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Armenian National Institute Director to Present on YMCA Exhibit at National Advocacy Conference

Updated: Jun 16, 2021


YMCA volunteers James O. Arroll (left) and John Elder (right)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) is pleased to announce that Armenian National Institute (ANI) Director Dr. Rouben Adalian will make a special presentation on the digital exhibit displaying the role of the YMCA and American relief work during the first republic of Armenia (1918-1920) at the National Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C. on Monday, September 24, 2018.

The exhibit, entitled “American Relief in the First Republic of Armenia,” was created by ANI to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Armenian republic.

The YMCA praised ANI’s special digital exhibit exploring the role of two exceptional individuals, John Elder and James O. Arroll, who volunteered to stay in Armenia during the critical year of 1918 when fellow American relief workers were withdrawn in view of the intensification of warfare in the region.

Last month, United States Ambassador to the Republic of Armenia, Richard M. Mills, Jr., toured the exhibit on display at the Naregatsi Art Institute in Yerevan, sponsored by ANI and the Assembly.

“This exhibition captures the spirit of the American people’s affinity for Armenia and the Armenian people,” said U.S. Ambassador Mills. “From those first YMCA volunteers to the more than 1,000 Peace Corps volunteers who have followed in their stead, the American people have been working side-by-side with the Armenian people to overcome turmoil and challenge in pursuit of continued peace and friendship between our two nations.”

Mills 1

U.S. Ambassador Richard Mills Jr. looking at the ANI exhibit on the YMCA in Armenia

Dr. Adalian, who did the research for the YMCA exhibit, will expand on Ambassador Mills’ observations of the current extent and historic role of American humanitarian intervention across the experience of the three republics of Armenia.

In addition to this special presentation, the National Advocacy Conference includes panel discussions, a welcome reception, meetings on Capitol Hill, and concludes with a special evening Gala honoring long-time Assembly Board Member Annie Simonian Totah.

For more information on the Advocacy Conference, visit or contact Assembly Grassroots and Development Associate Mariam Khaloyan at (202) 393-3434 ext. 337 or by email at

Learn more about ANI’s YMCA Exhibit:

Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.


NR#: 2018-042

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