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

Tuesday, 15 September 2020 

San Francisco: 9:00 am (PDT)
Edmonton: 10:00 am  (MDT)
Boston/New York/Ottawa/Toronto: 12:00 pm (EDT)
London/Cambridge, UK: 5:00 pm (GMT +1)
Kyiv: 7:00 pm (GMT +3)

Zoom registration (click here)
The round-table discussion will be also live-streamed on the CIUS Facebook page
Event language: English

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 of 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?




Kimberly St. Julian-Varnon

PhD candidate in History at the University of Pennsylvania


Emine Ziyatdinova

Ukrainian Crimean Tatar photographer and photojournalist


Teodorina Kamis-Vavryk

African-Ukrainian activist, teacher, translator, and volunteer with the African Council of Ukraine


Yulian Kondur

Ukrainian Roma activist, project coordinator at the International Roma Women "Chiricli"



Dr. Natalia Khanenko-Friesen

Director of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS) at the University of Alberta


List of institutions jointly organizing the event:

Event Host:

Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies