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Zoom presentation by Dawn Anahid MacKeen

History students converse with author on Armenian Genocide

Shortly following an April 2021 presidential announcement recognizing the Armenian Genocide, Yakima Valley College students in History 118 spoke with Dawn Anahid MacKeen, author of “The Hundred-Year Walk,” a saga of her grandfather’s survival in the face of genocide.

Instructor John T. Menard read MacKeen’s book several years ago and decided to use her book in the class from the first time this spring.

“Armenia is often a ‘forgotten genocide’ — the word “genocide” was actually invented to describe what happened to the Armenians — in Western history and I wanted to teach my students about an event that is typically not taught or only briefly mentioned,” Menard said.

MacKeen’s May 6 virtual visit provided students greater insight into how journalists and historians conduct research, gather evidence and navigate the writing process, Menard noted.

“I think it also helps them see that this history we are learning about is still very much real and relevant,” Menard said. “The memory of the genocide still impacts Armenians both on a communal and individual level.”