This August, the Assyrian Policy Institute will host a Digital Week of Action aimed at bringing greater understanding and awareness to issues of concern to the Assyrian community. Beginning on Sunday, August 1st and running through August 7th, the API Digital Week of Action will bring together advocates, activists, students, community leaders, and many others committed to advancing the rights of Assyrians together as part of a coordinated campaign. Participants will take small, daily actions aimed at bringing about the necessary changes to the policies and systems that stand in the way of a sustainable future for Assyrians in their homeland.
For a period of seven days, participants from all over the world will focus on Assyrian-centered issues—including formal recognition of the Assyrian Genocide and Simele Massacre—taking daily actions to inspire positive change. The weeklong effort will include a series of guided tasks for participants to complete on their own between August 1-7, such as contacting government representatives and sharing coordinated messages on social media platforms. The Week of Action will conclude with a special event on August 7 celebrating Assyrian resilience led by guest speaker Amanda Slefo.
"We are so pleased to announce this Digital Week of Action," said Atour Sargon, API Board Member. "Our team and volunteers have put together a series of guided advocacy activities that focus on issues of importance to the Assyrian community in the U.S. and around the world. I urge everyone to sign up and participate during this week of coordinated community action and look forward to showing our participants how simple and powerful it can be to give a voice to those Assyrians struggling to maintain their rights in their homeland."
This Week of Action coincides with Assyrian Remembrance Day, observed annually by Assyrians on August 7th to honor the memory of all those Assyrians who have fallen victim to genocide, other mass atrocities, and persecution as a result of their distinct ethnic and religious identity. August 7, 1933 marks the date that the Simele Massacre began, during which the armed forces of the Kingdom of Iraq systematically targeted and killed as many as 6,000 Assyrians—continuing the legacy of persecution exemplified by the earlier Assyrian Genocide. The solemn holiday also underlines the shared responsibility to seek justice for the atrocities committed against them.
On the Week of Action, API Board Member Ramond Takhsh stated, "William Faulkner once said 'the past is never dead—it is not even past.' There is no truer embodiment of this in my mind than that of the Assyrian experience. From the Genocide of over 100 years ago to Simeleh and beyond, the memories and ramifications of these events affected not just the immediate survivors, but all subsequent generations up to this very day. On August 7, let us renew our efforts to seek justice and accountability in the name of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice and to work collectively to further advance and empower our communities throughout the world. This work does not stop on August 7, but continues onward each and every day."
The United States is home to more than 600,000 Assyrian-Americans. This thriving community is a proud reminder of survival and perseverance in the face of mass atrocities and extreme injustice. The API Digital Week of Action fosters continued growth and engagement for activists. More details regarding the event and information about registration will be released in the coming days and weeks. To sign up, please visit assyrianpolicy.org/action. Join the conversation online by using #APIWeekofAction.