenian diaspora. The question and answer portion of the night quickly turned into a constructive debate on ways young Armenian professionals could work in solidarity to increase participation in both the public and private sectors. YP Montreal Chair Sarine Chitilian and ANC PN Chair Hrag Darakdjian were very satisfied with the outcome of the event. Chitilian commented, "It was a pleasure to watch and listen to the young audience members engage with each other, and brainstorm how to become more active in the community. Many shared personal anecdotes on the ways they have successfully assimilated: by embracing the local culture while maintaining their Armenian identity and heritage; stories that were inspiring to all."
Before opening the floor to the audience, Tanachian cited facts and figures that set Armenian culture and history apart, notably that the Armenian alphabet is one of only twenty-one alphabets in the world. Turning to Armenians' contributions to the arts, he reminded the audience that 2012 marks the 500 year anniversary of the Armenian printing press. Niziblian then took the podium educating attendees on the significant of peaceful activism and discussing how effective advocacy has led to the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by several nations.
Established in 1906, AGBU (www.agbu.org) is the world's largest non-profit Armenian organization. The AGBU Young Professionals (www.agbu.org/yp) is a growing network of groups and supporters around the world who are committed to preserving and promoting the Armenian identity and heritage through educational, cultural and humanitarian programs for young Armenians between the ages of 22 to 40. To learn more about YP Montreal and its upcoming events, please email email@example.com.