A Rally for Peace Held at Manhattan College to Stand in Solidarity with Ukraine

Several speakers reminded the audience of the tragic toll inflicted by the Russian invasion and called for an end to the war.

A Russian land, sea and air invasion of Ukraine began on February 24, 2022, and the war has produced a full-scale humanitarian crisis. It has provoked concerns about a wider conflict spilling into Europe and the devastating economic fallout not only for Ukraine, but for the entire global economy. Ukraine Rally

On May 1, Manahttan College’s Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Education Center (HGI), along with the departments of Poltiical Science and the Peace and Justice Studies, held a rally for peace on the College’s Quadrangle, one year after a similar demonstration in 2022. 

“As someone who teaches the Holocaust and genocide, I feel that it is vital that we keep the war in Ukraine at the forefront of our minds,” said Mehnaz Afridi, Ph.D., the director of the HGI and a professor of  religious studies.

Afridi said that one of the goals of the rally was to stand in solidarity with Ukraine and as a Lasallian College to “uphold dignity for all.” She added that it’s vital for students to be reminded that there is still a war going on, even if it has faded from the headlines. 

“I know we all want peace, but without victory for Ukraine, there will never be a just peace,” said Jaroslaw Kiciuk, the former president of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, Westchester branch, and one of several speakers from Westchester’s Ukrainian community who attended the event. “We need to keep talking about Ukraine. Do not remain silent.” 

“Ukraine is not just fighting for its land; it’s fighting for democracy all around the world,” said Oleh Bilovus, the secretary of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, Westchester branch, who left Ukraine eight years ago. 

Present at the rally were several students who participated in last month’s National Model United Nations and other members of the College community.

By David Koeppel