On April 1, 2017, AGBU Hye Geen and AGBU Hye Geen’s Young Circle will hold their 11th Annual International Conference entitled “Evaluating the Changes Within the Armenian Family.” This most timely topic will focus on changes affecting the central role of the Armenian family both in Armenia and the Diaspora in Southern California.

The Conference will be held at the AGBU Center, located at 2495 Mountain Street, Pasadena, California 91104. Registration will start at 9:00 a.m., lunch will be served at noon and the event is scheduled to close at 2:00 p.m.

Six distinguished professors and researchers will present a comprehensive review of the prime institution assuring the survival of the nation. They will raise awareness about persistent problems as well as available resources to tackle them.

The first speaker, Misha Margaryan, M.A. from Yerevan State University will probe “The problem of how the Family is presented in the History of Textbooks in Armenian Schools.” This vital national identity issue will be followed by Father Vazken Movsesian, B.A., director of In His Shoes Ministries, interpreting “Challenges of Today’s Armenian Family.” Then Pastor Daniel Albarian, Master of Divinity from Christian Outreach for Church will consider the urgency of “Nurturing the Family for the Advancement of Culture.” A subject of far-reaching consequences will be examined by Dr. Anahid Nara Sahakyan, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Sociology, Yerevan State University, concerning “Selective Abortion as a Manifestation of Domestic Violence.” The need to combat selective abortions is underlined by the fact that Armenia rates as the second country in the world where according to the Gender Gap Report, 14,000 girls are not being born annually.

After the lunch break, Armenui Amy Ashvanian Esq., Deputy Attorney in Los Angeles, will deal with a human rights problem with deep cultural roots that no country has solved, namely “Domestic Violence, Prosecution and its Challenges.” Accurate statistics about the subject are hard to collect as victims are seldom eager to report, especially if they are financially dependent on their abusers. Finally, Dr. Matthew A. Jendian, professor and Chair of Sociology, also director of Humanics at Fresno State University, will base his presentation about “Becoming American, Remaining Ethnic Armenian” on his noteworthy publication about issues of assimilation, cultural retention and ethnic identity among four generations of Armenian Americans.

A question and answer session will follow, when the speakers will address the issues raised by the audience. Throughout the Conference members of Armenian Student Associations will be active participants, first in presenting the individual speakers and then facilitating the handover of the questions to the speakers concerned.

In view of the increased number of immigrants from Armenia and the disintegration of the Middle Eastern Armenian communities, the discourse about the changes within the Armenian family as the bastion of Armenian survival will hopefully consolidate the urgency of men and women contributing to civil society.

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