Statement by Eastern Michigan University President James Smith: Ukraine Update

For 12 days, a portion of which time many among our campus community were on spring break, we have witnessed the Ukrainian people’s strength, bravery and resilience. Ukraine, and its leaders, continue to show the world that they will not give in to the brutal invasion by Russia. The assault has led to massive destruction and the deaths of civilians, children and soldiers on both sides of the war. This unprecedented and illegal action against a free and democratic nation has disrupted the world order and created the possibility of conflict that could reach beyond Ukraine. The resulting refugee situation, described by the United Nations as the fastest-growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II, continues to grow. More than 1.5 million Ukrainians are estimated to have fled across their border to neighboring countries.

For our students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members who have Ukrainian heritage, some who may have families caught in this desperate situation, we stand with you. We support you. And, please be kind to any of our community members from Russia or with Russian heritage. They did not cause this situation.

Congresswoman Dingell recently provided a list of actions Americans can take to support the Ukrainian people. Those actions are below:

  • Share reputable news from trusted news sources. There is a lot of disinformation, propaganda, and bots flooding the news cycle. We must all be diligent to check sources and share only factual information. 
  • Show your support for Ukraine. Many communities are gathering to show their public support for Ukraine. If you have an opportunity to gather in your community, consider attending. If Covid infections are high in your area, take proper precautions.
     
  • Make a financial contribution to support organizations that are working to aid Ukrainians:
     
  • World Central Kitchen provides food and meals to Ukrainian families. Donate here:https://wck.org/
  • Caritas Ukraine provides refugees food, water, personal hygiene kits, and a safe and secure place to sleep and transportation. Donate here: https://www.caritas.org/what-we-do/conflicts-and-disasters/crisis-in-ukraine
  • Nova Ukraine provides humanitarian aid to those in need in Ukraine. Donate here:https://novaukraine.org/donate/
  • The UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) mandates aid and protects refugees displaced by violence. Donate to the Ukraine fund here:https://give.unrefugees.org/220224ukr_emer_d_4983/
  • United Help Ukraine works to help those on the front lines. Donate here:https://unitedhelpukraine.org/about-us

Our worst fears have been realized for many of us. We must stand united in support of our freedom-loving brothers and sisters in Ukraine and the rest of Eastern Europe. 

James Smith, Ph.D.
President, Eastern Michigan University 

March 07, 2022

Written by:
Official Statements

Contact:
Melissa Thrasher
mthrashe@emich.edu
734-487-4401