Najarian Human Rights Lecture
The purpose of the Najarian Lecture on Human Rights at Faneuil Hall is to advance understanding of human rights issues and the societal abuses worldwide and to increase awareness of the work of individuals and organizations so that we are all more actively involved.
Endowed by K. George and Carolann S. Najarian, M.D. in honor of Dr. Najarian’s father “as he taught so many about the need to pay attention, spot injustice and speak out wherever and whenever it occurs”.
The setting is in tribute to the New England women and men – intellectuals, politicians, diplomats, religious leaders and ordinary citizens - who, beginning in the 1890s at Faneuil Hall, heard the eyewitness accounts of the atrocities taking place against the Armenian minority of the Ottoman Empire during the First World War and spoke passionately about the urgent need for intervention. Philanthropists nationwide raised over $100 million in aid. This was America’s first international human rights movement.
It is our hope that this lecture will serve to refocus our attention, not only on past events, but upon the critical human rights issues of today, inspiring us to meaningful action.
About K. George Najarian and Carolann S. Najarian, M.D.
Highly regarded philanthropic leaders, K. George Najarian, a native of Cambridge and Carolann S. Najarian, M.D., originally of New York City, have been actively involved in Boston’s Armenian-American community for many years. In 1989, in response to the earthquake that devastated Armenia, they helped to establish the Armenian Health Alliance, Inc., a Boston based non-profit organization to provide direct medical relief to the victims of the earthquake and more recently, the war-ravaged areas of Nagorno-Karabagh. At that time, Dr. Najarian left active medical practice to volunteer full-time as president of the Armenian Health Alliance. The Najarians also provided major support in 1999 to establish the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry Trust, a non-profit organization based in Armenia. In 1989, Dr. Najarian was named “one of Boston’s most interesting women” in Boston Women magazine.
Since 1987, the Najarians have made over fifty trips to the Republic of Armenia and to Nagorno- Karabagh, traveling extensively throughout both countries. The purpose of these trips was to assess the medical needs and deliver essential assistance to hospitals in major cities and villages in rural areas. In 1994, Dr. Najarian founded the Primary Care Center of Gyumri, the city most devastated by the earthquake of 1988, to provide free care and medicine. In 1995, she founded the Arpen Center for Expectant Mothers, in the capital city of Stepanakert, to provide monthly assistance of food, vitamins, clothing, and other basic necessities. Dr. Najarian documented her experiences in A Call from Home: Armenia and Karabagh, My Journal (1999), which brings together her experience growing up as the daughter of Armenian immigrants and that of a medical relief worker in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabagh.
The Najarian’s more local philanthropic activities include establishing scholarships for students at Boston University School of Medicine, Queens College, and Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School as well as support of non-profits including the Food Project, Facing History and Ourselves and The Salvation Army in Cambridge.
They have endowed The K. George and Carolann S. Najarian, M.D. Lecture on Human Rights, a program of the Armenian Heritage Foundation, sponsor of Armenian Heritage Park on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, Boston.
The Najarian Lecture on Human Rights at Faneuil Hall is an endowed public program of Armenian Heritage Park on The Greenway.