COLLEGE STATION, Tex. – On October 18, the Texas Commission on Holocaust and Genocide (TCHG) held its quarterly meeting at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Texas. The purpose of the meeting was to begin the process of making an exception to the TCHG policy that currently educates and informs Texans about genocides that are officially recognized by the Federal Government. It was noted in the prepared statement delivered by Mihran Aroian that on May 19, 2017 the Texas House of Representatives unanimously passed House Resolution 191, titled “Recognizing the Armenian Genocide,” thus making Texas the 46th state in the U.S. to officially classify and commemorate the 1915-1923 annihilation of Ottoman Turkey’s indigenous Armenian Christian community as genocide.
Prior to the meeting, a letter was sent to the Commissioners signed by the leaders of the four Armenian community parishes in Texas (Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio). Mihran Aroian presented prepared remarks on behalf of the Armenians present at the commission hearing with the purpose of getting the Commission to hold a discussion and vote on including the Armenian genocide in the educational materials that the TCHG provides to all Texans. The Commission agreed to discuss and vote on the Armenian genocide at the next quarterly meeting on January 17, 2019.
By gaining the support of the TCHG, this will include the Armenian Genocide in TCHG publications and seminars and be a positive step towards greater recognition by the Texas Education Agency which is responsible for all public schools in Texas.
Participants on October 18 included Karen Aroian, Mihran Aroian, Raffi Caloustian, Cynthia Chisolm, John Nichols, Levoun Ohan, Tatevik Sekhposyan and Anna Yeritsyan. We also want to thank the following individuals for helping to prepare us for the hearing: Bryan Ardouny (Armenian Assembly), Peter Balakian, Natalie Gabrelian (Armenian General Benevolent Union), Roxanne Makasdjian (Genocide Education Project) and Marc Mamigonian (National Association for Armenian Studies and Research).