Between 1915 and 1923, over 1.5 million Christian Armenians were forcibly uprooted from their homeland and systematically slaughtered by the Ottoman Turkish government under the cover of World War I.
This mass murder is considered the first documented genocide of modern times and included crucifixions, torture of women and children, sexual slavery, mass executions, forced labor, enslavement of children and purposeful starvation.
To this day, the Turkish government denies the truth about the Armenian Genocide. It has criminalized discussion of it by its own citizens and built a powerful coalition of lobbyists who use political influence all over the world to prevent international recognition of this crime.
In 2015, Armenian Americans and the international community will unite to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and to honor its victims by demanding the proper recognition of this horrendous event.
TEACHER TRAINING WORKSHOP
Saturday, April 11, 2015; 8:30am - 3:00pm
Workshop on Fundamentals of Teaching about the “Prototype” Genocide. Co-hosted by the San Francisco Unified School District. All secondary level social studies and English teachers are welcome to attend. Contact: Ana Luna at Lunaa@sfusd.edu or (415) 469-4000
KZV Armenian School, San Francisco
PHOTO EXHIBIT “MEMORY OF TREES” BY KATHRYN COOK
Award winning, world-renowned London based photographer will exhibit a collection of photographs tracing the memory of Genocide.
SOMArts Cultural Center, San Francisco
Artist Reception: April 12, 2015, 6-8pm
Gallery Hours: April 13 - 22, 2015, M - F 12pm- 7pm, S/S 12pm-5pm
YOUTH MARCH, COMMEMORATION AND FINAL REQUIEM SERVICE
Sunday, April 19, 2015; 11:00am - 3:00pm
Youth groups will march from Calvary Armenian Church to Mt. Davidson Cross to commemorate the Centennial. Calvary Armenian Church and Mt. Davidson, San Francisco
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE–THE ORIGINS OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE: THE CRUCIAL YEARS, 1912-15
Sunday, April 18, 2015; 9:30am - 5:00pm
The conference will consider and discuss the crucial domestic and international factors that contributed to the enactment of the Armenian Genocide in 1915. Organized by the Armenian Studies Program at UC Berkeley, 370/371 Dwinelle Hall
SOUTH BAY COMMEMORATION
Sunday, April 19, 2015; 5:00pm
Commemoration of the Genocide by the South Bay Area Armenian Organizations and community. Politicians expected to attend
St. Andrew Armenian Church, Cupertino
CENTENNIAL CONCERT IN THE SQUARE
Tuesday, April 21, 2015; 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Free outdoor concert with performances in Union Square by Element Band, Anna and Anaïs Duo and Sebu (of Capital Cities). Projected artwork by Kevork Mourad.
Union Square Plaza, San Francisco
GENOCIDE PROCLAMATION BY SANTA CLARA COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
Tuesday, April 21, 2015; 9:00am
Silent gathering in front of the County Center.
70 W. Hedding St., San Jose
Thursday, April 23, 2015; 7:00pm
Celebrated in all Armenian churches of the Bay Area—Cupertino, Oakland, San Francisco. See specific church sites for more information.
COMMEMORATION OF THE CENTENNIAL OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE
Friday, April 24, 2015; 7:15pm
7:15pm: Tribute to the Centennial by the Arax Dance Ensemble; 8:00pm: Commemoration Program with keynote speaker Erik-Jan Zürcher, professor at the University of Leiden (Netherlands) and former director of the International Institute of Social History (Amsterdam). City Hall will be illuminated with the colors of the Armenian flag.
San Francisco City Hall
SYMPHONIC CONCERT WITNESS AND REBIRTH: AN ARMENIAN JOURNEY
Sunday, April 26, 2015; 5:00pm
The Fresno Philharmonic pays tribute to the resiliency of the Armenian people and their culture. Featuring: Isabel Bayrakdarian, soprano; Catherine Manoukian, violin and Serouj Kradjian’s “Cantata for Living Martyrs.”
Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, San Francisco
"CINEMA ARMENIA" FILM FESTIVAL
May 15 - 17, 2015 (Friday, May 15: 2:00pm - 11:00pm;
Saturday, May 16: 2:00pm - 11:00pm;
Sunday, May 17: 2:00 - 10:00pm)
New People Cinema; 1746 Post Street, San Francisco
San Francisco-Bay Area Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee
The defining moment of Armenian history began on April 24, 1915 when hundreds of Armenian community leaders and scholars were deported and executed, leading to the Ottoman government’s systematic extermination of Armenians from their own historic homeland. The genocide was carried out during World War I where approximately 1.5 million Armenians were killed or deported.
While only 23 countries officially recognize the mass killings as genocide, the Armenian community is working internationally to raise awareness on the 100th anniversary of this event. It has been said that as a result of the ongoing denial, current crimes against humanity, such as mass killings in Darfur, Sudan, Cambodia and countless other acts of brutality have never been stopped.
The Armenian Genocide Commemoration Committee of Northern California (AGCC) is made up of more than 50 Northern California Armenian churches, cultural organizations and youth organizations from the Bay Area. Its mission is to annually commemorate the first genocide of the 20th century, through memorial events held each year, and increase awareness of crimes against humanity to ensure they no longer occur.
Building off the dedication and hard work of the AGCC, The San Francisco-Bay Area Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee was formed in January 2014 to plan and coordinate the activities of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide throughout 2015. The Committee’s goal is to foster recognition and awareness of the Armenian Genocide from the general public, to demand justice and to assert the Armenian community's vitality and presence in the Bay Area.
Our logo is a combination of the forget-me-not flower and the map of California. The forget-me-not was chosen to represent the memory of our ancestors worldwide while the pinpoint of northern California in the map shows where our specific focus will reside. Click here for more information on the creation of the logo, specifically the forget-me-not and its significance to the centennial.
Learn about The Armenian Genocide
The greatest atrocity that took place against civilians during World War I was the
Armenian Genocide. An estimated 1,500,000 Armenians, more than half of the Armenian
population living on its historic homeland, were destroyed on the orders of the Turkish leaders of the Ottoman Empire. The vast murders were carried out through execution, death marches, drowning, burning and other means.
Known as the “Young Turks,” the rulers of the Ottoman Empire sought to create a new,
homogeneous Turkish state. Some wanted to create a Turkish empire extending into Central Asia. Those promoting this ideology, known as “Pan Turkism,” saw the Armenian population as an obstacle to their goal.
For nearly 3,000 years, Armenians had inhabited the highland region between the Black, Caspian, and Mediterranean Seas. Armenia was at various times independent under a national dynasty; autonomous under native princes who paid tribute to foreign powers; or subject to direct foreign rule. The Armenians had developed a distinct language, alphabet, and national-religious culture, and were the first people to adopt Christianity as a national religion. They lived in all the major cities of the Ottoman Empire and had made major contributions to Turkish commerce, industry, architecture and the arts.
The Turkish invasion of Armenia began in the 11th century A.D. Most of the territories that had formed the Armenian kingdoms were incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century. Although Armenians and other minorities, including Greeks, Assyrians, and Jews, were allowed some limited freedoms, they were not considered equals to Muslims, living as second-class citizens under the empire’s Islamic legal system. There were restrictions on many aspects of their lives, including special taxes, a prohibition on bearing arms, riding horseback, providing testimony in court against Muslims, etc. Referred to in Turkish as “gavours,” a pejorative word meaning "infidels” or “unbelievers,” Armenians were treated with prejudice.
Turkish power began to decline in the 1800’s. The empire faced steady losses of territory after revolts of subject peoples in the Balkans and wars with the Russians. Driven by a need to secure the remaining territories and to inhibit Armenians’ economic influence, Ottoman ruler Abdul Hamid II initiated the massacre of approximately 300,000 Armenians in numerous provinces in 1894-1896 and approximately 30,000 in the region of Cilicia in 1909.
On April 24th, 1915, with the “Young Turks” now heading the government, several hundred Armenian community leaders in Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul) were arrested, sent east, and put to death.
Professor Erik-Jan Zürcher's keynote speech delivered at our April 24 commemoration of the Centennial in San Francisco City Hall Download File
On April 18, 2015, the AGBU Armenian Virtual College live streamed an international conference organized by the Armenian Studies Program at UC Berkeley.
"Forum with Michael Krasny on KQED Radio" Bay Area Armenians Reflect On Genocide Centennial view pictures
KTVU’s Gasia Mikaelian gives a special report on the descendant of an Armenian Genocide survivor view article
NBC Bay Area: Armenian Americans Gather in SF to Remember Victims of Mass Killing view article
SF Examiner: Armenian Genocide Centennial Concert in Union Square view article
Kstati: Witness and Rebirth: An Armenian Journey, 1915 – 2015 - view article
ABC7 News: ARMENIANS REMEMBER GENOCIDE AGAINST THEM ON 100TH ANNIVERSARY view video & article
Brian Copeland Show Podcast: click here
Brian Copeland Show, 4/12/15, Hour 2, and then go forward on the audio recording to 26:41 min
The Sunday Show – April 12, 2015: click here
Interview begins at 1 hour mark
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