International Ukrainian Groups Unite to Call for Official Recognition for “Holodomor as Genocide” on the 90th Anniversary of the Man-made Famine
Washington, D.C. (Oct. 13, 2023) – The Holodomor90 campaign continued to grow dramatically in the last few weeks as five new groups have joined the effort to raise awareness and secure official recognition for the Holodomor as a genocide of the Ukrainian people committed in 1932 and 1933 under the direction of Josef Stalin. The new partners include Klych, the World Federation of Ukrainian Women’s Organizations, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America, and Door County Candle Company, which is creating a custom Holodomor Candle, to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the genocide.
“We welcome a broad cross-section of individuals and organizations to commemorate the Holodomor this anniversary year, especially allies of the Ukrainian community who are willing to stand against genocide,” said Michael Sawkiw, Jr., chair of the U.S. Holodomor Committee. “This November we are inviting the world to light a candle to remember a genocide that happened before most of us were even born, to recognize the historic injustice, and to learn the lessons that history offers us.”
The new partners to the Holodomor90 campaign plan to organize and support virtual, live and in-person candlelight vigils during the month of November, culminating on November 25, Holodomor Memorial Day. The vigils traditionally held on the fourth Saturday in November annually, will be a clarion call for official recognition this 90th anniversary year.
Klych: Connecting Communities Worldwide
To help lead the grassroots effort, Klych, a worldwide community of creators and activists who support Ukrainian culture and history, has committed to connect community leaders with participants in cities across the U.S. and around the world.
“The Ukrainian diaspora is more energized this year than we have ever seen in the past and that is important because the lessons the world should take from the Holodomor are as relevant today as they have ever been,” said Aleksandr Krapivkin, Community Manager with Klych.
WFUWO: Leveraging a Vast Global Network
The World Federation of Ukrainian Women’s Organizations (WFUWO), established in 1948 in Philadelphia and now based in Toronto, Canada, also will bring its vast global network of supporters to raise awareness and recognition as part of the campaign. With membership from 27 organizations in 17 countries on four continents, the group will bring this message far and wide.
UNWLA’s Local Engagement
The Ukrainian National Women’s League of America (UNWLA), which unites women of Ukrainian descent and affiliation in the United States, similarly will activate its 63 branches in the U.S. to conduct outreach and participate in local Holodomor-related events.
“The UNWLA has raised awareness about the Holodomor since 1932 when its leadership wrote to President Franklin D. Roosevelt and First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, appealing for their intervention in the genocide unfolding in Ukraine. We have continued educational efforts over the intervening decades,” said Natalia Pawlenko, president of UNWLA.
UCC to Amplify the Message in Canada
In Canada, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) brings together all the national, provincial, and local Ukrainian Canadian organizations. Together with its members, the UCC has been leading, coordinating, and representing the interests of one of Canada’s largest ethnocultural communities with an estimated 1.4 million people.
“The Ukrainian Canadian Congress proudly joins the partners of the Holodomor90 awareness campaign as spearheaded by Canada’s Holodomor Research and Education Consortium,” said Irka Mycak, chair of the UCC National Holodomor Awareness Committee. “In a united effort, the campaign will amplify the story of the Holodomor by shining a light on the genocide committed in 1932-33 and its relevance to the genocide of Ukrainians being witnessed by the world today.”
Door County Candle Company’s Commemorative Candle
To commemorate the 90th anniversary, Door County Candle Company, based in Wisconsin, will produce a commemorative Holodomor Candle. Profits from the sale of the candle will be used to support Ukrainian groups as they take action to recognize the Holodomor as genocide.
Christiana Trapani, founder of Door County Candle, previously raised more than $1 million for Ukraine through the sale of a blue and yellow, Ukraine-themed candle. Trapani said, “This 90th anniversary is a somber moment where we need to pause and reflect on why so many people lost their lives so senselessly. Lighting a memorial candle can be the start of that journey.”
These groups will join the Ukrainian World Congress, the U.S. Holodomor Committee, Razom for Ukraine, and the Holodomor Research and Education Consortium (HREC), among other founding members of the Holodomor90 campaign.
“HREC is proud to be a partner on this initiative and we welcome new members who will promote understanding of the Holodomor in this 90th anniversary year at a time when the consequences of extremism and hatred are so painfully real,” said Marta Baziuk, who serves as Executive Director of the Holodomor Research and Education Consortium at the University of Alberta, a founding member of the Holodomor90 campaign.
To serve as a central hub of information, the Holodomor90 campaign has established a dedicated website at www.holodomor90.com. The website provides links to campaign activities and local events, offers educational resources, personal testimonies of the Holodomor, and provides ways for individuals and groups to get involved. The campaign is also active on Instagram @Holodomor_90, Twitter @Holodomor_90, YouTube @Holodomor_90, and Facebook at Holodomor90.
About the Holodomor:
The Holodomor was a man-made famine-genocide that occurred in Soviet Ukraine between 1932 and 1933. Millions of Ukrainians perished because of deliberate policies and actions implemented by the regime led by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. The Holodomor stands as a stark reminder of the consequences of totalitarianism and underscores the importance of acknowledging and learning from historical atrocities.
About Holodomor90 Awareness:
The Holodomor90 anti-genocide campaign unites the greater Ukrainian community and organizations from across the world for the genocide’s 90th Holodomor Memorial Day. Leading groups include the Holodomor Research and Education Consortium (HREC) at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies at the University of Alberta, the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC), the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, the U.S. Committee for Ukrainian Holodomor-Genocide Awareness (the U.S. Holodomor Committee), Razom for Ukraine, Klych, the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America, World Federation of Ukrainian Women’s Organizations, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC), and Door County Candle Company. The Ukrainian Catholic Churches and the Ukrainian Orthodox Churches have also pledged support along with an array of other organizations and individuals. One mission of grassroots efforts is to raise awareness and call for official recognition of the man-made famine as genocide. The campaign will culminate with the Ukrainian tradition of lighting memorial candles in homes, churches, and public squares on Holodomor Memorial Day, Saturday, November 25, 2023.