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State of New Jersey announces New Armenian Genocide Curriculum

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  • State of New Jersey announces New Armenian Genocide Curriculum

    Facing History and Ourselves
    16 Hurd Road
    Brookline, MA 02445
    Contact: Ted Scott
    [email protected] or +1- 617-735-1629

    For Immediate Release

    State of New Jersey announces New Armenian Genocide Curriculum using
    Facing History and Ourselves' Crimes Against Humanity and
    Civilization: The Genocide of the Armenians

    Trenton, NJ- On Monday, June 20, 2005, the New Jersey State
    Assembly unanimously approved a joint resolution commemorating
    the 90th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. The vote was 79-0.
    The bill (AJR-125) was introduced by assemblypersons Joan M. Voss
    (D-38) and Robert M. Gordon (D-38). It states in part, "This joint
    resolution recognizes the 90th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide
    and acknowledges the criminal mistreatment of the Armenians by the
    governments of the Ottoman Empire as an issue of international and
    historic significance."

    Before the vote, Assemblywoman Voss (D-38), a former history teacher,
    spoke about the importance of remembrance and education. "The
    world closed its eyes to the Armenian Genocide," Voss said. "It is
    frightening how similar the Holocaust was to the Armenian Genocide."

    Assemblyman Gordon, in his remarks on the floor noted that "the
    emotion runs strong in the Armenian community for their losses in
    the Armenian Genocide." Voss and Gordon were joined by colleagues who
    made additional floor statements. Assemblyman William Payne, also an
    educator, invoked the memory of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. in
    defending human rights. Assemblyman Bill Baroni spoke of the challenges
    Armenia continues to face in its relations with modern-day Turkey.

    Former New Jersey Assembly Speaker Chuck Haytaian was also on hand as
    a special guest for the resolution's passage. Haytaian spoke of the
    losses in his family during the Armenian Genocide and of the importance
    of continuing to stand witness to the memory of the victims and the
    survivors. He was joined in the gallery by other guests from the
    Armenian-American community, clergy, and students from the Hovnanian
    School in New Milford, New Jersey, all of whom were recognized from
    the Assembly floor.

    After the passage of the resolution, the State of New Jersey Commission
    on Holocaust Education held a press conference to announce the
    introduction of a new human rights and genocide curriculum for middle
    and high schools focusing on the Armenian Genocide. New Jersey is the
    first state to adopt a stand-alone curriculum on the Armenian Genocide
    which will be incorporated into both public and private schools.

    The core of the new curriculum is Crimes Against Humanity and
    Civilization: The Genocide of the Armenians developed by Facing History
    and Ourselves (FHAO) headquartered in Brookline, Massachusetts.
    This book focuses on how the history of the Armenian Genocide has
    informed the growing international human rights movement. By examining
    the choices that individuals, groups, and nations made before, during,
    and after the genocide, readers have the opportunity to consider the
    decisions of the international community in the face of massive human
    rights violations.

    Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Samantha Power, has said about this
    book, "Facing History has done with this book what it does best:
    bring history to ask what we would have done if we had face
    such wrenching and moral dilemmas."

    Peter Balakian, of Colgate University noted that Crimes Against
    Humanity is "an essential and innovative exploration of the Armenian
    Genocide... Facing History and Ourselves has done an extraordinary job
    and demonstrates once again that it is at the forefront of education
    in America."

    Additionally, the Commission developed a special teacher's guide for
    the FHAO resource book, in cooperation with the Armenian National
    Institute, which it is distributing to educators statewide. The
    production and distribution of the resource guide was made possible
    by contributions by the Hovnanian Family and the Armenian Assembly
    of America.

    About Facing History and Ourselves Facing History and Ourselves in an
    international educational and professional development organization
    whose mission is to engage students of diverse backgrounds in an
    examination of racism, prejudice, and anti-Semitism in order to
    promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry.
    By studying the historical development lessons of the Holocaust and
    other examples of genocide, students make the essential connection
    between history and the moral choices they confront in their own lives.
    For more information, please visit

    About the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education The core
    mission of the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education is to
    promote Holocaust education in the State of New Jersey. On a continual
    basis, the Commission shall survey the status of Holocaust Education;
    design, encourage and promote the implementation of Holocaust and
    genocide education and awareness; provide programs in New Jersey;
    and coordinate designated events that will provide appropriate
    memorialization of the Holocaust on a regular basis throughout
    the state. The Commission will provide assistance and advice to the
    public and private schools and will meet with county and local school
    officials, and other interested public and private organizations,
    to assist with planning courses of study on the Holocaust.

    About the Armenian National Institute The Armenian National Institute
    (ANI) is a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., dedicated
    to the study, research, and affirmation of the Armenian Genocide.
    ANI is founded upon the following principles. Keeping memory alive
    is imperative. Crimes against humanity must not be forgotten. Past
    genocides must be confronted and acknowledged to prevent future
    genocides. To meet this commitment ANI is engaged in a full-time
    concentrated effort to integrate the lessons of the Armenian Genocide
    into the universal understanding of the problem of genocide.

    About the Armenian Assembly of America Through research, education
    and advocacy, the Assembly works to strengthen U.S./Armenia and
    U.S./Nagorno Karabakh relations, promotes Armenia's and Karabakh's
    democratic development and economic prosperity and seeks universal
    affirmation of the Armenian Genocide.
    [url][/url] - [COLOR="Red"]Armenian[/COLOR] [COLOR="Blue"]Genealogy[/COLOR] [COLOR="Orange"]Forum[/COLOR]