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100 LIVES Initiative Launched in New York

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Old 12 Mar 15, 16:06   #1 (permalink)
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Post 100 LIVES Initiative Launched in New York

Clooney and Wiesel Co-Chair Human Rights Award

NEW YORK (A.W.) The launch of an initiative entitled 100 LIVES was announced on March 10 in New York. The project will celebrate those who saved Armenians during the genocide, and support individuals and organizations that keep the legacy of gratitude alive.

The initiative is led by a group of Diasporan Armenians including the President of Carnegie Corporation Vartan Gregorian, and entrepreneurs Ruben Vardanyan and Noubar Afeyan.

Ruben Vardanyan, George Clooney, and Gwen Ifill (Photo: 100lives.com)

The project aims to uncover and recount stories about survivors and their saviors, which will be collected through academic research, personal accounts, and story submissions by the public to the 100lives.com website.

The humanity, generosity, strength and sacrifice shown by those who saved so many Armenians compel us to tell these stories, said Ruben Vardanyan, co-founder of 100 LIVES. Now is the time to shine a light on those most extraordinary lives, to build on the lessons they teach us, and to express our gratitude for what they did.

Clooney signs the 100 Lives pledge, which reads, “We believe that even in the darkest times, a brighter future is in the hands of those who can give help and hope.” (Photo: 100lives.com)

Academy Award winner and activist George Clooney joined Vardanyan on stage in a panel moderated by managing editor of Washington Week and co-anchor and co-managing editor of PBS NewsHour, Gwen Ifill. When asked why it was important for him to be involved in such a project, Clooney explained that it is these types of initiatives that help shed light on ongoing atrocities. We dont want to triage in the end, I think thats silly and too late. Our thought was lets explore anyway we can to expose these things and make it more difficult to happen in the broad daylight, because we know it happens in the dark, said Clooney.

“We really want people to get involved with 100 LIVES, to celebrate those that overcome adversity and give back to others, just as the Armenian community is doing in this centenary year, said Clooney.

Click here to view the embedded video.

100 LIVES will also invest in projects, as a tangible expression of gratitude. The funding will be invested in Gratitude Projects relating to Armenia, countries with a strong Armenian diaspora, or countries with links to the people, families, institutions, or communities that saved and helped Armenians during the genocide.

The 100 LIVES Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity was also announced as a means to empower modern-day saviors. The annual grant of $1 million will be awarded to a recipient who will, in turn, present it to the organization identified as the inspiration for their action.

The selection committee of the annual Aurora Prize include human rights champions from around the world, including Clooney, Nobel Peace Prize winners Elie Wiesel and Oscar Arias, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, UN Secretary-General Advisor on Genocide, Gareth Evans, globally respected human rights activist Hina Jilani and President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York Vartan Gregorian. 100 LIVES has announced that Mr. Clooney will award the inaugural Prize at a ceremony to be held in Yerevan, Armenia on April 24, 2016.

Clooney, who is one of the founders of Not on Our Watch, a 100 LIVES partner organization, will join human rights advocate and Chairman of the American Holocaust Memorial, Elie Wiesel, as co-chairman of the prizes Selection Committee.

I have personally witnessed the devastation that genocide wreaks, which sadly continues today, said Wiesel. But I also recognize the resilience of the human spirit.

We must remember and honor the remarkable efforts of those saviors who intervened a century ago to prevent such atrocities from ever happening again, said Wiesel.

The Aurora Prize is named after Aurora Mardiganian who, as a child, survived the Armenian Genocide and went on to devote her life to providing humanitarian relief and raising awareness about the plight of the Armenians. Mardiganian is best known for starring in Ravished Armenia, also known as Auction of Souls, a 1919 American film based on the Armenian Genocide.

One of Mardiganians relatives, Ani Karabashian, addressed the crowd on behalf the family and stressed the importance of the initiative.

The 100 LIVES initiative will also digitize the written record of the Armenian Genocidesomething that the founders believe can help preserve the memory of the genocide.

There are a small number of survivors of the Armenian Genocide left with us. It is crucial that we ensure that, as we approach the centennial, we take this opportunity to leave a lasting imprint of what happened a century ago onto the worlds collective conscience, said Vartan Gregorian.

Resilience, strength, survival and gratitude are characteristics exhibited by Armenians, though not by us exclusively. They are found in all people, said 100 LIVES co-founder Noubar Afeyan, adding, We developed the concept of #BeArmenian #BeAlive to encapsulate the strength of the human spirit not just for Armenians, but for everyone.

Click here to view the embedded video.

The post 100 LIVES Initiative Launched in New York appeared first on Armenian Weekly.


Clooney and Wiesel Co-Chair Human Rights Award NEW YORK (A.W.) The launch of an initiative entitled 100 LIVES was announced on March 10 in New York. The project will celebrate those who saved Armenians during the genocide, and support individuals and organizations that keep the legacy of gratitude alive. The initiative is led by a group of Diasporan Armenians including the President of Carnegie Corporation Vartan Gregorian, and entrepreneurs Ruben Vardanyan and Noubar Afeyan. Ruben Vardanyan, George Clooney, and Gwen Ifill (Photo: 100lives.com) The project aims to uncover and recount stories about survivors and their saviors, which will be collected through academic research, personal accounts, and story submissions by the public to the 100lives.com website. The humanity, generosity, strength and sacrifice shown by those who saved so many Armenians compel us to tell these stories, said Ruben Vardanyan, co-founder of 100 LIVES. Now is the time to shine a light on those most extraordinary lives, to build on the lessons they teach us, and to express our gratitude for what they did. Clooney signs the 100 Lives pledge, which reads, “We believe that even in the darkest times, a brighter future is in the hands of those who can [...]

The post 100 LIVES Initiative Launched in New York appeared first on Armenian Weekly.


Clooney and Wiesel Co-Chair Human Rights Award NEW YORK (A.W.) The launch of an initiative entitled 100 LIVES was announced on March 10 in New York. The project will celebrate those who saved Armenians during the genocide, and support individuals and organizations that keep the legacy of gratitude alive. The initiative is led by a group of Diasporan Armenians including the President of Carnegie Corporation Vartan Gregorian, and entrepreneurs Ruben Vardanyan and Noubar Afeyan. Ruben Vardanyan, George Clooney, and Gwen Ifill (Photo: 100lives.com) The project aims to uncover and recount stories about survivors and their saviors, which will be collected through academic research, personal accounts, and story submissions by the public to the 100lives.com website. The humanity, generosity, strength and sacrifice shown by those who saved so many Armenians compel us to tell these stories, said Ruben Vardanyan, co-founder of 100 LIVES. Now is the time to shine a light on those most extraordinary lives, to build on the lessons they teach us, and to express our gratitude for what they did. Clooney signs the 100 Lives pledge, which reads, “We believe that even in the darkest times, a brighter future is in the hands of those who can [...]

The post 100 LIVES Initiative Launched in New York appeared first on Armenian Weekly.


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