Adapted from the presentation given on November 10, 2017, at 50th anniversary conference of the Ukrainian World Congress held in Toronto. My thanks to the Ukrainian World Congress for asking me to present on the topic of diaspora activism in protecting the human rights of Ukrainians globally with a specific focus on the past two generations. Unfortunately, I am not able to attend this conference. Therefore I am grateful to Andriy Dobrianskiy for presenting this text on my behalf. To speak comprehensively on this topic in a short period of time is, of course, impossible.
KYIV – Almost every week last year, Andriy Futey found himself on the road, whether in California, Georgia, North Carolina or Ukraine. He wasn’t job or house hunting. The president of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA) was using his first year in office doing outreach. It’s part of a plan to “revitalize” the country’s biggest advocacy group for Ukrainian Americans. The trips, albeit exhausting and costly, are what Mr. Futey, 52, says were designed to bring former member organizations back into the fold, establish new chapters and enlist new groups, to get the youth more involved, and re-discover the UCCA’s core mission of advocacy starting at the local level.
During 2017, two Catholic bishops were installed in the United States, readers were updated on the development of the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv and fund-raising efforts in the United States by the Ukrainian Catholic Education Foundation, and learned of the repose of Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, former primate of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, among other news. Bishop Benedict Aleksiychuk, M.S.U., was named bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of St. Nicholas in Chicago as announced on April 20 by Metropolitan-Archbishop Stefan Soroka of the Archeparchy of Philadelphia. Bishop Benedict, from Lviv, succeeded Bishop Richard Seminack, who died on August 16, 2016. The Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of St.
Through their political mobilization, Ukrainian Americans in 2017 had quite a number of achievements, including Holodomor resolutions in three states on the 85th anniversary of the Famine-Genocide of Ukraine (most notably Oregon), as well as the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018, which provides funds for Ukrainian soldiers wounded in Ukraine to be medically treated in the U.S. Numerous organizations held conventions and conferences, and there were informative meetings with elected officials.
On February 22, the Ukrainian National Association celebrated the 123rd anniversary of its founding back in 1894, when its first convention was held in Shamokin, Pa. It was there that 10 brotherhoods with a total membership of 439 people and assets of $220 resolved to form a fraternal association as had been suggested by an editorial published in the Ukrainian-language newspaper Svoboda on November 1, 1893. Today the UNA continues to live up to its founding principles, succinctly described in its mission statement: “In accordance with its charter, the Ukrainian National Association exists: to promote the principles of fraternalism; to preserve the Ukrainian, Ukrainian American and Ukrainian Canadian heritage and culture; and to provide quality financial services and products to its members.”
EDMONTON, Alberta – The Edmonton Ukrainian community came together on December 16, 2017, at the Ukrainian National Federal Hall to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Ukrainian Children’s Studio Theater Dzherelo. Originally established by a group of Ukrainian mothers from Poland – Alexandra Cybulsky, Stefania Pik, Irena Prystasz and Slava Yopyk, and Ukrainian Women’s Organization member Olga Yaremko – as a Ukrainian language-learning meeting place for their own children, it has since developed into a full-fledged children’s drama group. Dzherelo means “water spring,” a name chosen by Iryna Zavadska, a former actress from the renowned Maria Zankovetska Theater in Lviv, and the first artistic director of Dzherelo. Olga Myc took over from Ms. Zavadska for 10 years (1994-2004), to be followed by Alla Semenko, who has been artistic director for 13 years. Run by the Edmonton Society of the Ukrainian Women’s Organization of Canada (UWO), Dzherelo holds an important place in the life of its members, some as young as 5.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The local Ukrainian Catholic community came together to celebrate a trifecta of joyful events on Friday, November 17, 2017. The Very Rev. Mitred Archpriest Volodymyr Piso was honored for his 45 years of faithful service in the priesthood (which includes 20 years in the Stamford Eparchy and almost eights years at St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church in Syracuse after ordination as a priest in Ukraine in 1973). He was also recognized by the parish on the occasion of his 75th birthday. The Rev. Mykhaylo Dosyak, pastor of St.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko met with U.S. President Donald Trump’s special envoy for Ukraine, Kurt Volker, in Kyiv to discuss the conflict in eastern Ukraine. According to a statement posted on the Ukrainian president’s website, the two men expressed “serious concern” about Russia’s lack of progress in implementing the Minsk agreements during the January 23 meeting. In a post on Twitter, Ambassador Volker said he “had a good conversation” with President Poroshenko, adding that he will travel to Dubai later this week to meet with Russian diplomats. Mr. Poroshenko’s statement said that the solidification of the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine and the “withdrawal of Russian occupation forces from Ukraine” were now “absolute priorities.” Kyiv has been fighting against Russia-backed militants in parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine since early 2014. Although Moscow denies interfering in Ukraine’s domestic affairs, the International Criminal Court in November 2016 determined the conflict to be “an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation.” The conflict has left more than 10,300 people dead and some 1.6 million people displaced.
ByGeorgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security |
WASHINGTON – Iryna Geraschenko is the highest-ranking woman in the ongoing process to reach a peaceful solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine. She is the deputy speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament and serves as the Ukrainian president’s commissioner for the peaceful settlement of the situation in war-torn Donetsk and Luhansk. Ms. Geraschenko has traveled repeatedly to conflict areas in Ukraine’s east, and continues to shine a spotlight on the impact of violence on the most vulnerable communities, including children and internally displaced persons. She has also recognized the differential impact conflict has on women, and the crucial role women have played in Ukraine during since the Maidan Revolution in 2014. Ms. Geraschenko also co-chaired the Ukrainian Parliament’s Equal Opportunities Caucus, one of few cross-party coalitions in Ukrainian politics.
Elina Svitolina has made it very clear she intends to be the woman to beat in 2018 after her resounding dismantling of surprise qualifier Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus to win the Brisbane International tournament on January 6. The lopsided triumph with a 6-2, 6-1 score got the young Ukrainian tennis star her 10th career title – five of which came last year – at Pat Rafter Arena. Her upset of defending champion Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic in the semifinal was enough to catapult her back up to a No. 4 ranking in the world heading into the seeding for the Australian Open. Landing the silverware in Brisbane served to boost her confidence on the way to Melbourne with her eyes fixed firmly on her maiden grand slam trophy.