As the Russian American Student Association, we foster the study of Slavic and East European languages, societies, and cultures. RASA is committed to promoting international communication among students, scholars of all countries, and identities across the humanities and social sciences. Open exchange and mutual respect among our members are fundamental to our principles.
We have all expressed our unequivocal condemnation of Russia’s war on Ukraine. In solidarity with those who are in Ukraine and living in fear of attack, we stand firm with the organizations who call for cutting formal ties with institutions and with those who are actively supporting the Russian war effort.
We want to do everything we can to show our support for Ukrainian scholars and students. At the same time, we are concerned about calls for blanket bans on the participation of individual Russians and Belarusians in scholarly events and scholarly exchanges.
We strongly oppose the vilification and exclusion of our Russian and Belarusian students. Banning Russians and Belarusians based solely on their citizenship or place of birth goes against our fundamental principles of scholarship, open communication, and dialogue. Such sanctions have the potential to harm those living in authoritarian regimes who are opposed to the war and are powerless to change their oppressive governments. We encourage all members of our community who stand against the war in Ukraine to come together and support all the students who are in this situation.
At RASA, we also want to financially support our longtime partner organization in Ukraine “Down Syndrome Organization” in Kyiv. RASA has been working with them for 10 years. Our former president Irina Pidberejna has visited them in 2015 and saw a great need in supporting these people. She is currently in contact with the former Director of the organization, and he has informed her that there are active efforts going on to evacuate and bring to safety the families of children who have Down Syndrome, those who are orphans, and others in vulnerable populations.
Money donations or checks will go to Ukrainian Charitable Organization “Down Syndrome”.
We are strong together!