BOSTON — The K. George and Carolann S. Najarian, MD Inaugural Lecture on Human Rights will be held on Thursday, September 23, at 7 p.m. at Faneuil Hall, announced James M. Kalustian, president of the Armenian Heritage Foundation.
Free and open to the public, the fully-endowed lecture is a public program of the Armenian Heritage Foundation, sponsor of Armenian Heritage Park on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, Boston.
The Inaugural Lecture is being held this September in recognition of the groundbreaking of the park on the Greenway in 2010.
Kerry Kennedy, human rights activist, founder of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, Washington, DC and author of Speak Truth to Power: Human Rights Defenders Who are Changing Our World, is the keynote speaker.
Opening Remarks will be offered by Peter Balakian, Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor of the Humanities, Colgate University, poet and author of The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America’s Response — A History of International Human Rights and Forgotten Heroes, which was the inspiration for this series. He wrote about the New England women and men — intellectuals, politicians, diplomats, religious leaders and ordinary citizens — who, beginning in the 1890s at Faneuil Hall, heard the eyewitness accounts of the atrocities taking place against the Armenian minority of the Ottoman Empire during World War I and were called to action. Distinguished Bostonians, among them Julia Ward Howe, Clara Barton, Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Alice Stone Blackwell, heard these accounts and were moved to assist the Armenians.
As a result, the American Red Cross launched its first international mission with Clara Barton bringing aid to the Armenians. Philanthropists nationwide raised over $100 million in support. This was America’s first internationally-focused human rights movement.