NEW YORK — On August 14, the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU), in partnership with Survival Pictures, the production company behind “The Promise,” and major Armenian organizations in North America, launched The Promise to Educate campaign to raise funds for the advancement of Armenian Genocide education across the United States.
Expanding on the social impact mission of The Promise and recognizing the gaps in genocide education in the US, AGBU and its partners have initiated a campaign to send copies of the film and relevant curriculum resources to public educational institutions across the country. While human rights issues and related history are included in the social studies curricula of the vast majority of public schools, the Armenian Genocide goes largely ignored. Currently, the Armenian Genocide is not a required subject in history courses in most schools and lack of awareness and teaching materials leaves it on the sidelines.
“The primary goal of the filmmakers of The Promise was not only to bring our history to light, but to encourage a dialogue among middle school and high school students and their teachers,” said AGBU Central Board Member Ani Manoukian. “The AGBU Alternative Education Department works to provide a diverse range of resources on various topics of Armenian language, history and culture for classrooms. The distribution of The Promise DVDs, along with tailored study materials, provides access to trustworthy information about the Armenian Genocide, challenging the powerful forces of denial.”
Donations will allow AGBU to supply Keep The Promise Educational Packages to American public middle and high schools, higher educational institutions and libraries. Each package includes a copy of “The Promise” DVD, a letter from filmmaker Terry George, a tailored “The Promise” Study Guide and a reference of Armenian Genocide curriculum resources and contacts. The package is developed in cooperation with genocide education organizations, such as the Armenian National Institute (ANI), The Genocide Education Project and the Zoryan Institute.
Following the successful grassroots outreach campaign for the movie, AGBU and major Armenian organizations in North America, including the Armenian Assembly of America, the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), Children of Armenia Fund (COAF), the Dioceses and Prelacies of the Armenian Church of the United States and Canada, as well as other religious and cultural institutions, are again joining efforts to bring Keep The Promise Educational Packages to classrooms.
“Tell the world about the Armenian Genocide, and every genocide taking place across the globe. We owe it not only to the descendants of the Armenian Genocide, but all people who are vulnerable, to learn about and learn from our history so that it is never repeated again,” said filmmaker Terry George in his letter addressed to educators. “Together, through education we can raise awareness so that future generations will never forget and never stay silent.”