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ERASE Racism Benefit

Arda Haratunian An Organizer

Manhasset resident Arda Nazerian Haratunian is lending her expertise and support to ERASE Racism, a civil rights non-profit that advocates for racial equity on Long Island. As a member of its planning committee for the third year in a row, she is helping to organize ERASE Racism’s Annual Benefit Celebration, which will take place on June 5 at the Garden City Hotel.

A strategic communications consultant, Arda has more than 25 years experience in both the private and public sectors. She most recently served as senior policy advisor and communications director to former Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi and previously worked for New York Governor Mario Cuomo.  During the decade between her two careers in public service, Arda was on Wall Street, serving as managing director of global corporate communications for Citigroup’s Corporate and Investment Bank and before that, head of media and public relations at the American Stock Exchange.

Through her work in Nassau County government and her involvement with The Energeia Partnership, an academy for regional stewardship, Arda became increasingly aware of how race and inequality exist in communities across Long Island, impacting issues ranging from education to housing to health care.  

“Many Long Islanders are unaware of how significant the issue of racism is here on Long Island,” said Arda, adding that much of that realization came through her work with Energeia, which focuses on creating innovative and sustainable solutions to Long Island’s most pressing public policy issues.  “I’m inspired by the work of ERASE Racism and proud to be a part of its efforts as it raises public awareness, provides education on many levels, and drives constructive discussions to address the challenges.”

In addition to her consulting practice, Arda teaches at CUNY Queens College and Columbia University, where she is a founding member of the advisory board for its master’s program in strategic communications. Locally, Arda continues to volunteer her time to The Energeia Partnership, the Women’s Fund of Long Island and the Manhasset Women’s Coalition Against Breast Cancer.  

ERASE Racism’s 2013 Annual Benefit will take place on June 5 at the Garden City Hotel.  The honoree will be Kenneth I. Chenault, chairman and CEO of American Express. Chenault will be recognized for his life-time commitment to creating racial justice and promoting racial diversity.  Also recognized will be Jobco Incorporated for its commitment to increasing quality affordable housing on Long Island.  For more information and to buy tickets please visit