Race and Diversity in Today's Ukraine: Challenges and Opportunities


Tuesday, September 15, 2020, 12:00pm to 2:00pm


Zoom (registration required) and CIUS Facebook page (public)

Banner image (decorative)Located  at the intersection of East and West, North and South, Ukraine has been a meeting place of different cultures, languages, religions, and peoples for centuries. Today, Ukrainians speak close to 40 languages and belong to many prominent religious denominations and over a dozen major ethnic groups. Amid a global struggle for racial equality, Ukraine continues to reckon with questions of identity and diversity in the context its long history, the legacy of Soviet policies, its geopolitical positioning, and contemporary state-building challenges. 
Who is seen as “Other” in today’s Ukraine? How is everyday life affected by the notion of otherness, either racial or ethnic? Does ethnic or racial otherness conflate with gender and sexuality identities? In what ways do other categories of identity – such as gender and sexuality – factor into patterns of racial and ethnic othering? What are some examples of productive steps to counteract discrimination in Ukraine—on the level of state policy, lawmaking, and civil society activity? 

Hosted by the Canadian Institute for Ukrainian Studies
More information and registration.


  • Moderator: Kimberly St. Julian-Varnon, PhD candidate in History at the University of Pennsylvania, (https://bit.ly/2QAuPMC)
  • Panelist 1: Emine Ziyatdinova, Ukrainian Crimean Tatar photographer and photojournalist
  • Panelist 2: Teodorina Kamis-Vavryk, African-Ukrainian activist, teacher, translator, and volunteer with the African Council of Ukraine
  • Panelist 3: Yulian Kondur, Ukrainian Roma activist, project coordinator at the International Roma Women's Fund "Chiricli"(https://bit.ly/2ErmJDC)
  • Discussant: Prof. Natalia Khanenko-Friesen, director of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS) at the University of Alberta (https://bit.ly/2QAsdyg)

Co-organized by: 

  • American Association for Ukrainian Studies (USA)
  • Atlantic Council, Washington, DC (USA)
  • Cambridge Ukrainian Studies, Cambridge University (UK)
  • Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta (Canada)
  • Chair of Ukrainian Studies, University of Ottawa (Canada)
  • Krytyka Journal and Publishers, Kyiv (Ukraine)
  • Mykola Zerov Centre, Monash University (Australia)
  • Shevchenko Scientific Society in the US (USA)
  • Ukrainian Book Institute, Kyiv (Ukraine)
  • Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program, Stanford University (USA)
  • Ukrainian Institute, Kyiv (Ukraine)
  • Ukrainian Institute, London (UK)
  • Ukrainian Research Institute, Harvard University (USA)