Dear Fulbrighters and Friends,
We share your dismay with the return of warfare to the European continent. The tragic and violent attack on Ukraine is a moment of action, and a moment of reflection.
As we watch the images from Ukraine—children huddled in subways, destroyed buildings, and attacking helicopters—we must send resources where they are needed. I urge you to use this NPR article to find organizations such as the International Red Cross, Nova Ukraine, and Save the Children to receive your financial support today. Doctors without Borders, one of the recipients of the Fulbright Prize for International Understanding, is at work in Ukraine and deserves your help.
This is also a moment to reflect on our commitment to keep the Fulbright Program strong and relevant. When conflict erupts, we should ask if we could have done more, as citizen diplomats, to prevent it. We are not naïve. Peace is hard to build and maintain, and it can be destroyed easily by hatred, resentment, and autocratic leadership.
So what can we do? We can have faith that ordinary people like you and me can make a difference in most cases and in many places worldwide. We can continue to work as hard as we can to advocate, educate, and serve. When the world seems to have gone mad, as it has now, we can keep trying.
As a community, we condemn the attack on the Ukrainian people, and we deplore the loss of life and wanton destruction. We agree with President Jimmy Carter, another Fulbright Prize Laureate, who said today that the US and its allies “must stand with the people of Ukraine in support of their right to peace, security, and self-determination.”
May Fulbright alumni continue to be catalysts for a more peaceful world.
John Bader, Executive Director
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this statement included a claim that the conflict in Ukraine ends 75 years of peace in Europe. That is not accurate. Since World War II, Europeans have suffered armed violence repeatedly, such as the war and genocide in the Balkans, and have been the victims of many terrorist attacks. We regret the error and appreciate Association members who asked for this correction.
It is VITAL to support Ukraine. Your statement does more than that though. It erases the history of violence in Europe that many have endured since WWII. At a time of, for instance, active genocide denial in Bosnia, your statement in sophisticated fashion supports those views. Please amend it and focus on the task at hand: supporting Ukraine and Ukrainian people and all those negatively affected by Russia’s invasion.
I am a former refugee whose family was devastated by the Yugoslav wars and a former Fulbrighter.
Thank you for your comment. We have since edited our statement. Please see the Editor’s note.
Yes, I am with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.
As a Fulbright Fellow to Ukraine (Kherson, 2000-01) and a director of a US State Department grant to Kherson State University (2003-06), I am appalled at strongman Putin’s attack on Ukraine. Hi “reasons” for the invasion are absolute nonsense, as most of us know. The damage to Ukraine and its citizens will take decades to rebuild – UA was in the process of finally building a country to be proud of, and with continuing support from democratic nation states, had great promise. We have former students with whom we communicate – most with their families have either moved to the Western Oblasts, or are sheltering in place in Kherson and Kyiv. Our student Nataliya, a first-generation Fulbright Student from Kherson, has earned her PhD in Psychology, and practices in Toronto. Fulbright continues to support students and academics, and we hope will continue to be a presence in countries like Ukraine, in their pursuit of democracy.
[…] the days following the Russian invasion, I also received an email ‘Fulbrighters Standing with Ukraine’, sent by the Fulbright Association to US programme alumni, noting that: “We share your dismay […]