These are extraordinary times. Just as we seemed to be exiting a pandemic, Ukraine was invaded by Russia.
We have been overwhelmed by the incredible outpouring of support for Ukraine from all corners of the world, as well as the upsurge of interest in the history and culture of the country itself.
The UHEC is not a humanitarian aid organization, and we simply do not have the staff or expertise to provide such aid. There are many reputable organizations out there that are doing such work far better and on a much larger scale than we ever could, including the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA (from which the UHEC grew and on whose campus it operates), Razom for Ukraine, the Ukrainian National Women's League, and many others.
Our expertise is in conveying Ukrainian history, art, and culture to Ukrainian American and non-Ukrainian audiences. Some might say that such activity is secondary or superfluous, given Ukraine's extreme needs at this moment. Some might even paraphrase the famous statement apparently made by Ukraine's president: "We need ammo, not a history lesson!"
If there was any good time to teach non-Ukrainians about Ukraine, that time is now!
As we have been saying even before the start of the war and as has been more recently reiterated by the Ukrainian historian Vitaliy Mykhaylovskiy, what we are seeing is a weaponization of history. It is absolutely essential to debunk the pseudo-historical narratives that are being used not only to justify the war, but to deny Ukraine's sovereignty and its very right to exist. These enemies of Ukraine seek to not only deny Ukraine's history, but also its language and culture. We are fighting these forces in our own small way by continuing to do what we do best: presenting Ukrainian history and culture in talks, exhibitions, and other venues, and through workshops dedicated to learning the distinctive folk arts of Ukraine.
The Center cannot continue this work without your help!
We know that these may still be financially difficult times, and that you may wish to focus your giving on direct humanitarian relief to Ukraine and Ukrainians suffering and/or displaced by the war. However, if you are are able to do so, please consider contributing to the UHEC.
Your membership and contributions are what will allow us to continue our work to preserve, interpret and share collections, create online content, and to present online and in-person workshops and other events.