Human Rights Activist and Best-Selling Author John Prendergast to Speak at Holy Trinity Church on May 12


PendergastCAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Holy Trinity Armenian Church of Greater Boston is pleased to present, through The Dr. Michael and Joyce Kolligian Distinguished Speaker Series, human rights activist and best-selling author, John Prendergast, on Thursday, May 12, at 7 p.m., in the Charles and Nevart Talanian Cultural Hall at 145 Brattle St.

Prendergast’s presentation will focus on “Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity: Lessons Learned and Hope for the Future.”

Prendergast is a human rights activist and best-selling author who has worked for peace in Africa for 30 years. He is the founding director of The Enough Project, an initiative to end genocide and crimes against humanity. He is also the co-Founder of the Sentry, a new investigative initiative focused on dismantling the networks financing conflict and atrocities.

He has worked for the Clinton White House, the State Department, two members of Congress, the National Intelligence Council, UNICEF, Human Rights Watch, the International Crisis Group and the U.S. Institute of Peace. He is a board member of Not On Our Watch (NOOW), the non-governmental international relief and humanitarian aid organization, co-founded by George Clooney, that has partnered with 100 Lives, an initiative led by Vartan Gregorian, Ruben Vardanyan and Noubar Afeyan, to increase awareness and combat genocide and human rights violations around the world. The two organizations were involved in the launching of the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity that was awarded in Yerevan, Armenia, on April 24. Marguerite Barankitse, from Maison Shalom and REMA Hospital in Burundi, was selected as the Aurora Prize Laureate recognized for the extraordinary impact she has had in saving thousands of lives and caring for orphans and refugees during the years of civil war in Burundi.

Prendergast, who has worked closely with the co-founders of the 100 Lives initiative from the beginning, was a strategic consultant to the Prize and was in Armenia for the Award Ceremony, along with Clooney, co-chair of ghe Aurora Prize Selection Committee. John is the author or co-author of ten books, has been awarded six honorary doctorates, is or has been a visiting professor at a number of universities and colleges including Stanford University, Yale Law School, Columbia University, Dartmouth College, and is the recipient of numerous awards.

The Dr. Michael and Joyce Kolligian Distinguished Speaker Series was established in 2000, by Joyce Kolligian of Belmont, and her family, in loving memory of her husband, Dr. Michael Kolligian, with the purpose of providing high-quality educational and cultural programs to enhance knowledge and provide enjoyment to the members of the Holy Trinity Armenian Church, as well as to the community at large. A pillar of Holy Trinity Armenian Church, Dr. Kolligian was loved and respected as a devoted leader. Dr. Kolligian practiced dentistry in Medford for 30 years. In 1971, he joined Distributor Corporation of New England, serving as treasurer and later as president. Mrs. Kolligian was Executive Director of the Simmons Leadership Conference in Boston, a trustee of Colby-Sawyer College and a trustee of the Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church Trust Fund.

The previous speakers featured in the series have included Dr. Bob Arnot, “On the Front Line of Terror,” in October 2004; Immaculée Ilibagiza, survivor and author of Left to Tell, Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust, in April 2007; Mia Farrow, Humanitarian Activist, “With Knowledge Comes Responsibility: The Darfur Crisis,” in April 2010; and Peter Bergen, CNN National Security Analyst and Best Selling Author, “The Awakening: The Remaking of the Middle East,” in May 2013.

Fr. Vasken A. Kouzouian, Pastor of the Holy Trinity Armenian Church, invites the Greater Boston area community to join him on May 12, as John Prendergast connects to the humanity in all of us, sharing his eye-witness account of human atrocities and his work with politicians and celebrities to create hope for the future.

A reception and book-signing will follow the program that is open to the public and a gift to the community. For further information, please contact the Holy Trinity Armenian Church office, email office@htaac.org, or log onto www.htaac.org/calendar/event/164/