Vahan & Anoush Chamlian Armenian School

Skype Session with Ms. Bethel Charkoudian, an Armenian Activist during Civil Rights Movement

The topics of conversation not only engaged the 8th grade students of Chamlian Armenian School, but also instilled in them the desire to continue on with the struggle for freedom and equality. Throughout the video-chat, the most noted appreciation that students expressed was Ms. Charkoudian’s impeccable ability to make important social issues seem relevant. She demonstrated that we, too, through awareness and sheer bravery, may be remembered throughout the pages of history as those who dedicated their time and effort in ensuring that we leave the world a little better than we found it for all of humanity.
This educational Skype session was a once in a lifetime opportunity for Chamlian students to be exposed to someone directly involved in a pivotal and decisive historical event. Students especially appreciated the chance to not only ask their questions, but also to engage in conversation with Ms. Bethel. One of the most memorable moments was when Ms. Bethel urged the students not to be afraid by repeating the phrase, “Mi Vakhnak!” which translates to “Do not be afraid!”. This motto helped them understand that while taking a stand against injustice is not always the easy option, it will always remain our moral obligation. This truly was an educational experience for our students and sparked conversations regarding critical issues such as racism, sexism, and discrimination. As part of Chamlian's school mission to embrace Armenian culture and heritage, we continue to be active participants in the Armenian community and gain greater awareness of the unique aspects of the Armenian culture and history while preserving the Armenian heritage.
A special thank you to Ms. Bethel Charkoudian for this unforgettable opportunity and for sharing your inspirational story and encouraging us to fight for respect, dignity, and equality. In addition, we would also like to thank Verginie Touloumian, the Executive Director of the Armenian Relief Society for her support as well as efforts in organizing this memorable and unique experience.
We will always pay special attention to Ms. Charkoudian’s advice as the video chat session came to a close: “Keep the faith, baby!”